Post User Polls

Should Michelle Rhee leave D.C. to run
another public school system?

Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee has a job, for the moment at least. But after having campaigned against presumptive mayor-elect Vincent C. Gray (D) and then called his victory "devastating" for the city's public schoolchildren - an assertion she quickly sought to recast - Rhee is widely expected leave her post sometime in the near future.

Her iffy status, combined with her depiction as a lonely, union-battling champion of D.C. school reform in the new documentary "Waiting for Superman," has made her the name of choice for big education jobs that have come open - and for some that have not. Read the full story.

By Abha Bhattarai  |  October 7, 2010; 6:02 PM ET  | Category:  Local Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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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 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 staff subordinates, cover-ups
and ‘hush money’ deals
Must-read important
news article:

See website:


Posted by: newmanagement2 | October 7, 2010 11:07 PM

Just the facts:
Shaw Middle School's scores did not even stay about the same. They went down -- reading scores declined from 38.52% in ’08 to 29.20% in ’09 and it’s math scores went from 33.33% to 29.02%. This can easily be verified at the official website Did you not check? Did you just take Chancellor Rhee’s or Principal Betts’ word on it? The fact that Shaw’s scores didn’t go up is a major embarrassment for Rhee. She installed a new principal, who hired a new staff, selected for being young and “unjaded” and he paid the kids for good behavior and attendance. It seems imperative that Rhee is asked to re-examine her determination to pursue this method and not gloss over an obvious failure with her ongoing pathological prevarication & misrepresentation of the facts.
(as per writer

Michelle is full of herself..... and facts show... Her scores went down ! The ironic part is watching Rhee loyalists twisting themselves into pretzels to rationalize a 4% drop in D.C. elementary school test scores. Suddenly, the entire test-and-punish crowd is explaining to us how test scores don't mean anything and how test scores are tied much more to out-of-school conditions. The problem is that she has made rising standardized test scores a central measure for achievement -- hers, students and teachers, writes Washington Post columnist Valerie Strauss. So, feel free to judge Rhee on her insistence on placing so much importance on test scores (as have today’s other titans of education reform, such as Joel Klein in New York City). She believes they are so important, in fact, that she recently announced that she wants to expand their use in city schools, so that, in time, every D.C. student from kindergarten through high school is regularly assessed to measure academic progress and teacher effectiveness. But judging her reforms on the actual test scores, well, as my kids say, “Not so much.” -- Posted by Mike Klonsky


Posted by: newmanagement2 | October 7, 2010 11:09 PM

Only educators with proven track records of diligent research and effective and efficient curriculum expertise should be in charge.

NOT political administrators without a degree in education.

Would you want someone with an MBA doing brain surgery on your child?

Put EDUCATORS in charge of education. We've tried everything else and look where that's got us.

Posted by: topwriter | October 8, 2010 7:50 AM

If Rhee is not retained by Gray, she will move on to a place where people value education more than they do in DC...

Posted by: demtse | October 8, 2010 8:11 AM

If she is not Arnie Duncan's replacement as Secretary of Education, she should remain as school chancellor in DC.

Posted by: BigWig | October 8, 2010 8:17 AM

Terrible poll. It's not clear if people are saying "Yes" she's a success and should run another school system or "Yes" she should go somewhere else and leave DC. Read a basic statistics textbook and try again.

Posted by: mandrake | October 8, 2010 8:30 AM

The question is not phrased well;"Should Michelle Rhee run another public school system?" doesn't ask if she should leave or not. It asks if she should run another public school system, perhaps after her tenure her, or perhaps not.

How could WaPo screw up a simple question? I think we all know the answer - politics.

Posted by: password11 | October 8, 2010 8:31 AM

How can someone who only spent three years in a classroom run a school system? It can't be done. It takes at least FIVE years to build a typical school culture, so she's never experienced that. Therefore, she has no idea of what teachers are experiencing.

Posted by: linroy62 | October 8, 2010 8:33 AM

The survey question and answers are inadequate. Answering "no" implies the respondent wants Rhee to stay in DC. Rhee should not only leave DC, she should not be hired to run any school system, anywhere, ever again.

Posted by: rjchittamssr | October 8, 2010 8:43 AM

rhee is engaged to sacramento, california's black mayor kevin johnson. reportedly kevin flew to DC to campaign for the sitting mayor so rhee wouldn't lose her job. judging by her qualifications as posted on the Net she is nothing special as far as background and experience are concerned. she is south korean, divorced with 2 children. nothing unique, absolutely nothing, about rhee that justifies all the attention she's getting excepting being engaged to former nba player and now mayor kevin johnson.

Posted by: joey3 | October 8, 2010 8:48 AM

I agree with the critics of the poll. It's not only badly designed, it's slanted in Rhee's favor.

NO, Rhee should not continue to run the DC system.

But NO, she should not run another one.

She should teach -- not for the next two years, but for the next ten -- in a regular classroom in a struggling big-city public school.

Posted by: fibonacci1 | October 8, 2010 8:52 AM

Terrible poll questions. She should be kept FAR, Far AWAY from children, as she's clearly doing more harm than good.

Posted by: gm123 | October 8, 2010 9:01 AM

I knew America was full of hate mongers but not this much. Wow. when blacks in DC smoke weed and drink themselves to supor, they expect MICHELLE RHEE to do everything for them from making sure the kids get taught weel in school to making sure they do their home work and g to bed in time. I am black and we black people need to grow up. Hard work is the only way of out whwre we are right now. Rhee will moved and still have a great career abd a great life. But our kids wouldn't.

Posted by: nditebeck | October 8, 2010 9:12 AM

A serious problem with the poll is that a "Yes" answer could be given by those who view Rhee positively and also by those who view her negatively. Some say "Yes" because they dislike Rhee's style and want to see her outta here; others say "Yes" because they feel the recent election results show a city that has given up on serious education reform--best Rhee move on to a more accepting culture.

Posted by: kingpigeon | October 8, 2010 9:12 AM

The poll question reflects the Post's bias regarding Rhee. The question should have included the option that she should not be the chancellor of any school system. Her actions were self-aggrandizing. She failed at building support in the community and at bringing change that is institutionally sustainable and not dependent upon her personality.

Posted by: Dadzcanoe | October 8, 2010 9:13 AM

If Vincent Gray is only going to give lip service to educational improvement, why should she stay? Everyone who says she has no background in education is correct and that a huge plus. What she has is the courage to take on the status quo. All the "educators" who have tried to fix the DC schools in the past failed miserably. If Janey is so wonderful, why isn't his contract being renewed in Newark? Unfortunately, the entrenched unions and the Marion Barry way of doing business appear to have won. Too bad its the kids who really lose in the end.

Posted by: PghGuy | October 8, 2010 9:29 AM

"new, enthusiastic educators"
But that's not the real issue - what are the teachers teaching ? This is not rocket science folks. My son, he's 14, very intelligent and self-motivated, it's a good thing because I struggle helping him with some of his math homework. Last year his math teacher, had a common answer and it hasn't changed this year: "the answers are in your text-book". What the heck kind of answer is that as a teacher !? She's using her class-room time to study for a higher education and her bosses are looking the other way. She thinks the parents and students aren't smart enough to know what she's doing ! I fear this is an all too common practice and the kids are suffering because of it. He was Salutatorian of his class but could possibly have been Valedictorian, not sure, but her negligence or should I say indifference to the kids was a contributing factor. She is the reason, I feel some thing needs to be done but I know there is an agenda behind Obama and I don't like it either. Teach students values.

Posted by: kevina2 | October 8, 2010 9:32 AM

The issue isn't should she leave. She will be leaving. Here unpolitic remarks about Vincent Gray, her striving for personal publicity and her arrogance over the past few years make her unable to continue in DC. This has all been her choice and her doing.

So maybe if the Post would get over their love affair with Rhee and move on the discussion should really be about the qualities and qualifications that people want to see in the next Chancellor.

I would hope that the next Chancellor is a strong advocate for education reform, has the ability to bring parents, teachers, administrators and even students into the process to move forward, will have some understanding of standards and curriculum, and will institutionalize some of the good things that Rhee did. They will have to continue to evolve the evaluation system and make sure that poor teachers are removed from the classroom. They will also have to be strong proponents of continuing education for teachers.

There are many people out there who would qualify for this position and I hope that the next Mayor will do a national search for the next Chancellor. Potentially asking Rhee's assistant Chancellor, Kaya Henderson to act as interim Chancellor while the search goes on to ensure that the reforms that have been put in place aren't lost during this process.

Posted by: peterdc | October 8, 2010 9:32 AM

Yeah, I have to agree the question is horrible. It leaves so much to interpretation. Yes, she should leave DC and be handed another job by another struggling school system. When that system realizes the terrible mistake they've made she will be exposed as nothing more than a media darling. Once again I ask, what exactly are her "reforms" other than firing experienced teachers, union busting and hiring younger, less qualified teachers to replace the ones fired? What else has changed in DCPS other than a 1% increase in enrollment and 4% gains on standardized test scores? All for sub 50% overall achievement? Jerry Weast and superintendents of other surrounding districts would get run out of town at the tips of pitchforks for those scores.

She and Fenty tried to take credit for the increased enrollment but the failed to acknowledge other possible reasons for it. Maybe the economy has forced some private school parents back into public school? huuuhh. huuuuh?

Posted by: gtaylor301 | October 8, 2010 9:33 AM

Michelle, please move on. DC residents do not appreciate what you did. You held everybody accountable and DC folks just want a free ride. The rest of the nation knows what you can do and what you have done. So please, move to where you will be appreciated and let DC go back downhill.

Posted by: crazydude | October 8, 2010 9:35 AM

About you, fashionable tide
Story will start from here!
delivery is free.

Posted by: itkonlyyou306 | October 8, 2010 9:38 AM

The poll question is poorly designed. It asks two questions at once: 1) Should Rhee leave?, and 2) Should Rhee run another school district?

Posted by: roald | October 8, 2010 9:47 AM

Rhee is not the bee’s knees or Superwoman. But I don’t think she wears horns either. She has funny relationship with the truth and grandstands more than Jessie Jackson at a rally with Al Sharpton but can she do great things—and still can do things for DC.

Rhee, I think, was more a product of Adrian Fenty than vice versa. When there were rumors of the Newark job—I thought about how different Rhee would be under Mayor Booker than she has been serving under Mayor Fenty. Face it, not one governor or mayor will let her pull the same antics she pulled under Mayor Fenty. Rhee and Fenty hold a revisionist view of history and make themselves matter to their tough decisions. But , Bush and Williams who made tougher, more exacting decisions were both elected twice. Their truths goes no further than their press release. The matter is the how, why and when they did the things they did played into their ticket being punch. If education reform was the main focus the side shows of Rhee telling off Council member, cherry picking their constituency and having a continuous math problem is something I cannot see Booker putting up with. And had Rhee been hired by him she would have known her limits from the off.

They, Christies, Murdoch and any other person looking at her for the top jobs would have liked her zeal but called her to the carpet for her manner. There will never be another Adrian Fenty—as we have seen in the last four years. Even he, going forward will not be the same manager or he will repeat the same issue. People for the most part—do not dislike tough decisions. We look for it in leadership –but you couldn’t quite trust Rhee or Fenty for that matter. But they came to do something that no superintendent did, which was said—we will fire you.

Gray will do the same. He is not a man of many excuses. In the back drop of Fenty, Gray has looked offly tame but in reality his record shows the same—willingness to cut the fat—but using a scalpel rather than a chainsaw.

For Fenty, I wish him well—I recommend to him one thing. Hire someone who can and will tell you the truth. Every story preceding a fall is a tell of the gallery of Yes Man. If you think your people are telling you only what you want to hear—change who you listen to. There is no title in this country that does not answer to anyone else. I

Posted by: CultureClub | October 8, 2010 10:00 AM

I'd be amazed if another school system would take her in.

But if they are in a masochistic way, this would be a good thing for them.

Posted by: paultaylor1 | October 8, 2010 10:01 AM

Why can't the Post write a legitimate survey question that doesn't favor Rhee? Yes, she should leave DC never run another school district again. That woman is nothing more than a wolf in sheep's clothing. Good riddance. Ride your broom to the dark side of the moon.

Posted by: chicogal | October 12, 2010 12:50 AM

The proper question should have been: If Rhee leaves, should she ever run another school system? The answer is "NO" because she has proven to be unsuitable for this one that gave her absolute power. In DC, Fenty was the puppet and she controlled him and required his total silence and support. Elsewhere, she'll have to answer more directly to the public for her tactics, unclear vision, and and poorly communicated strategies.

Posted by: bdoc1 | October 13, 2010 1:19 PM

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