Michelle Rhee blames teachers for her failure

Staff No-Shows Decried as Rhee Aide Testifies

The District’s top special education official testified in federal court yesterday that some school personnel ignore scheduled meetings with parents, contributing to the city’s failure to meet the needs of students with learning disabilities or behavioral challenges.

Richard Nyankori, acting deputy chancellor for special education, said the backlog of D.C. children awaiting special education services is lengthy in part because school staff don’t show up for meetings, leaving cases unresolved and parents in the lurch.

“Sometimes it is willful on the part of some staff not to make it to meetings,” Nyankori said under questioning from U.S. District Judge Paul L. Friedman. ….

… Rhee was not present because her flight back from California had been canceled, officials said. Testifying in her place was Nyankori, a Rhee deputy who worked for her at the New Teachers Project, the nonprofit group she founded and ran before coming to the District. …

What was she doing in California and is it too much to ask that she show up at a court hearing? The arrogance of this train wreck is truly staggering.

… Candi Peterson, a social worker at Garfield Elementary and a member of the board of trustees of the Washington Teachers’ Union, disputed Nyankori’s claims.

“That happens to be a lie, for lack of a better word,” she said.

Peterson, who has worked in D.C. schools for 16 years, said no-shows are rare. “From my experience, providers are pretty conscientious about showing up. I hate to say this, but I think they’re looking for some justification for their lack of compliance.” …

I think we need to hear more from Candi Peterson.

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