A Shrewdness of Apes

An Okie teacher banished to the Midwest. "Education is not the filling a bucket but the lighting of a fire."-- William Butler Yeats

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Holy Guacamole! Michelle Rhee resigns!

Hot off the wire this morning came the news that DC Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee has resigned.

My first reaction was, "oh, look, another example of her not being able to stick with one thing for more than a couple of years," but then I thought, "what am I saying????"

Apparently the writing was on the wall when her partner in crime Adrian Fenty lost the primary for mayor earlier this year in DC.

From the edweek blog "District Dossier" by Dakarai Aarons:

District of Columbia Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee announced this morning that she is resigning after three and a half years in the job.

"I put my blood, sweat, and tears into the children of the District of Columbia," Rhee told a news conference. She thanked the parents in the district, as well as the teachers, with whom she has frequently had a contentious relationship.

Rhee said she hadn't determined her next step but planned to take "a little time off." Her goal, she said, was to serve the children of this nation.

She is confident, she said, that the policy changes she pushed during her tenure would continue after she departs, including the implementation of a new teacher contract and new teacher evaluation system.

"The best way to keep the reforms going is for this reformer to step aside," Rhee said. She added, "this was not a decision we made lightly."

You can follow the link to read the whole thing.

It will be very interesting to see what exactly WILL happen now that Rhee's tenure has come to an end. I imagine she will not stay out of the limelight for too long, either, since there are speeches to be made and book contracts probably waiting to be signed. She will doubtless continue her teacher-bashing ways, because that's what both parties in politics have seized upon rather than actually look at the other side of the performance question-- and by that I specifically mean everything from administrative disconnects to unmotivated family and students as well as poor curriculum sacrificed on the altar of testing. I could go on, but I think you get my drift.

Adios, Ms. Rhee. I doubt we've seen the last of you.

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At 10/13/10, 5:17 PM, Blogger NYC Educator said...

Geez, take it easy on her. She's distraught. I heard a house fell on her sister.

At 10/13/10, 5:54 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

"...and your little dog, too!"


At 10/13/10, 10:55 PM, Anonymous Kari said...

She's engaged to marry the mayor of my fine city... former NBA star, alleged sexual harasser, etc. Real classy guy, Rhee's new husband is.

So anyway, my guess is that she's quitting not because she's been pushed into it, but because she doesn't want a bicoastal marriage.

Incidentally, I just looked at her Wikipedia entry, and apparently her ex-husband and her future husband have the same first name. Wow, that's gotta be a bit weird.

At 10/14/10, 6:11 AM, Blogger Mike in Texas said...

Now now Kari, just b/c the guy took a few showers with underage girls and had hundreds of thousands of dollars disappear under his watch doesn't mean he's a bad guy, don't jump to conclusions.

At 10/14/10, 3:06 PM, Anonymous Ellen said...

She's engaged to the mayor of Sacramento. Living here, I've heard the following scenario talked about:
Jonathon Raymond is the current superintendent of the Sacramento City school district. He's also a close personal and political friend of Meg Whitman (running for gov of CA). If Meg were to win, scuttlebut is she'd appoint Jon Raymond to a state level position in her cabinet. That leaves the Sac superintendent position open. Oh wait, we just happen to have an experienced person who just moved to the city and is very politically connected. So what if she's the national poster-girl for charter schools??

Sounds scary......

At 10/18/10, 8:35 PM, Anonymous Kari said...

@Ellen I happen to work for a charter school here in Sac, so I can't say I'm opposed to them (although I am quite opposed to Meg Whitman as governor. I'm not in Sac City Unified, so I don't care who takes over there.) But I work for one of the "bad charters" that everyone points out when they say that charters don't necessarily have higher test scores than their comprehensive counterparts... why? Because we take all of the students the comprehensive schools don't want! The kids with drug and alcohol problems. The drop-outs. The truants. The highly mobile students. The teen parents. The kids who've been expelled from other districts. We also get a fair amount of ELD and special ed students. Want to know when our annual enrollment increases the most? Every February and March for the past three years, our enrollment has increased TEN PERCENT. Why? Because other districts are pushing off their problem kids (ESPECIALLY ELD and SpEd) onto us so that their STAR scores look better.

IMO, one of the dirty little secrets of charter schools that no one wants to admit is that while yes, there are some that are siphoning off the best students, there are also schools like mine that take the students that other schools don't want. Most of my students are kids that I would have dreaded having in my classroom when I taught English at a comprehensive high school.

I also took a HUGE pay cut, I no longer have tenure, I'm no longer unionized, and none of the 60 sick days I accrued when I came to my current school transferred from my old school (as, per Ed Code, they're supposed to if I go from one public school to another. Charter schools are exempt from that. I actually found that out the hard way, but I'm glad I didn't know--I love my school, and that might have deterred me from working here.)


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