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Posted at 6:11 PM ET, 10/ 1/2010

Vince Gray, Superman?

By Martin Austermuhle

Plenty of people will watch the long-awaited "Waiting for 'Superman'" this weekend (read our review), and my guess is that plenty will walk out with a hefty respect for Michelle Rhee. She is, after all, something of a Superwoman in the film. D.C. audiences will also probably walk out fretting what a VInce Gray mayoralty may bring -- especially if it's without Rhee at the helm of the city's public schools. Fear not, though: as far-fetched as it may seem, Gray is a Superman too.

In the documentary, Davis Guggenheim levels his camera at the sad state of America's public schools and the few brave reformers willing to change them. But the documentary isn't just about how bad public education is. It is also about an alternative that may well serve to save those children -- charter schools.

Throughout the film, Guggenheim intersperses his criticisms of public education with the stories of five children whose parents are desperate to get them into a charter school. Their stories crescendo in the film's closing scenes, where each of the children is subjected to a lottery in which hundreds of families hope to land one of a limited number of slots to prized charter schools like the District's SEED School and New York's Harlem Success Academy.

Ironically, in Guggenheim's not-so-subtle advocacy for charter schools, he may have found himself another Superman -- and it's Gray.

[Continue reading Martin Austermuhle's post here at]

Martin Austermuhle blogs at DCist. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

By Martin Austermuhle  | October 1, 2010; 6:11 PM ET
Categories:  D.C., HotTopic, Local blog network, Mayor Fenty, Vincent Gray, education  
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RESEARCH Michelle Rhee's ongoing
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST machinations, financial
gaming the system, and legal violations ---
in Washington, DC and
also in Sacramento.
Did you know that every time she brings in
a new inexperienced, unqualified
"Teach for America" intern that she pays her
ex-husband's organization (he's the "TFA"
Communications Director) a fee of
several thousand dollars for each recruit --
which goes toward his salary and he then repays
back to her as child support ! --
that's self-dealing.
Investigate the rattling skeletons in both Michelle Rhee's and (supposed boyfriend) Kevin Johnson's closets, while they've been protected from consequences by their big-money financier
and corporate backers
[eg. deliberate prevarication, budgetary machinations & financial scandals (including misappropriation of over $400,000
in federal grants), sexual misconduct with
students (teen minors) and (teenage Americorps)
staff subordinates, cover-ups and 'hush money'
deals behind-the-scenes].
Must-read important
news article:

Also, see website:


Posted by: honestaction | October 2, 2010 12:24 AM | Report abuse

“Michelle Rhee, Kevin Johnson
and St. Hope Academy

(note: It’s time to RESEARCH
the actual facts about
unaccountable, unqualified
Michelle Rhee) …….

Washington DC blogger ‘lodesterre’ has been reading the Inspector General’s referral to the U.S. Attorney
and has been asking many good questions —
some of the same ones on our mind too
— such as the issue of Michelle Rhee holding
“conflicting positions”
at Kevin Johnson’s
“St. Hope Academy” privatized charter H.S.

According to the IG interview with former St. Hope employee Jacqueline Wong-Hernandez, the same time Rhee was listed as a St. Hope board member, she was identified as the consultant for the New Teacher Project (which recruited teachers for St. Hope schools), the consultant for the reconstruction bridge span and the consultant for the reconstruction of the HR department. On a memo she was listed she as the Chief Operating Officer for St. Hope Academy. On an organization chart she was identified as president. As lodesterre writes:
…Ms. Rhee’s titles at the St. Hope Charter Academy boggle the mind. Were all the positions paid positions? How did she perform the duties of board member and Chief Operating Officer at the same time? As president, Chief Operating Officer and Board Member at the same time? as President, COO, board member and a consultant for St. Hope on three projects, at the same time? How did she act as a consultant for St. Hope on the New Teacher Project, an organization that supplies teachers to schools, and as a consultant for St. Hope’s Human Resource Department’s reconstruction? Did she suggest to the Human Resource consultant which applicants to hire? It must have sounded interesting.
Why, when Rhee was apprised by St. Hope employee Jacqueline Wong-Hernandez about sexual misconduct allegations against Kevin Johnson by Americorps teenage volunteers (and also a seventeen year-old H.S. student), did she not contact
California State authorities she was obligated to do
under California law? Was this another one of those irksome laws she sees no problem in ignoring because she “knows” better?
As COO and President, not to mention those consulting positions, was Ms. Rhee aware of the misuse of Americorps funds and volunteers as outlined in the Investigative General’s report of August 2008? As one of the top three office holders of St. Hope it seems that either Ms. Rhee was aware and therefore participated or that she was not aware and she was negligent in her duties or these positions were merely window dressing for her resume and padding for her bank account.
Why did Ms. Rhee not only try to bring in the St. Hope
umbrella organization to take over the operations of two DC schools, but she also insisted that she need not recuse herself from the process (??)
This occurred in spite of her
deep involvement with St. Hope
and her knowledge of financial irregularities
(involving the misappropriation of
over $400,000 in federal grants).

Posted by: honestaction | October 2, 2010 12:34 AM | Report abuse

Investigate this!
Rhee-form, edu-profiteers & sleazy, corrupt, HYPOCRISY

What was helicopter-in
Michelle Rhee’s ‘DAMAGE CONTROL’
for (boyfriend) Kevin Johnson?
Michelle Rhee was on the
Sacramento school's board of directors
(and was "operations manager"/consultant)
of Kevin Johnson's privatized High School charter
--- during the time when
there were financial illegalities
& misappropriations of
($400,000) federal grants
and also a pattern
of outlandish sexual misconduct
perpetrated by school director
Kevin Johnson involving students (minor teens)
& subordinate (Americorps) school staff ---
as documented by
U.S. Govt. Inspector General
Gerald Walpin.

(crucial, must read) ==>

also, more detailed
info. =>


Posted by: honestaction | October 2, 2010 12:47 AM | Report abuse

crucial website for
background info. about
charter schools --

The purpose of this Web site is to provide the public with a source of independently collected information about U.S. charter schools.

For instance, compare what you learn
from my entry about the (now shuttered, former)
3,500 student "CATO School of Reason"
with the content provided by the
pro-charter Center for Education Reform
in their compilation:
"Closed Charter Schools by State: National Data 2009"

In the CER's document, the reason given for closure is "Management." The explanation is "Inadequate record keeping, suspect relations with private and sectarian schools." Well, the story is much bigger and dirtier than that, as you'll learn when you read the articles compiled in my entry for the same school.

This site is a non-billionaire funded (and un-bought off !!!!),
non-union affiliated, one-person operation in the name of public service. I post the information as quickly as I can, but have a massive backlog due to the sheer number of stories. Please check back periodically for new additions.

And be sure to check out my other blogs:

There are a range of charter schools
(including non-profit and for-profit,
parent & community designed,
also corporate chain schools,
and scam schools (schools for scandal).....

view the website
listed below for
crucial behind-the-scenes info.
about the actual performance
& management of charter schools
in the U.S. =>


Posted by: honestaction | October 2, 2010 12:57 AM | Report abuse

Rhee created chaos in the DCPS workforce, with widespread teacher and principal firings. Michelle Rhee fired experienced qualified teachers and principals. She brought in inexperienced TFA’s (teachers who had 5 weeks of training) and placed rookie New Leaders principals (1 year of training) both had no experienced in the DCPS. For the record, Rhee was never certified as a teacher or met the criteria for a principal’s job.

This year test scores indicated only 8 out of 87 elementary schools met the national targets and 2 out of 34 middle and high schools met their targets. She also over-emphasized standardized student testing and scores and failed to understand the importance of community. She installed a culture of fear with everybody from the principals down to the teachers and our community.

She copied the “Impact teacher evaluation and installed a “subjective” teacher evaluation rubric, under her IMPACT program. It did not emphasize teacher and principal training and curriculum development. She over spent this year’s budget by 35 million and said the statement from the CFO was premature.

Finally, I’m sure Montgomery County, Atlanta Public Schools, New Jersey public schools and the PG School system would not consider Rhee for their vacant supt’s position. Michelle is not “school reform” she is “incompetent” and inexperienced!

Posted by: hello101 | October 2, 2010 6:39 AM | Report abuse

Investigate fraud!

Posted by: drfields | October 4, 2010 12:20 AM | Report abuse

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