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May 31, 2008

Rhee-Visiting the District of Columbia Public Schools (IV)

This is one of the few chances the DC City Council will have to do get back in the school reform process without being seen as obstructing change or undermining the Chancellor. No one can argue against the need for independent evaluators free from the least taint of conflicts.

May 29, 2008

Rhee-Visiting the District of Columbia Public Schools (III)

The history of business turnarounds shows improvements in productivity are necessary. A workforce motivated by fear of loosing their jobs won’t get you there. What’s called for is loyalty to the leadership. This Chancellor is going to have a hard time gaining loyalty from DC’s teachers, and she can’t replace them all.

May 29, 2008

Rhee-Visiting the District of Columbia Public Schools (II)

At the end of May 2008, her takeover formula is obvious: Break the will of institutions within the school system; demolish as much of the old culture as possible, take all the political flack up front; and prepare the ground for a new approach in the 2008-2009 school year.

May 28, 2008

Rhee-Visiting the District of Columbia Public Schools (I)

I favor the application of market principles to public education. I do not support the “better, faster, cheaper” model of district centralization adopted by Mayor Fenty and Chancellor Rhee, the strategy they have employed to put it place, or the Chancellor’s approach to the process.

December 22, 2007

It's Not Over 'Til...: Making Sense of the Districts New Central Office Firings Law

The new version of the DC law strikes me as an awkward attempt to split the difference between the pure "at will" employment status the Mayor and and Chancellor want for the Central Office staff, and the constitutional entitlement they have to their jobs today. (Is that another way of saying it combines northern charm with southern efficiency?)

December 21, 2007

It's Not Over 'Til...: The Continuing Saga of Plans to Fire DC’s Central Office

I never intended to get into the District of Columbia Public Schools reorganization mess to the extent I have. The more I learned, the more I thought that Chancellor Michelle Rhee’s strategy, and Mayor Adrian Fenty’s support, offered a great opportunity to explore school district management. There’s something important to be learned out on the bleeding edge.

December 13, 2007

Why DC Mayor Fenty's and Chancellor Rhee’s Approach Schools Reorganization Matters to the School Improvement Providers

The strategy pursued by Fenty and Rhee is not in the best interests of the school improvement industry because centralization with a corporate face will favor firms with the scale required to support large one-size-fits-all district-wide school contracts and a few people with ties to the Chancellor.

December 10, 2007

Firing the District of Columbia's Central Office - Or Turning it Into a Political Fiefdom?

Yesterday, I provided provisions of the District of Columbia Code relevant to the present debate over the status of employees in the DC Public Schools central office. Today, my analysis. It maybe somewhat unexpected.

December 06, 2007

Digging a Deeper Hole: School Restructuring Isn't Working in Maryland

After five years of failing to make AYP put a school into restructuring, another three to four years of failure should leave no reasonable doubt that the school is educationally bankrupt. As a practical matter the school needs to go out of business as an institution.

December 01, 2007

Why I'm a Critic of DC Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee

It is because I agree with the objectives of Mayor Fenty and Chancellor Rhee so strongly that I disagree with them on strategy so vehemently . I can't think of an approach less likely to achieve our shared ends. And their failure is bound to set back reform efforts across the nation for years to come.

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