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Grade Michelle Rhee's progress

D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee announced that she is resigning at the end of October, bringing an abrupt end to a tenure that drew national acclaim but also became a central issue in the recent mayoral primary race.

By Abha Bhattarai  |  October 12, 2010; 7:29 PM ET  | Category:  Local Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Don't give her an F or an Incomplete or she will be back.

Posted by: blasmaic | October 12, 2010 9:36 PM

Her lack of experience, her lack of honesty in why she fired teachers, and her ruthless style got in the way of making real changes. I never trusted her. For the record, I'm a white female college professor. Believe me, students are unprepared, But the Teach for America people, while performing a worthwhile yet temporary job, seem a little arrogant.

I really knew my subject when I started teaching. But I feel sorry for my students who got me those first three years. I was fortunate to be in a department who taught their teachers how to teach. Fear of getting fired would not have improved my teaching. Being patiently showed how to improve my skills at reaching students was the key.

People don't thrive in an atmosphere of fear. And students are generally on the side of their instructors. They don't like seeing them get the ax. In my department, we try to always maintain collegiality, respect, and some fun among the students and faculty. It works. We have many graduates who have been extremely successful. Even my students who flunk are told exactly why and how they can turn that around. Teaching made me a better person (because no I am not the nicest person in the world by a long shot).

Michelle Rhee's photograph of herself with a broom ready to sweep out the trash (teachers near retirement who had "abused students" was simply outrageous).

Dog obedience instructors know better: firm, fun, and fair. And yes, any subject can be fun.

Posted by: cococo | October 12, 2010 9:44 PM

She started here on a lies:
that she took her 2nd then 3rd graders from the 13th percentile to 90% of them at the 90th percentile on the CTBS while at Harlem Park ES in Baltimore.
That she received "acclaim" from the Hartford Courant, Wall Street Journal, the Home Show and Good Morning America while she was at HPES.
That miracle, unmentioned at the time to parents, the press and even to the GAO, has never been replicated by any of the teachers Miss Rhee trained through her New Teacher Project nor hired to work in DCPS.

She lied when she said she got rid of teachers who had sex with students (she seems to count like Sarah Palin). While the number of schools in DCPS achieving AYP decreased under her watch, she jetted around to the Aspen Institute as well as other gatherings of the beautiful people to promote herself.
Ciao, baby.

Posted by: edlharris | October 12, 2010 9:56 PM

There is value is style and tact, which is the primary criticism aimed at Michelle Rhee, but those come a very distant second to attaining the primary objective, even granting that they might be useful in attaining the primary objective.

Posted by: ebundagen1 | October 12, 2010 9:59 PM

There is value is style and tact, which is the primary criticism aimed at Michelle Rhee, but those come a very distant second to attaining the primary objective, even granting that they might be useful in attaining the primary objective.

Posted by: ebundagen1 | October 12, 2010 9:59 PM

An A. She is a superb education leader with the cojones to stand up, on behalf of the students and parents, to the entrenched, unproductive, and partisanly ideologically locked, closed-minded "teachers' unions". It takes even more courage and fortitude for a Democrat like Rhee to do that than for a Republican to stand up to them. Whomever we elect as our next president should definitely consider her for Secretary of Education. She'd be my pick if I was elected president.

Posted by: SCOTSGUARDS | October 12, 2010 10:21 PM

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "You can't move so fast that you try to change the mores faster than people can accept it. That doesn't mean you do nothing, but it means that you do the things that need to be done according to priority." This statement is one I believe Michelle Rhee would have been wise to consider during her years as chancellor of District Columbia Public Schools. Had she done so, parents, teachers and many other citizens would have felt better about her leadership, especially during her spurts of ruthlessness, when initiating change in DCPS. On the other hand, if she had embraced the wisdom of Mrs. Roosevelt, she would not have been called "Warrior Woman" by Oprah Winfrey. Let me think. Which would have been a better career move for Ms. Rhee? Hmmmmm. . . . Foolish question!

Posted by: stephenr2 | October 12, 2010 10:27 PM

What has not been reported in the Post and never will be is that blacks do not trust Asians. Their only exposure to Asians is at liquor stores and small grocery stores. They feel like they are being cheated and when Rhee came to town many black people lumped her into their preconceived notion.

Their prejudices cost Fenty the election.

Posted by: MKadyman | October 12, 2010 10:33 PM

Interesting to see who responds to polls and who votes in the voting booths. Big difference!!!

Posted by: mountainsister41 | October 12, 2010 10:36 PM

Michelle Rhee is dishonest to the core, and I am heartily glad to be rid of her.

It's not the 'teacher unions' that she and other educational DEformers are after, it's teachers.

If you read what those DEformers write, and think about the logic of what they are saying, they are, in fact, blaming all teachers who teach in inner-city low-income schools for the lousy social and living conditions there.

Think I'm kidding? According to the manifesto signed by Rhee and a number of other evil big-city school-system bigwigs, published in today's WaPo, the main determinant of student achievement is the quality of the teacher.

The logical conclusion is that all teachers who teach at Sidwell, St. Alban's, and the high-ranking schools in Montgomery County CAUSED their students to be high-achieving, and are therefore saints. (Forget that the kids' parents are lawyers, doctors, scientists, wealthy businessmen and politicians, etc...) And all of the teachers who go into teaching in low-income schools in the ghettos of DC are evil people who need to be lynched because they CAUSE poverty. (Forget that their students' parents are often very poor role models and are often absent, incarcerated, dead, working 2 or 3 stressful and low-paying jobs, have substance-abuse problems, didn't complete high school themselves, and/or have major anger-management issues. Not always, but unfortunately rather often. But it's all the teacher's fault! And, don't forget, once a Teach for America teacher is in the classroom for more than a week, all of the social problems are HER fault, too! She caused her students to be absent, not do their homework, throw things out the window, yell out of turn, and so on! The fact that the school administration will do precisely nothing about misbehavior by students - that's the teacher's fault, too!)

What a crock of right-wing fascist propaganda! Blaming the victim, with a twist!

This regime of more and more testing and teaching to stupid standardized tests has helped dig the US urban educational system into a deeper and deeper hole. Let's try something else for a change!

Valerie Strauss has an absolutely fantastic guest writer today. I highly recommend it!

Posted by: TexasIke59 | October 12, 2010 10:43 PM

I am actually, not surprised at all. DC loves things the way they are. They enjoy mediocrity as long as there is no change. (How else do you explain that cokehead Marion Berry being elected repeatedly) They obviously enjoy their children’s failure; this is probably the worst school system in America. Citizens of DC should never complain about the murder rate again. Failing schools are a direct explanation. This lady attempted to clean up the corruption and received nothing but grief. Hey DC, Good luck with your new joke of a mayor and fixing your rotten school system.

Posted by: mhamil01 | October 12, 2010 11:27 PM

Rhee has done a fantastic job. I'm sure she will continue to do an excellent job for children someplace in the US. She cared enough to do the right thing when by far the easiest thing would be to do nothing and not rock the boat. A post Rhee go-slow approach to educational reform will just hurt the DC schools, students, and teachers. I also applaud Mayor Fenty in his courage to support Rhee and true reform. The sad thing is it cost them both their jobs.

Posted by: Michael_B | October 12, 2010 11:41 PM

A democratic end is never accomplished through autocratic means.

Adeyemi Stembridge, PhD

Posted by: adeyste | October 13, 2010 7:00 AM

Some school system that is equally abysmal as DC's will snatch her up and SUPPORT her and they will soar. And all of the naysayers here will have to eat that fact and what they took away from DC children.

Adeyemi Stembridge, PhD: academic theory that is impractical in real life is in many ways part of the problem in public schools today. So called "administrators" with PhD's who have never actually worked in a classroom, let alone in an inner-city classroom have all of these lofty theories about how to get inner-city kids to learn. The fact that you have to broadcast your "credential", while paraphrasing Woodrow Wilson's comments to Congress in 1917 when he asked them to declare war on Germany following the discovery of the Zimmermann Note, is in-kind a perfect example of this lofty behavior. There were bad teachers in the system. The union protects them. The parents in these communities, many of whom are not educated significantly, can be intimidated by the process of trying to help their children, when they know n their bones that a teacher is not right. Sometimes a system need just to be flushed out.
Enrollment in DC public schools is up for the first time in a long time for two reasons, the economy took the financial resources out of the hands of many parents to keep their kids in private settings, and many started to think that they could trust the public schools again.
Michelle Rhee is not a perfect person. No one is irreplaceable. She has been, however, portrayed in many cases in a very unbalanced way by many who were not happy about change. If DC parents don't want their children to get good educations and potentially improve their futures, they have taken a step in the right direction. Unless they maintain the focus and unqualified insistence that change continues, as initiated by Ms Rhee, the return of substandard result will happen quickly.

Posted by: poppysue85 | October 13, 2010 8:56 AM

The 50% who voted anything less than an A are the typical idiot DC voters. You know, the same morons who voted for Gray.

Posted by: adrienne_najjar | October 13, 2010 9:19 AM

Ms. Rhee, thanks for all your work with the DC school system. One day, most of the parents will recognize education as a necessity over free lunch programs and designer clothing. Now, let's see who will placate the DC parents with teachers who've been around for ages and are totally inefficient, school rooms that remind them of home (in the worst way), and children who learn less each year.

Posted by: vickivicki | October 13, 2010 9:27 AM

I liked Ms. Rhee. She fought for the kids, she didn't spend a lot of talking about union contracts she spoke of kids, their grades, their needs, kids and the arts, kids and sports, kids and how to better prepare them for life in one of the international cities on earth. Prepare DC public schools kids to take on the world, DC HAD a habit of just making do. If a kid got thur high school and drove a bus great that was a success, but the throught of preparing a kid from DC public schools to run metro is not something that our old school worked at, they just do enough. For them just getting the child out of high was good enough. DC should be preparing kid for work in the golden triangle area of DC not service jobs. Why is it that young people from across the country can come to DC and work on the Hill, and Golden Triangle in law office, Lobbing firms, Corp. giants etc, but DC public school kids work in Starbucks or CVS. That the change that Ms. Rhee was the trying to bring about. MICHELLE RHEE FOR MAYOR - RHEE FOR MAYOR / WISHING GRAY ONLY 4 YEARS.

Posted by: gracepearlscorpio | October 13, 2010 10:45 AM

the sow was washed to wallow in the mire...

DC, proud to resume 3rd world education

Posted by: mloaks | October 13, 2010 10:59 AM

I gave her a C. She did some good things, and she honestly did some not-so-good things. She was more of an executive talent to me. I'm not convinced she knows a lot about education per se, but she can get things done. The statements she made in public were pure idiocy, but I don't think that should be allowed to completely negate what she has accomplished.

Posted by: forgetthis | October 13, 2010 11:27 AM

There is no way you can give her an "F". I gave her a "C". Say what you will but we were starting to see real results and education was a hot topic around here for the first time in a long time.

Posted by: VaBroker | October 13, 2010 11:29 AM

She gets a good grade for being willing to take on the sacred cows of the education establishment, knowing full well they'd push back as hard as they can. She gets a good grade because demands for a deft touch largely came from entrenched interests who have a long record of failure and didn't want that record bluntly pointed out to them (and the public). She gets a good grade because she branded herself a reformer, and backed it up. True reform requires difficult decisions that will tick off those who are part of the problem. She did it, and demonstrated considerable leadership. Everybody says they're fighting for the kids, and I'm sure everyone means it when they say it. But that doesn't make it true. From where I sit, Rhee was the only one outraged enough by the consistent failure of the public schools (and all the downstream impacts that result from it) to stand up and say Enough. That actually says less about her, and more about the legions of teachers, administrators, politicians, and yes, parents, who want to return to the failed half-measures approach that defined the DC public school system for decades before Rhee got here. Hard to believe, especially when kids futures are what's on the line.

Posted by: mbcnewspaper | October 13, 2010 11:41 AM

A huge opportunity wasted. DC are a morass of mediocrity and thousands of people made money sitting on their fannies in the classrooms and administrative offices. (Heck, some weren't even there and continued to get salaries.) Massive change is needed. But Rhee was too young and egotistical, too sure that she alone could make change. She listened too much to her supporters (mostly outside of DC foundations and talking head 'experts.') She and Fenty shared the same tragic flaw: HUBRIS.

Posted by: MattBlanc | October 13, 2010 11:49 AM

A huge opportunity wasted. DC are a morass of mediocrity and thousands of people made money sitting on their fannies in the classrooms and administrative offices. (Heck, some weren't even there and continued to get salaries.) Massive change is needed. But Rhee was too young and egotistical, too sure that she alone could make change. She listened too much to her supporters (mostly outside of DC foundations and talking head 'experts.') She and Fenty shared the same tragic flaw: HUBRIS.

Posted by: MattBlanc | October 13, 2010 11:50 AM

The opinions of Rhee's detractors are all race-based. "How dare she come in here and try to fix this broken system that we (you know who) haven't had the ***** to fix in the decades since home rule was established! We (you know who) would rather fail miserably continuously than to have them (you know 'em all) fix 'our' problem and take credit for it." Whatever...

Posted by: GreenMeansGo | October 13, 2010 11:53 AM

She was a teacher for 3 years. If she was obese, had acne or had MS she would be nobody. She's young, ambitious, looks ok and knows people. The dumbing down of America goes from top to bottom.

Posted by: citizen625 | October 13, 2010 12:00 PM

Please read what Diana Ravitch wrote about Rhee in Sept. Ravitch is a historian of education, an educational policy analyst, and former United States Assistant Secretary of Education who is now a research professor at New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.
Diana writes: "Rhee believed that mayoral control gave her the power to work her will and to ignore dissenters or brush them off as defenders of the status quo. Mayoral control bred arrogance and indifference to dialogue. She didn't need to listen to anyone because she had the mayor's unquestioning support. Mayoral control made democratic engagement with parents and teachers unnecessary. It became easy for her to disparage them and for the media to treat them as self-interested troublemakers.
Mayoral control of schools short-circuits democratic processes by concentrating all decision-making in the hands of one elected official, who need not consult with anyone else. If D.C. had an independent school board, Rhee would have had to explain her ideas, defend them, and practice the democratic arts of persuasion, conciliation, and consensus-building. We now have an "education reform" movement which believes that democracy is too slow and too often wrong, and their reforms are so important, so self-evident that they cannot be delayed by discussion and debate. So self-assured are the so-called reformers that they can't be bothered to review the research and evidence on merit pay or evaluating teachers by test scores or the effects of high-stakes testing. If they can find one study or even a report by a friendly think tank, that's evidence enough for them. Mayoral control gives them the mechanism they need to push ahead, without regard to other views or collateral damage.
The trouble with this anti-democratic approach to school reform is that it alienates the very people whose votes are needed by the mayor to continue what he started. Although one can find exceptions, it is usually the case that voters don't like autocracy. They expect to be treated with respect, not condescension. They expect democratic institutions to operate with democratic processes. They expect their leaders to explain and discuss their decisions before they are final and to change course when they are wrong. The very behaviors that schools are supposed to teach—how to think, how to participate, how to reason with others, how to find common ground—are the same behaviors that we expect to encounter in public life."
People, please get the facts! There should be no mindless drones in this society. We have the ability to research (Google) what’s being force-fed to us by media faster than we can pour a bowl of Captain Crunch Cereal. Don’t believe the Rhee-hype it was manufactured by The Washington Post, aka Kaplan subsidiaries!

Here's the link to the complete article

Posted by: GoldCoast | October 13, 2010 12:01 PM

Interesting range of comments here, but I wonder how many of the overly Pro-Rhee, anti-DC posters have actually been around in the city or the schools for a while.

I've been here for twenty years, worked in the schools for seven and am in my 3rd year as a DCPS parent. The idea that parents don't want better for their children and that is why they didn't support Rhee is assinine. The vast majority of parents want better for their children though too many have no clue how to get it.

I am shocked by those of you who feel that Rhee or Fenty or anyone else should be able to operate without any oversight or involvment from their constituency. Parents, teachers and students are stakeholders in the success of the schools. To not include them in the decision making process is futile and a dead-end process.

The continuing blame on teachers (or teachers' unions) nevers offers real solutions for improving the academic success of our children. And realistically, no change will be long-lasting if we don't work to change the out-of-school lives of the children and that includes the mindset and skillset of the parents.

Posted by: 39aka94 | October 13, 2010 12:03 PM

Ms. Rhee took on a very difficult job. The DC School system was in need of real reform, accountablility, and new management. There will always be those, from the old system, who do not know how to embrace change as a positive and continue to stick to the same old ideas and philosophies. Those administrators, educators, and staff who could not see that things were in such sad shape are the cause/reason that the a sudden and proactive Superintendent was needed. Ms. Rhee filled the bill, took the "heat" and should be complimented for the great things she accomplished for the entire population of the District. It is unfortunate for the students and educators that she feels the need to move on at this time. She should be missed. It is hoped that the person who takes her place can continue to make such positive improvements to the school system.

Posted by: 2ndsister | October 13, 2010 12:03 PM

Ms. Rhee came into a system that produced the lowest common denominator education. She was resisted every step of the way by the teachers unions. She stood firm. She showed that teachers unions are interested in their rank and file and not the students. Ms. Rhee is to be applauded. The only people that seem to dislike her work are from the unions. Very telling.

Posted by: bobbo2 | October 13, 2010 12:03 PM

She did a great job. I bet if the Fenty write in campaign were successful, she'd come back.

Posted by: don36 | October 13, 2010 12:03 PM

I don't live in D.C., but I felt sorry for the school district -- I thought Rhee was lacking in civility, decorum, and consideration for her fellow human beings. What a terrible example for the children, and not conducive of a learning atmosphere. I just saw someone ranting, raving, and showing off, rather than imparting a love of learning and an atmosphere of caring.

Posted by: sceptic1 | October 13, 2010 12:04 PM

with grey next year, will be a republican house overseeing the district...
and I think they like what she was doing...

Posted by: DwightCollins | October 13, 2010 12:05 PM

This is not a surpize. She laid off teachers and then said they should have been fired. Where was due process? What makes a good teacher and what makes a good parent is the answer. She needs to return to the classroom for a few years in an urban school. Go back to the classroom Michelle and learn how teachers are treated and mistreated.

Teachers have been maligned for all the problems in our schools. It is about time someone (the people of DC) stood up and said we are not going to allow this to happen.

I guess every "superman" or superwoman has a Kryptonite.

Posted by: tmdudley | October 13, 2010 12:12 PM

She was building a culture of accountability in a profession that overvalues teacher credentials and undervalues student performance. Unfortunately those who want excellence in education lost. I'm sure the DC culture will creep back to less accountability, safe teacher jobs and little performance measures.

As a teacher I find this deplorable.

Posted by: sarno | October 13, 2010 12:13 PM

Funning how 65% gave her A or B while most of the post are negative. 37,000+ people have spoken and the approve of Rhee. We also know that if Fenty could run where everyone could vote, not just Dems., he would easily win the election.

Posted by: joelp77440 | October 13, 2010 12:19 PM

Any agenda for improving public education that focuses on firing teachers deserves a failing grade. The claim that the teachers are the problem is no different from the claim that the students are the problem. Unless there are educational processes that work for most existing teachers, there is little prospect that those processes will work for anyone but the students who are easiest to educate.

Posted by: dnjake | October 13, 2010 12:36 PM

If I was a parent, someone like Michelle Rhee is who I want to be in charge of the education system. I would want someone who acts in the best interest of students education, everything else comes second. DC had one of the worst education system, and she tried to change that.

Posted by: meka123 | October 13, 2010 12:37 PM

Too bad...DC schools will now revert back to its natural "thugolicious-eubonificational" state, producing more generations of culturally enslaved zombies...

Posted by: jeeemusna | October 13, 2010 12:37 PM

Posted by: adrienne_najjar | October 13, 2010 9:19 AM: "The 50% who voted anything less than an A are the typical idiot DC voters. You know, the same morons who voted for Gray.

@adrienne_najjar -- Comments like yours only serve to further divide this city. The name-calling and insults by Rhee (and Fenty) supporters such as yourself continue, and it says a lot about you. I gave Rhee a C and voted for Gray. I am not an "idiot" or a "moron." I am highly educated and good at my profession. I am a homeowner, parent, and a solid, concerned citizen who takes my community and what happens in it seriously. I am not an old guard, entrenched Washingtonian, and, no, I do not have relatives who were fired teachers.

Stop casting sweeping generalizations upon those of us who do not fawn over an abrasive, so-called "leader" who lacks the credentials to run a school system and who fabricates data to bolster her positions. Stop stereotyping those of us who do not gush over a mayor who proved himself immature and arrogant. I voted for Fenty 4 years ago and he lost my vote last month. I have outlined on other boards my specific reasons.

A true leader rallies all or most of the troops. Rhee was divisive. I was netural about her at first; so, I educated myself about her. I read, spoke to her supporters and detractors, viewed interviews with her, and saw her in person. After accumulating my own evidence, I concluded Rhee was more hype than substance. To blame teachers alone for children not learning when skilled educators know, and research has shown, that student motivation and behavior, home and community life, parental involvement, etc. are also part of the mix is plainly irresponsible. Overall, I believe Rhee did some things well, other things terribly, hence my grading her a C.

Posted by: 1950snoopy | October 13, 2010 1:04 PM

I taught for 3 years in SE DC, the last one under Rhee. She claimed to have an open door policy and to be there to give us the support we needed. When it was 103 degrees in my classroom -and I do not exaggerate - I asked her directly for help. Within a week, she'd had an air conditioner installed. . . I guess I should have asked for a plug, because it took 2 more months to get the thing plugged in.
What's more, just as the heat of spring rolled in and we could have really used the AC, she allowed a work order to go through to change all the windows - and take out all the air conditioners!
Maybe she didn't have control over these "minor" details, but the decision to let all of our 8th graders "graduate" regardless of their disciplinary and academic records came straight from her desk. So, in my humble opinion, good riddance.

Posted by: ateacherwhoquit | October 13, 2010 1:10 PM

Funding and salaries tied to performance, and national standards to get on par with global competitors, are long overdue. Research now in on charters exposes them as the non-solution they are. They do not produce any better result than public schools, only drain funds from them.

- Balkingpoints / www

Posted by: RField7 | October 13, 2010 1:15 PM

F Rhee

Posted by: anon20012 | October 13, 2010 1:19 PM

To "A teacher who quit" Come on...give us the name of the school and of the principal who did not help you and of the president of the PTA- stand behind your comments! To the others who comment but do not teach, work nor have children in DC Schools...nor even live in the do not admit at the end of your comments that you have not been involved...but, you are guessing that...Be proud, be brave, be good teachers and identify yourselves and stand behind your remarks. Why not? Anonymous is for ...well, you know...........!

Posted by: judithclaire1939 | October 13, 2010 1:41 PM

Here we go again. I'm amazed at some of the comments from readers. They are obviously from people who do not have children in the DC school system. The system is the laughing stock of America and it appears that no one really gets it, except the poor students. I believe that Rhee put the student first and real positive change was occurring. Like I said here we go again.....

Posted by: dlfumuc | October 13, 2010 1:46 PM

The DCPCS was in shambles before she took control. It will be in shambles after she leaves. Those ineffective teachers along with ineffective parents will continue to produce ineffective students who become ineffective in the job market or effective in the penal system.

The Maryland Public School System is currently ranked #1 in the nation. Many Virginia public schools routinely rank in the top 10 in the nation. While DC continues to wallow in the mire.

Posted by: ProfessorWrightBSU | October 13, 2010 1:53 PM

Where is the "accountability" for...
> the CIA and other corrupt
govt. & Wall Street-affiliated players
involved with international drug smuggling
for decades (!)
-- deliberately inundating
communities & specific neighborhoods with heroin,
cocaine, meth, pills (MDMA/ecstacy), etc.
It is a documented fact that the CIA
& corrupt elements of the U.S. govt.
& freemasons have been involved in large-scale
heroin distribution operations and also
involved in the deliberately induced
crack cocaine epidemic targeting black neighborhoods (for the purposes of social undermining & political-economic control).

Where is the "accountability" for...
> The 'entertainment' industry
flooding our youth with heinously toxic,
cognitively poisonous VIOLENT VIDEO GAMES
that promote
crime, substance abuse, disgusting conduct,
mistreatment & violence against women,
anti-educational achievement,
anti-positive values, anti-professional careers,
anti-healthy, responsible behaviors !

Where is the "accountability" for
self-proclaimed edu-profiteer BILL GATES & MICROSOFT
in producing & promoting VIOLENT, PATHOLOGICAL
VIDEO GAMES, including first-person shooter games,
such as HALO !!!??? --
which, unfortunately, too many of our country's
children, our country's students heinously waste
too much time messing around with,
messing themselves up with --
instead of healthfully, smartly & beneficially using that time for... productive experiences, studying, exploring/learning, participating in sports, teamwork, creative arts music, outdoor activities & nature, significant time with friends & family, engaging in community service !!

Where is the accountability for VIACOM
& other media corporations
(eg. instead of the "BET" channel being utilized
for positive, inspirational, educational
or meaningful programming --
it has mostly
broadcast the worst sociopathic, demeaning,
undermining junk -- promoting
gangsterism & exploiting our vulnerable youth
with pernicious mind-killing crap.

FACT! --
Where is the "accountability" for Wall Street
& elite financiers,
owning majority stock in the company
that produced the 'GRAND THEFT AUTO' video game
as its main product !!!

Also, what about the corporate soda-pop
& junk food pushers targeting children ?!

The reality is that ethical, caring, dedicated
public school teachers have been the
'good samaritans' courageously
teaching with tremendous effort daily
to educate & constructively help chidren --
to transcend, overcome hardship,
to cultivate wellbeing & achievement --
despite the grotesque obstacles
& destruction foisted on us by
irresponsible, unscrupulous, rapacious and
duplicitous corporate execs. & financial elites,
corrupt oligarchs, such as Goldman Sachs,
J.P.Morgan/Rothschild scamsters et. al.
who've caused millions of chidren & families to be homeless.

Posted by: newmanagement2 | October 13, 2010 1:57 PM

C minus. She tried, but she didn't succeed. In the end the teachers union waited her out and got her. It's a shame, and the grade I give shows the miserable condition of D.C. schools. This will go on until unsuitable teachers are fired, retired or dismissed. It is unacceptable to have children treated this way, and if it happened in a private institution, there would be prosecutions for child abuse and neglect.

Posted by: edwardallen54 | October 13, 2010 1:57 PM

I find it astonishing that there are so many teachers posting about their dislike of Rhee. I worked in high school to help pay for private school so that I wouldn't have to go to Wilson, which is one of the better public high schools in the district. I suppose there is a lot of support for going back to the good old days of the Barry years when there was no accountability and the school system wasn't able to definitively state how many employees it had. Yes it is true that some good teachers probably got fired, but can you honestly say that the teacher's union hasn't fought to keep bad teachers working in schools? There are many times when I have heard about how bad the teachers still are in the public schools, and have heard from students about their teachers stating wrong facts and grading papers based on how long they are instead of the content. I believe that merit based pay is actually a great way to ensure that teachers keep their passion and unless you don't have confidence in what they bring to the table you wouldn't be afraid of getting fired. And if you don't have confidence in your ability to teach, you probably shouldn't teach.

Posted by: michaelharesign | October 13, 2010 2:26 PM

There is no doubt that Chancellor Rhee made some mistakes, but her overall performance was an A- and worthy of the citizen's support. It's important for parents and community to get the facts for themselves and not believe the cries of a few angry individuals -- even if they are educators. In every profession there are good and bad employess. It's unfortunate that the teaching profession is always played center-stage; making it difficult to do like other industries in removing ineffective employees. I suggest the District take a look at a neighboring school system in Maryland that also tends to cry foul when solid reforms are being implemented. They have the second largest school district in Maryland and are the poorest performing of the 24 school districts. Reform requires tough decisions, but more importantly consistency and sufficient time (4-5 years) to fully implement to see measurable results.

Posted by: tvw1 | October 13, 2010 2:28 PM

All I can really say is what does the statistics show? Did she improve the system on her watch or not? Sure you have to communicate with people when you are taking or directing change but does it work? Now for her firings and other things in question the same umbrella is their, did she do anything wrong or simply had a large population of disagreement. I think the system did improve but I am also disheartened when I see young people on the DC metro going somewhere during the day besides class. Young girls and boys are at the highest dropout rates right in the capital of our nation. I see it everyday and it goes back to one of the greatest assistance in any community or school, WHERE ARE THE PARENTS! Some feel that if they send their child to school like the state requires that it is all done, NO, you have to talk, check homework, be involved, go to meetings, dont wait till little Jimmy or Susan mess up but have a constant dialogue with teachers. A neighborhood will always raise excellent children because you show and do committed responses to their future. Mrs. Rhee or anyone else will not solve school problems, PARENTS:TEACHERS:STUDENTS: RESOURCES save and improve school. Nothing leaves nothing.....

Posted by: StandingSoldier | October 13, 2010 2:32 PM

I am just wondering those folks who are Rhee supporters, do they have children in the DCPS and just why do you feel that bullying your teachers (who you entrust to teach your children) is a necessary thing?

Posted by: garyjp1 | October 13, 2010 2:39 PM

I am wondering why the Post is still promoting Ms. Rhee? Am I the only one who has noticed that (1) she does not even possess a Master's degree, much less a doctorate, and yet she was allowed to become chancellor of a school system?; (2) she never got any training as an educator nor a school administrator, but worked for a few years as an unskilled teacher and decided (with the help of a good publicist) that she was ready to lead a school system?; (3) that she LIED about so many things that it is hard to keep track of them all; she lied about why teachers were fired; she lied about whether teachers were abusers; she lied about budgets.

I give her a D - she tried hard, but she did not have the training or skills to do the job. And she spent more time on self-promotion than on promoting the interests of students, parents or teacher.

Good bye and good riddance.

Posted by: bells1 | October 13, 2010 3:10 PM

These racist posts are really the problem and as far as I’m concerned, Rhee is not the problem it’s blatant negative attitude of the minority of this city thinking for us! Black people don't have problems with Asians as it was stated and I’m quite sure that whites’ are all chummy with them…., right. We had problems with people who are self-centered and arrogant like some of these posts here. These posters didn’t use race when Mayor Fenty was elected by us by a large margin but complained because didn’t vote for him. I don’t get it! There are few speaking for so many. I can bet that NONE of them have children in the DC Public school system and they're on here criticizing! This woman was not liked due to the fact of how she did things plain and simple. We all want better things for our children but keep the parents in the loop and in the decision making process. You can best believe that these posters would want the same. This stereotyping of our culture is quite frankly asinine and it hurts these posters when “we” don’t stay in our place. That being said, I wish Ms. Rhee well in her endeavors and hope that we’ll become “One City” as the presumed Mayor-Elect Gray would like to see.

Posted by: smitty21960 | October 13, 2010 5:09 PM

I give Rhee a strong B for taking on one of the toughest jobs in the US and getting measurable results in the areas of test scores (net increase during her tenure), stabilization in student enrollment (first time we didn't have a decrease in 40 years), and the ability to attract funds from non-DC tax payers (Walton, Broad, Race 2 the top, etc).

Janey deserves credit as well...He was instrumental in helping get things started.

Bottom line is that the school systems is where all of a city's issues come to roost if you will. It's tough to have a premiere system when nearly 20% of your residents are at or below poverty (I would assume this number is higher when you look at just the homes of DCPS children). Issues such as violent crime, indadequate housing, poor nutrition also add to the problem.

Again...I think Rhee did a solid job.

Posted by: DCResident1 | October 13, 2010 5:14 PM

I see that giving a comment than being told I didn't sign in, so I wasted my time. Quick comment is that my relative headed New York City schools some years back and I can not see any relationship between him and Rhee. Perhaps they came from different planets.

Posted by: artg | October 13, 2010 6:33 PM

Michelle Rhee may have been the last, best chance kids in DC had to get a decent education in their public schools. When she leaves, all of the painful progress made during her tenure will probably be reversed. The teachers union will reassert control, bad teachers and administrators will be re-hired, good teachers and administrators will move on to other places and the schools will return to a pattern of chronic failure. Incredibly, that seems to be what most of the people in DC want.

Posted by: purplepatriot | October 13, 2010 8:45 PM

She gets "A" for her courage and drive.
'F" for public relationship.
"A" for not playing the usual DC political game.
"A" for fighting the teachers union and getting result.

"A-" overall

Posted by: solarpower44 | October 13, 2010 8:47 PM

I feel so sorry for the teachers who will have to work under her wherever she goes. We have a superintendent like her in Rockford, IL, and it is hell. And yes, these women do hate teachers.

Posted by: fgabi | October 13, 2010 10:17 PM

Rhee did not get the resources to help the poor students of Washington, DC. If she favored a school, maybe she gave crumbs to those few. I wish that those who voted in favor of Rhee had visited the poorest schools in the district. You would have found that what Rhee did for those students was worst than what can be found in any third world school, community, etc. Principals sat in their clean offices all day while students ran the buildings. There were no consequences for the wrongs committed by students. There were no resources in the classes to help student achievement. The teachers did not have principals who followed the "step" to have a warm and "orderly" environment. This was the way that Rhee targeted all teachers to force them out. Withhold administrative support and let the children suffer. Rhee should have never been chancellor of this school system and I hope she is never a part of any other school system in the nation. All of us can call inner city schools "Crappy". However, namecalling will not resolve problems. Rhee's solutions were to fire teachers, withhold resources from poor students, and give propaganda to the public about what she wants to do for improvement but never admits that she does not know anything about education. Why would anyone want this person to be an administrator over thousands of children but treat the parents of the children as if they do not know what is best for their child? Rhee refused to dialogue with the parents or anyone else about concrete ideas and new ideas for improvements.

Posted by: realitygirl2 | October 13, 2010 11:53 PM

For the love of Pete I am
Utterly disgusted.
Can we go any lower?
Kick the bums out


Posted by: johng1 | October 14, 2010 6:27 AM

Rhee has a look about her which says, "I am not to be trusted." I can't get past that.

Posted by: mbrumble | October 14, 2010 8:11 AM

Sorry weren't the correct flavor minority and you demanded that the lazy teachers teach. I think you also wanted the deadbeat parents involved too, didn't you? Guess you never would fit into the DC political culture! To fit in here you have to prop up the lazy, reward lackluster performances, and be prepared to always cast your vote to reelect corrupt politicians (like a certain former Mayor who can't even seem to remember that he's supposed to pay taxes...maybe it was the crack he smoked? Oh wait - that wasn't his fault...he was set up!).

That's okay though because some other school system will get you and the lucky students there will flourish! Best of luck to you, but I feel sorry for the kids left in DC.

Posted by: LogicDude | October 14, 2010 9:01 AM

Gee Logicdud you're Just what DC needs - another whiner. You couldn't save the Fenty/Rhee team at the polls and this is the best you have to offer. Guess you don't fit into the future of DC. DCPS will continue reform and success while you anxiously wait for it to fail. Maybe its time for you to relocate.

Posted by: lightkeeper | October 15, 2010 7:12 PM

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