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Michelle Rhee: The Right Choice?


District of Columbia Mayor Adrian M. Fenty's decision to appoint the 37-year-old founder of a nonprofit teacher recruitment and training organization to lead the city's troubled public schools is making headlines.

Fenty's appointment of Michelle Rhee as the new chancellor came just hours after the mayor's takeover of the 55,000-student system. Rhee, who is Asian and would be the first non-black schools chief in the district in decades, founded the New Teacher Project in 1997. The group consults with school districts around the country, including New York, Washington and Chicago.

Some have criticized the selection process for being very secretive right up to the announcement. Why the need for such secrecy? And is Rhee's background the right fit for D.C.?


Fenty violated the law by selecting a chancellor without getting comments first from a review panel of parents, teachers, and students that is required to make a recommendation after reviewing all the candidates' qualifications. See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/12/AR2007061200609.html.

Actually, the panel of parents, teachers and students met Friday, in advance of the selection and announcement. Folks should give Ms. Rhee a chance to see what she can do. If she is as smart as she is brave for taking this on, she is likely to make a difference.

Mr. Borberly fronts an organization whose goal is to stand in the way of all education reform in DC, so naturally he criticizes the Rhee nomination, which was made secretively, but well within the parameters of mayoral appointments.

Rhee is a bold choice and the results she has shown with The New Teacher Project demonstrate that she will take the human resources problem by the horns and tame it. Other areas of school administration will be a special challenge for her, like budgeting, corruption, special ed, facilities modernization, and school safety.

I wish her the best and hope for a speedy confirmation by the City Council.

DC Advocate wrote, "Folks should give Ms. Rhee a chance to see what she can do. If she is as smart as she is brave for taking this on, she is likely to make a difference."

Please tell me how brave do you have to be to accept a 250,000/year job with no experience. Maybe if Fenty or Reinoso had not been secretive about the process other less educated and less experienced people would have applied for the job. This search was secretive because it was already a done deal. Surely, Fenty didn't think anyone would try to "steal" his prize Chancellor!!!

I can't believe how many of "you" are willing to risk our children's future on yet another "great hope". Fenty and Reinoso could, at least, pretend to care by getting some in this position who has a track record in leading schools.

Clifford Janey will be remembered for establishing a quality set of standards and assessment system, for bringing stakeholders together to set a master facilities plan, and for attracting passionate new leaders to serve as principals of many DCPS schools.

What he could not do was "implement" those plans at the necessary pace to move the system forward.

With the support of the Mayor, a clear mandate for changing "business as usual," and "no excuses," Michelle Rhee is an agent for change with knowledge, experience and opportunity to implement these plans to improve public education through a variety of fundmental changes.

I'm sure that some stakeholders will resist these changes in the status quo, but it is clear that the Fenty Administration is prepared to invest considerable political capital in drastically improving the DC Public School System. That is a very good thing for the children of Washington, DC.

Michelle Rhee shoud be given a chance to change the status quo. The DC school system can't sink any lower in failing thousands of children each year. Why not Rhee if Mayor Daley hired the present CEO Arnie Duncan to lead the Chicago School System. His resume would read, Undergraduate degree in Social Science and played basketball overseas for four years. After six years at the helm we still have a failing school system.

When thinking about whether Michelle Rhee is the right choice for DC, we need to get past thinking of her as an "outsider" (who'll save the schools because she'll shake up the status quo) or "not-an-insider" (who'll wreck the schools because she doesn't have a long history working inside them). Rhee is a powerful choice because she's an outsider who has led some stunning change (e.g., bringing 23,000 fairly extraordinary teachers into the country's schools) by working closely with folks on the inside (TNTP has a record of plugging its staff into the messy middle of some of the toughest urban districts around). The fact that she's achieved these results while keeping a pretty low profile speaks to how much she's about being effective within a system--and not about being a splash in the news.

As a DCPS parent, I truly hope that Ms. Rhee will be as successful as some people think she can be. However, when I heard about her appointment, I got a sinking feeling in my stomach. She may run a very good teacher training program but DCPS needs someone with experience running and reforming large bureaucratic organizations -- experience that neither Ms. Rhee nor Vincent Reinoso, the Deputy Mayor for Education, actually have.

I know that this is an extreme analogy but I now feel like we are riding the tanks into Baghdad. The invasion was easier than expected but now we have a bunch of well-intentioned but inexperienced people planning the occupation. On one hand, I hesitate to criticize Ms. Rhee publicly. While I did not support the mayor's take over, criticism may be counterproductive now and after all I hope it will work and I'll be proven wrong. On the other hand, I feel like we're headed towards disaster and I'm being pressured to shut up about it.

I voted enthusiastically for Fenty in the Democratic primary before he unveiled his takeover plan. If his plan had been carefully worked out, I could have been won over. But at this point I'm deeply skeptical. I hope I'll be proved wrong but I don't think I will ever trust him again.

Washington, D.C. is not in the position to wait and see what Ms. Rhee is going to do. This job requires someone who has experienced at least running a school. Why is that lay people assume that anyone can be an educator? Have they ever thought about why there are schools of education at universities? Have they considered that there is a reason why one should be certified to be a school administrator? This is a slap in the face to educators, especially those of use who have had more than 20 years of experience. I can tell how many young administrators I have dealt with that are missing a major component.... wisdom.

I applaud Mayor Fenty's school takeover and Ms. Rhee's appointment. I don't necessarily agree with her salary unless she does a total shake up of the D.C. Public School System. If she can increase the number of students that attend college, put books in the classrooms, replace furniture that has been there for more than 25 years, correct the deteriorating buildings, get mice and rats out of the classrooms, get an effective curriculum in the classrooms, get highly qualified teachers that expect high standards from students, etc. then she deserves all of her salary and more! Mayor Fenty can take care of the bureacracy. Give Ms. Rhee a chance to do what she has done with other school systems. I was a student educated in the DCPS and I was a teacher in a private school and I know that effective teaching comes from what the teacher knows and the books that he/she uses to teach from. Students cannot learn anything from teachers who don't know anything. The number of certified teachers in DCPS is appauling. How can students learn from teachers who don't know the subject themselves. The low standardized test scores are not a reflection of the student, but of the teacher's ability to teach and convey what they know. I suffered in college because of my inferior education in K-12. I am angry that I am still trying to learn basic skills that I should have learned in K-12 and I was a so-called "honor student". I found out when I went to college, that when compared to other students, I was just a "C" student. If I was considered an honor student then where does that leave all the other students below my level. I hope Ms. Rhee will shake up the entire system and get some certified highly-qualified teachers in the school system and require the ones who are there to come up to the plate or leave! The students for generations have suffered long enough!

The only remedy for DC public schools is to completely shut down down the system. DC has had one superintendent after another, some of the most renowned in the country, and it hasn't made a difference.

You can't fix the system, you have to crack it wide open.

Open it completely to the free market (communeity groups, small businesses, churches, ect) Give one year's notice to teachers and parents.

Provide all students with voucher money equal to the amount DCPS currently pays per student (around $13,000)

Okay -- so Ms. Rhee is an entrepreneur and a headhunter with three years of teaching experience in a classroom. This qualifies her to run a troubled urban school district with 55,000 students?!

It's a surreal choice, but precedence during the Bush Era shows us that surreal choices for essential leadership positions is the norm, not the exception.

I hope for the sake of the children that some good comes of this decision.

That's quite an unjustified attack by E. Guzman on Mark Borbely, who has actually campaigned for a lot of improvements in DC public schools.
I suspect that Rhee's appointment is going to be a real disaster for DC public schools. Her main goal seems to be to get rid of veteran teachers.

Wishlist for Mrs. Rhee's first 100 days

Fire all assistant superintendents. Give them the choice of teaching in the classroom or leaving education altogether.

Require all principals to spend at least 50% of the day teaching kids.

Break up all elementary schools into smaller, self-sufficient units. Abandon one-size-fits-all curriclum models and replace with Montessori.

Personalize junior high/high school like the Big Picture Schools started in Rhode Island. (www.bigpicture.org) Have students learn through real-world internships, adult mentors, and community service.

Eliminate compulsory education. Let the kids that don't want to be there leave. Don't let them back unless they truly want to be there and they can act like it.

Measure accountability based upon student and parent feedback, not meaningless "achievement" tests.

As the current DC teacher says, it's all about getting rid of the veteran teachers. When you do that you get rid of the institutional memory, meaning the people who are interested in educating children, as opposed to those who want to run education like a business with the intention of busting the union and ultimately, privatizing the school system.

In the NYC schools, the new teacher programs run by Klein and Rhee essentailly attempt to brainwash their recruits into believing that the very problem with the schools is the intractability of the veteran teachers and their resistance to reform.

It obviously works because one new teacher program recruit after another is entering the system thinking they know everything and look dismissively upon the vets' advice. The sad part is that half the new recruits have no compunction about letting anyone within earshot know that they have no intention of staying past their required time, as many of them are just using it for career advancement in other fields.

The hopes for successful reform will never be resolved by ill-intentioned businessman and their hacks - only by experienced and caring educators.

Quite frankly, I'm confused about Ms. Rhee's appointment. I've taught for 9 years (in Wash. DC and PG Cty systems). I always made sure that I observed those who had considerable experience as educators and picked their brains. I took what I could and applied it to my own strengths. I can not, for the life of me, understand why Mayor Fenty and Mr. Reinoso would hire a candidate so greatly lacking in practical teaching experience. Ms. Rhee would not have qualified as a principal to run a high school. I'm in my early 40's and I have more teaching experience.

Brash tactics are not going to help our system. We've had enough uncertainty in the last 8 years. No matter what I personally think of the outgoing superintendent, he should have been phased out and not unceremoniously fired. He made sure that clear cut standards (although heavy in scope) were set per content area. If he had been smart enough to work with teachers and yes, that means W.T.U. he may have had a more successful tenure.

I feel as if my colleagues and I will be left sweeping up the mess of the following year.

I have my doubts that Rhee has the skill to build a collaborative consensus with teachers, school administrators, and the teachers union to make the two key changes needed, which are:
1. Establish a professional growth system where none exists -- aimed at helping teachers and administrators be able to describe the elements of skillful teaching and professional learning community. This would include utilizing something like Jonathon Saphire's Skillful Teacher training to create a language to focus attention on the art of accomplished teaching.
2. A collaboration with the union on teacher evaluation that would help teachers improve, or get out of the way.

Ms. Rhee's sum-total experience in the New Teacher Project and Teach for America involve a head hunting operation recruiting smart young people with energy into the profession, but seriously under-estimating the importance of the complexities of nurturing expert teaching. She's going to have to demonstrate that she can move beyond the limits of her own experience. We'll be watching.

What is disappointing about this selection of the DC Chancellor is the rush to appoint someone.It is clear the Mr. Fenty not only violated the new legislation but he is clearly not a critical thinker. Most major school systems and major organizations approach this type of job search methodically and for good reason- in order to explore all of their options and to find the best candidate fit. One cannot do this in a vacum. Best practices would suggest that utilizing a panel to interview prospects,investigate candidates backgrounds, and arrive at a consencus before jumping in is the way to go.

Shame on us for being so desperate to put anybody in place that we are unwilling to insist that the process be followed. It will not be surprising if we do not achieve the desired outcome we seek- because we didn't take the time to investigate and do our homework in the first place. The lesson that we model for the children- is that it is okay for some adults to violate the law and do as they please. There is more to life than test scores- what about the life lessons that we teach by our actions ? A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

Many who post here may not know that the selection of the Chancellor also required the Mayor in the new law to consider 'great weight' (a legal term) from the Washington Teacher's Union, in addition to, a panel composed of teachers, parents and students not the Mayor's friends, staff and cronies. For too long, stakeholders such as parents and teachers have been excluded from the process of having any input into the decision making process in DC Schools.

Many long hours went into developing the new legislation with the City Council who are joint partners in the new school governance plan. For this reason- many teachers and parents were looking forward to our voice finally being heard. Had former School Board Members and past
Superintendents listened to us - our system would not be as plagued with all of the ills that we see today. Unfortunately, DC schools has been a dictatorship that has responded to the influences of cronyism, nepotism & politicism. With the stroke of a pen many great programs that have been successful were cancelled and others brought in without a great deal of fore thought.

Many of us decided to give Mayor Fenty a chance but what we see on the horizon is troubling & reminiscent of what we have seen before. On many of the decisions that he has made in this city- it seems apparent that he is not true to his word, he is not a team player, is not interested in building a consencus nor does he want to involve and or work with critical stakeholders despite his lip service .

For me this is a troubling pattern.We can look to how decisions were made about appointing the DC Attorney General, and moving Mr. lew from the Stadium project to the School remodernization without even the courtesy of a discussion with the Council or others.

If we are going to simply just rubber stamp all of the decisions that Mr. Fenty is making in his solo reshaping of our city government- then at least take time to look at all the facts.

I do believe that we are going to have to insist that our City Council be held accountable as well in providing the necessary checks and balances that we all purport that we want in DC schools and DC Government. If we don't insist on true accountability- then at the end of Fenty's term when little has changed, we need to point the finger of blame where it belongs- in the mirror at ourselves.

I hate to be the one to play the race card, but in this case, it is unavoidable. Ms. Rhee is an inexperienced Korean woman taking over a overwhelmingly Black school system. To complicate matters this coup take place in the Washington DC metropolitan area, home to an extremely large cadre of sophiticated, high educated population.Would a Black person with Ms.Rhee's creditials get hired? Would the Council allow a native washingtonian to bypass its recently enacted law? Ms. Rhee will be a failure. Not because of who she is, but because of the politics involved in her selection. The school systems suffers not because of inept, uncaring personnel, but because of political interference, disrespect for the client population and a lack of continuity. The District has had 7 superintendent in tne years; compare that history with its neighboring jurisdictions and you will know why the "school system is failing". The Council has not provided oversight and was more than happy to get rid of the former school board, the only other elected body in Washington DC and a spring board for political rivals with aspirations for a seat on the Council. The only hope for the children is if Fenty and Rhee have the humility and wisdom to keep Janey's reforms in place and attempt to retain key employees with an instituional understanding of the system in place. If not, look for another three years of decline, before any progress is made. The cold honest facts.

First and foremost, I would like to extend a warm welcome to Chancellor Rhee to DCPS and our city. I am a career changer and I have made a choice to teach in DC in the Fall which involves a 2 hour commute. My goal is to find a Special Education teaching position in SE. I am excited about this new challenge and looking foward to being a part of the change that is about to transform with DCPS. Why don't we just give her a chance because things can only get better. Second thought, it takes a team to make a difference and we should all just get on board and do what we can to support the children. Isn't that what it is all about and of course let's not forgot some of our wonderful teachers. I was a student teacher in DCPS last year and I have met some of the most amazing and caring teachers. My experience was wonderful. I have always respected teachers, but lord knows my internship was such an eye opener that my appreciation and respect for teachers has triple. Teaching is not an easy job. Teaching is not an 8 to 3 job. In order to be an effective teacher you got to put in some long hours preparing for your class each day which could range any where from 10-12 hours per day. I am committed for the long haul in working with DCPS, but even more important I committed to helping the children in DCPS.

As Michelle Rhee recently commented, education has the potential to be the true equalizer within our divided society.
On August 14th from 6:30 to 8:30 pm, Greater DC Cares will host a forum to discuss how various issues affect college access, early childhood education, adult and vocational education, and special education within the context of the District’s educational system.
Panelists include College Summit’s National Capital Region Director, Martha Ross of the Brookings Institution, and Pre-K for All DC's Advocacy Director, Jesse Bailey amongst others. To RSVP, contact Maya Graham at [email protected] or (202) 777-4445. Location: 1727 I St. NW.

I would rather have a business person in charge of a District then an Educator. Educators frequently are already brainwashed to the "feel good curriculum" promoted in school. Cannot post ANY achievement, might make Johnny feel bad.
Public education is not worth a dime. home school if you can.

Great to appoint someone outside. If more Leaders in Industry, would even consider entering the cesspool of "absolute" no common sense applied in school systems.


I'm concerned with the amount of politicking going in regards to the appointment of Ms. Rhee. Her association with Mr. Kevin Johnson (CEO of St. Hope Public Schools_ and his aspirations of political social climbing has appalled the Sacramento Education Community to no end. With his little Soldiers running St. Hope Public Schools to excommunicating employees without notice, who challenge the "system", Ms. Rhee's ties to Kevin Johnson may harm her in months to come. From shredding "bad" test scores to luring unsuspecting high level Directors to Sacramento, Miss Rhee has much to overcome. In 2006-2007, Miss Rhee was the interim Operations Director of St. Hope Public Schools. She lured many successful Administrators from all over the U.S. to come to St. Hope in hopes to turn it around from the cesspool Mr. Kevin Johnson had created witin his own organization. But, alas, the St. Hope Song and Dance was just it, a song and dance. These hopeful Administrators were under the impression they had a say in the curriculum and the day to day operations of running a high school and an elementary school. They were sorely mistaken. St. Hope had an agenda and meant all along to exploit the services of these highly motivated Administrators who had much to offer. These Administrators saw on a daily basis bad data passing through the SIS, they saw how under developed the curriculum was, they saw money wasted on outside agencies coming in and giving their resources only to fight with accounting about getting paid for their year long services. These outsided agencies had to deal with un-credentialed new teachers who had nary a clue how to teach students, much less manage the classroom. Additionally, Ms. Rhee's hiring/firing practices lack ethics and morales and I pity the DC School system and all the teachers who will eventually face Ms. Rhee's chopping block and creative test scores. I digress. I actually pity the children who attend St. Hope Schools in Sacramento High School in year 0708. With a Miss Rhee appointee from New York at the helm in Sacramento, has surely put Miss Rhee and KJ in a tenuous spot. Students with no Math Classes scheduled to a staff that has been cut in half, I feel that the new lady running St. Hope has more than her hands full. Professionally, anyone in high level postions at St. Hope better hope they get the Charter renewed because where else are they going to go? Additionally, I'm waiting for the Sac Bee/SCUSD memorandum stating the allegations of one minor who was victimized by Mr. Kevin Johnson. I hope Sac Bee/SCUSD have enough balls to break the story at the Charter renewal because the public in Sacramento and the world deserve to know the truth.

Quick Note:

St. Hope Public Schools

80% turnover rate from 0506-0607
95% turnover 0607-0708

Response From: New Teacher - EC/Special Education

i really like your enthusiasm but be careful, she only has three years experience and a couple of few years of theoritical ideas to boot. please look at what is practical. what is better, a bunch of inexperienced teachers who are not willing and wanting to make education their career, or teachers who want to be teach but being let go. i know from personal experience. my classroom was visited one time my ms rhee, but apparently that was enough to let me go after teaching 10 years in a previous teaching position. i was replaced by a teacher who recently graduated for college and is now now in a teaching credential program. mind this. i was/am credentialed and he is not. so is it about education or the "bottom" line. no-one asked me if i wanted to take a pay cut. go figure.

Everyone is blaming the system, the Mayor and the School Administrators. Why not blame the parents and students. Parents of the DC School Students are not generally active in the education of their kids. Also the Gangster Rap Hip Hop Culture of many of the Kids in DC Schools affect attitudes about learning.

Unless the culture changes there is no chance the DC Schools will improve.


In response to the above comment, you are not understanding my premise. You are right, parents and students have a responsibility for the outcome of their lives. However, the way the system works, the constituents vote in leaders who promise to lead them in an ethical manner (HA!!). I realize the constituents in the DC Publc School system lack higher education and are predominantly black and will most likely vote in someone that understands their culture the best. That doesn't mean outside entities go in and exploit their position to further their own political aspirations, (KJ & Rhee). The only answer to this quagmire is to regulate a process by which neutral parties vote in the BEST possible candidate for the "Chancellor" Position rather than APPOINTING THEM due to the political ties. It is obvious the Oak Park, Sacramento black youth are pawns in the M.Rhee K. Johnson alliance as are the children in the DC school system, New York School system, Illinois School system..need I say more? But who regulates that process..everything comes back to the Office of the Mayor who incidentally will cover up anything that will compromise his/her position or his political cronie's positions.

Additionally, I have no problem with Hip Hope, etc. I have a problem with Black Leaders exploiting their black brethren to further their own careers.

On another note, I wonder which school in the DC system will Ms. Rhee place her kids in? I dare her to place her kids in the Montgomery School District.

She'll do fine. And if she doesn't, she won't be held accountable for anything. She'll just go to the next contract gig and make even more money. And just because she has private sector experience doesn't make her a panacea of hope. (Anyone heard of Enron? That was the private sector at its best???!!!) I would highly suggest that instead DC start a comprehensive program to get some of these young black women to STOP having children. No one wants to say it, but sending a kid to a highly qualified school and then sending him home to a functionally illiterate adult or worse is a waste of time. And NO not everyone is going to end up with the boot straps story of success. Look at the numbers. That phenomenon is RARE. Stop kidding yourselves. Start paying to have these women fixed and better yet pay the guys even more to get snipped and clipped. Provide incentives in the form of educational opportunities to young adults who delay having children. I would be willing to give a free UDC degree to any young person who would not have children until they had received a college degree or comprehensive vocational training. That would be money well spent. Stop encouraging a culture of disrespect and half-a$$ed achievement. They need to speak proper English! They need an education BECAUSE they don’t have a trust fund! For goodness sake, start addressing the reality of the situation. It is the teachers? Yes. Require that they speak proper English before they start teaching your kids. Is it the parents? Yes! Stop having kids that you can’t afford and/or are unwilling to raise. Stop waiting for a savior because as good as Rhee may be, she is not the next messiah. Help her by doing most of the work. Because either way, she is going to get the credit, but the glory will be yours!

What no or little teaching experience or tenure?
What is going on here?

What no or little teaching experience or tenure?
What is going on here?


Look, nothing has worked. It has nothing to do with the system. It has everything to do with the culture of failure--and even the most powerful black leader can't change it! If Michelle Rhee can make the change then give her a chance! I predict she has 10% of chance to succeed. If she does then it will be the greatest thing ever happening to the common people living D.C. i.e., the black people.

She was brought in to bust the teachers' union. There's a lot of talk about accountability, all of it directed at others, not herself.

It's my personal opinion that educators make poor administrators and poor managers in any type of entity. Educators think from the heart and make decisions based only on their own personal life experiences. They make me sick. I have conducted financial audits for many school districts and have found that administrators with a business background perform much better in positions of school administration.

Mrs Rhee appears to have an impressive resume. I think it is wonderful that she is Korean. Koreans have a great work ethic (that's the way they are raised). There must be a reason why Korea and Japan don't have the same urban public school nightmares that the USA has. It's no secret, it's the Korean work ethic that has made the Korean public school system one of the best in the world and the fact that Koreans don't tolerate inefficiency. DC will be wise to welcome Rhee with open arms. That is of course, if you are concerned about establishing a successful education system at last.

I saw her being interviewed on TV over the weekend. I can't imagine anyone better fit to get real change into that sclerotic system. She explained a reasonable approarch to metrics. She described how people would describe their jobs using their title...and not being able to verbally bridge Rhee from their (in my opinion puffed up titles) to how their "job" in a cause/effect fashion supports the education of children. Organizational deadwood.

Clearly, she has enormous challenges ahead...the most significant is a stagnant/protected/puffed up/ administration.

Given the budget she is overseeing and the amount of change that must be implemented Ms. Rhee's is highly underpaid. Her job is absolutely not a 9 to 5 job. Apparently, she works late into the night everyday and weekends. I say get rid of the central office fat and pay the high performing teachers and principals more money!

I watched with great interest as Ms. Rhee was interviewed on television last night. I was in awe of her!! I believe she has what it takes to be successful...she went to the warehouse to check the supplies and found floors of supplies covered with dust!!!!...she visited the schools and the principals to let them know what she expects!!! she responds to all her e-mails and she talks with the kids!!!She spoke of 13,000 work orders not accomplished and discovered 4 times as many...Her goal is to have complettion on all the work on the schools in one year!!! It was evident her priority is the education of the children. As an "outsider" I am watching her progress on a daily basis. I expect great things from her....If I am wrong, I think the school system will be that much better in the long run.

I am amazed, and at the same time not surprised, at the racist and ignorance comments being made on this blog. Ms. Rhee does not have an impressive resume'; she taught 2nd graders for three years and then started a business that operated through government contracts. There is a pattern of her benefiting from black and disadvantaged people. She did not get an offer to be in charge of a white school district and probably never will. That's the facts. She IS Korean; a black woman would never get the opportunities she has gotten without a least 15 years of administrative experience.

Concerned citizen, do you have children in the DC public schools? If you do, then how can you say we need another black chancellor? Why is race so important to you?

I don't care if the selection process was fair or not. All I care about is having a major overhaul of the school system that gets rid of the waste, inefficiency, and unproductive teachers. My children deserve a clean school with hard working teachers. Ms Rhee is going to take the bull by the horns and get things done right. She is a Harvard graduate, well spoken, and does not have an attitude. That's good enough for me.

How dare you think that the black parents of DC are the least bit concerned that you are jealous that a black was not selected. I don't want my children's education jepordized any longer simply to make people like you feel that justice and fairness have prevailed.

The black chancellor's in the past failed to solve the mess. Their blackness did not help them one bit. I am black, but I am more concerned about my children's future than I am about the race of the chancellor. I want change in the school system and I want it NOW!

DC parent,
Please stop looking at Ms. Rhee as the great savior. She is not! Why are you giving her so much power over your affairs? Take charge of your own child! A childs education does not stop at the end of the school day. You as a parent bare most of the responsibility for your own childs education. Think about it.

Amen to that last comment. Save yourself, save your school.The writer before the last one was an imposter; and as usual, her misstatatements betray her motives. Firstly, DC never had a Chancellor before, it was a position created for Ms.Rhee. Secondly, she is not qualified and the promblems of DC schools are systematic, stemming from a political climate where the primary clientel of the school system, namely, the students and their parents are disregarded. Ms. Rhee and the process involved in her selection, furthers their disenfranchisement. For the record, I never advocated for a Black administrator; my point is that a candidate with Ms. Rhee credentials would have never been presented or accept in a majority white school district. And, just as a point of reference, you can't be jealous of something that is NOT (done), jealousy is a affirmative emotion.

I am an educator at Prince George’s County Public Schools; I have been teaching for ten years and am certified as an administrator.

I was a tad concerned about the individual (the accountant) who made the comment that teachers/educators are very poor administrators. He may have audited many school systems and found them lacking, but that is no basis for generalizing about the quality of educators as administrators!

On the contrary, I believe that EXPERIENCED educators who have furthered their education and received the administrative licenses and gained some leadership experience (i.e. starting off as a department chair, then supervisor of afterschool program, then sitting on the budget committee, then Assistant-Principal, etc. etc. etc.), make admirable administrators for schools.

Running a school is NOT like running a business. Our “commodities” are not computers or food products; we do not sell and buy! Our commodities are children and parents and churches, and teachers and communities—real live people!

So Of COURSE, we need to use hearts as a critical part of our decision making. That does not mean that we are not capable of making analytically sound and practical decisions based on hard evidence and data—but it must be tempered by heart!

I personally, have helped my father run his non-education business for years; I have helped him create a decent profit margin! According to him, I have accomplished much greater results than my brother, who has a Masters Degree in Business Management and Finance!

I am an educator interested in becoming a school leader. I find it extremely disheartening to read comments such as those posted by “accountant” about the viability of teachers as administrators!

The reason that the black students of D.C. are below average is not the fault of the school system. It's not the parents' fault either. It's just the way things are. I say don't make a big fuss about who the chancellor is or should be. I say, let the students know we care but that we are not really able to do much more than we are doing for them now. The students seem happy. Please, let's not take that happiness away from them by trying to force them to be something they are not. Sure I wish we could have a first-class school system too, but I think we all know it's never going to happen. It has not happened in the past and a lot of good people have tried their best.

I have reading a lot about Ms. Rhee. The simple fact that she is hands-on and takes part in every aspect of the management of DCPS is a credit to her and a sign of the good things to come. She does need the support of all the stakeholders, including the parents, students, teachers and administrators. It is true that so many have tried and failed in reforming DCPS but that does not mean that she will; the same was true in the case of Dr. Deasy of PGCPS! Many before him tried to reform PGCPS but failed. Since his arrival last year, 11 schools have exited the MD reconstitution list and 17 are about to exit. Many good things have happened! Let us at least give Ms. Rhee a chance!

I hope the mayor keeps his word and lets Rhee fire those teachers that are dumb and or lazy. The DC schools need a cleansing. The parents are not to blame. The teachers and administrators are the cause of the condition of the schools. The teachers think they each have a guaranteed job for life. They must face reality. The party is over. Rhee, you go girl! You have a good plan, with benchmarks and rules. I attended the DC schools years ago and I'll bet that most teachers don't even know what a benchmark plan is. Well, they are soon going to find out what one is. Keep hope alive.

I'll have to agree with the earlier posts by Accountant and Former Student. The reason that educators make lousy administrators is because they have no planning skills. In order for a business to be successful it must have a successful plan by which to meet its business goals. Common sense tells us that a school system cannot be successful unless it has a well thought out plan that enables its goals to be met. Thus, that is why any school administrator with experience in managing a successful business will out perform a school administrator who has only an education background. I'm familiar with the Harvard business school which Rhee graduated from. And believe me it out classes any two-bit teacher college. Educators with many years of experince teaching and working in a school's administrative office are a dime a dozen. I like Rhee's plan. She knows how to plan. Now let's see if she knows how to manage her plan.

Again we have imposters trying to pass themselves off as "knowledgeable individuals". School administration is a field of study and school administrators have to demonstrate a level of competence to get the job. Most people would agree that the most sucessful school systems in our area are the Fairfax Co. system and the Montgomery Co. school system. They are managed by career education professionals and former teachers and yet, every year, they are at the top of everybody's list. What makes them special is not some experiment with some new business model, but consistent leadership with support from the community and political structure that agrees education should be a priority. The public also understands and does not tolerate interference from grandstanding politicians. That's why Ms. Rhee wouldn't make it anywhere but the District, where people have been so disenfranchised that they don't know their power; and where the schools have been so balkanized by charter schools and vouchers, that parents are competing against each other. Instead of working together for the good of "the children" they are advocating for "their children". The elites get what they want, poor black people get a press conference where promises are made by people who have no understanding of their issues and refuse to embrace solution because of the cultural implications. I await a response from another imposter claiming to be familar with the Harvard Business School.

Concerned citizen, you need to calm down. Who are the imposters you refer to? What list are you talking about when you say "top of everybody's list"? Who is the "everybody" you refer to? I just came to the Education Week website to read and I see your wild claims of persecution. You sound like a borderline paranoid. If you are for real, then I hope that you will seek medical help. If your above comment was some kind of joke then I appologize for inquiring about your rambling comment that was surely in jest, but I fail to see the humor.

I wasn't planning on posting a comment about Rhee's appointment. I'll simply say that age 37 is rather young for such a high position.

I clearly stated who an imposter was; someone like yourself, who deflects from the conversation with unjustified claims or some opinion based on bias, not the facts. All my positions are clearly stated and not rambling. If you are from the DC metro area you know the school system I mentioned. I made no mention of any persections, just bad decisions because the ordinary citizenry are not involved or not allowed to be involved in the process. By the way, my undergraduate degree was in psychology, so it does not serve you well to make up psychologically terms to attack individuals. That tactic is called an ad hominem- when you attack the person bacause you can't challenge his ideas or facts. What's your adgenda? Maybe you should spend a little more time educating yourself.

Get rid of veteran teachers... yet another ism. Agism, I am a veteran teacher, and still reach kids in my class and mentor younger teachers in our building.
The system is burning out younger teachers, I teach in a mid sized city and last year we had 62 teachers retire, but had 73 younger teachers (1-3years in the system) resign their positions.
This is a national trend and steps need to be taken to support teachers, not just fire them or pressure them into leaving.
We need to change public schools for sure, but not by bad mouthing any group. Retain teachers who reach and engage children and show the rest the door.

After hearing Ms. Rhee asserting to "get rid of the ineffective teachers," I am not sure if she knows about what it takes to teach middle school and high school students who have a long history of not wanting to do in school. Some of these students will not do any work for any teacher.

Ms. Rhee should realize that if a teacher goes above and beyond and the student still insists on coming to school under the influence of drugs and alcohon, THEN THE TEACHERS HAVEN'T FAILED, THE STUDENTS AND PARENTS HAVE!

DC needs a black chancellor. I say the blacker the better. The students will benefit from such a chancellor. Everyone knows that the black students' test scores will increase, if the chancellor is also black. The asian chancellor wants to make too many changes. Who does she think she is?

The last comment was made by someone using the pseudonym I had chosen for myself. This is the real concerned citizen and I disassociate myself from those last comments. If you take the time to compare what that last person was stating, you will know it was written by a simple minded person with no complexity of thought. If you read the previous comments by "Concerned Citizen", you will know which one is uneducated and who the Jerk is.

I have to disagree with "concerned citizen" comment that a dark black chancellor will automatically cause a rise in students' grades. I guess a lot of people believe that, but I am not one of them. I really don't understand that logic at all. Although I have read similar posts that promote that same type of belief.

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