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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Goodbye D.C., Hello California (good luck to you, California)

Michelle Rhee, the chancellor of schools in Washington, D.C., has resigned her post. Rhee, the hard-nosed leader who is the darling of the ed reform movement, will leave at the end of the month. I'm thinking she left rather than stay and allow herself to be asked to leave (she backed the wrong horse in the recent mayoral elections).

But, she's marrying the Mayor of Sacramento so look for her to take over California education and slash and burn there.

20 comments:

ParentofThree said...

Doesn't she actually need to be hired first?

Melissa Westbrook said...

Well, if Meg Whitman gets elected governor, yes, I think Ms. Rhee will get hired.

ParentofThree said...

Are supers appointed in California and is the job open at the moment? Will they need to fire one to hire another?

Central Mom said...

Thankfully, it's all about the kids and not her own ego ;-)

From the LA Times

High-profile former Washington D.C. schools chief Michelle Rhee announced the launch of her Twitter page shortly after news of her resignation filtered through the national media Wednesday.

Rhee said that leaving her post after more than three years was "heartbreaking" but quickly moved to ensure conversation about her ambitious education reform program continued at her Twitter account and her new Web page.

Her resignation drew statements from Minnesota governor and presumed 2012 presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty, among others.

Already having attracted more than 1500 Twitter followers in the five hours after her launch, Michelle Rhee tweeted:

Do you have an innovative idea for #education reform? Tell me, http://michellerhee.org/share-ideas

Today, I resigned from my position as Chancellor of D.C. Public Schools. Find out what I'm doing next: http://michellerhee.org/

ParentofThree said...

Wow...I am worried. She is a the pitbull of education.

Aunty Broad said...

I've got an innovative idea for ed reform, Ms. Rhee. You and Dr. No-Confidence and the rest of your rich buddies go conquer and enslave a planet of lizard men in a distant galaxy.

It's really far away, so you'll have time to better plan your next stupid revolution.

C U Later.

Anonymous said...

i don't understand the hate


-bill

SolvayGirl said...

Boy...my husband was contemplating moving us to Sacramento. I'm sure glad he reconsidered.

seattle citizen said...

bill, hate is a strong word, but I hate that a bunch of people, with Michelle Rhee (of the Broad board...our superintendent is on the Broad board...) are manipulating public opinion using lies and manipulated "data" to effect change that is, in my opinion, horrible. If it were to rise to the level of "hate" (something I try to stay away from) it would be because I value a deep and thoughtful education for every child, and "these people," with Rhee as one of their figureheads, are trashing public education.

I hate that.

Rhee, when she just out and fired hundreds of DC teachers recently, said something like, well, some of them were sex offenders! Abusers!

Really? No, but it plays well with her one-track mission to vilify public teachers in order to shove her (and her "ilk," another word I would normally never use)agenda down the throats of a public looking for help educating their children.

Her "blame the teacher" rhetoric is nasty, mean, and will hurt children if that "theory" and the other reformers' blather continues to be seen as sensible and wise.

So I don't "hate" her (hard to tell, eh?) but I hate what her "reform" is doing to kids. I really do.

karyn king said...

bill,
Ms. Rhee's war on teachers is no secret. You cannot consistently demonize a whole profession in every conceivable media outlet and execute a wholesale firing of teachers without generating a bushel full of ill will.

wseadawg said...

Bill: I hated her stubbornness, her inability to listen, her I know what's best because I taught for 2 years before forming the New Teacher Project think tank. I hated her rhetoric, her anecdotes that always and deliberately portrayed teachers as lazy and horrible, for example, she would always give specific examples of teachers doing things she thought were horrible, but only gave platitudes to the good teachers who did great things in her district, by saying things like "some of our teachers are excellent," but never any examples. Pretty transparent, really.

She tried hard, but didn't know the first thing about cooperation, negotiation, compromise, consensus building, or accepting less than anything she wanted. Doing so boxed her into a corner because she thought she could steamroll DC with her political connections. Hubris & Ego trumped kids, ultimately. And yes, I hate that with a passion.

Were she a reasonable person, with an ounce of eloquence, she could have persuaded people a la Bill Clinton. Instead, like our very own, she decided to be a bulldog. Sorry, that will never work, anywhere, for anything. But, she thought she was Midas because the Mayor adored her. At last, reality reared its head, and are the kids any better off now that the ultimate quitter is cutting and running? I don't think so.

I guess the lesson for the day is: When you can't get everything you want, take your ball and go home, but never, ever give an inch. Glad my kids aren't in DC.

Charlie Mas said...

Michelle Rhee: "The best way to keep the reforms going is for this reformer to step aside."

My. How very Sarah Palin.

wseadawg said...

Re: Sarah Palin.

"Poor thing. She seems to have no first language." - Dick Cavett

Kristin said...

I'm wondering about this wedding thing - isn't that a little sudden, given that she used to live in D.C.?

I kinda want to see a soap opera about all these ed reform people and their stormy romances . . . General Schools? Days of Their Lives? All My Students?

ParentofThree said...

SolvayGirl, your child has been in private school now for many years - so why would this move have made any difference for you, educationally speaking?

SolvayGirl said...

Parent of Three: We were considering a move because of employment opportunities and the chance to return to public schools. We are not in private school because that's our preference; it's just our family's best option for high school in Seattle. We still care VERY much about the state of public schools.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Okay, so I'll ask. Anyone think there is any chance that Dr. Goodloe-Johnson would take the D.C. job? It's not as crazy as you might think.

She's very much like Michelle Rhee in her thinking.

Ms. Rhee already has set things into motion so it's not like G-J would have to start at square one.

In 2005-2006, DC public schools served 58,000 students, a somewhat similar size to Seattle.

Dr. G-J is an ambitious person.

Hmmm.

SolvayGirl said...

I like your thinking Melissa!

ParentofThree said...

I am sorry SolvyGirl, I did not mean to be so snarky, I was just curious if you thought CA was your tix out of private school.

Any yes, Mellisa pretty sure the ink on her resume is wet from printing so quickly after Rhee's departure. My understanding is that she has always wanted an east coast position - from my limited sources w/in the district.

Could just be wishful thinking also.

Charlie Mas said...

The job of D.C. schools chancellor is a very high-profile job, which, I think, would appeal to Dr. Goodloe-Johnson. It is also an insanely difficult one. The academic outcomes for D.C. students is atrocious.

On the other hand, the per-student funding in D.C. is equally extreme.

I don't know what Michelle Rhee was doing there, but, given that budget, I would think that there would be a lot of money to provide the sort of services needed to address the low achievement.

The situation is ripe for a lot of break-the-mold thinking.

Here's the funny thing: for all of the talk about Reform, there is very little outside-the-box thinking in the Reform movement. There's very little creativity about how classes should be formed or how students should be taught. Instead it's all about contracts and assessments.

I would really like to see an Education Reform movement that had something to say about education.