Posts Tagged 'Michelle Rhee'

David Catania leadership FAIL

Michelle Rhee’s Reign of Error

Rhee has publicly maintained that, if bureaucratic red tape hadn’t gotten in the way, she would have investigated the erasures. For example, in an interview[1] conducted for PBS’ “Frontline” before I learned about the confidential memo, Rhee told me, “We kept saying, ‘Okay, we’re going to do this; we just need to have more information.’ And by the time the information was trickling in back and forth, we were about to take the next year’s test. And there was a new superintendent of education that came in at the time. And she said, ‘Okay, well, we’re about to take the next test anyway so let’s just make sure that the proper protocols are in place for next time.’”

At best, that story is misleading.

Penetrating the Smokescreen

The Council hearing was called by David Catania, who chairs the newly reconstituted Education Committee. The key witnesses were Chancellor Henderson and Inspector General Charles Willoughby. Two other Council members, Kenyan McDuffie and David Grosso, joined Mr. Catania. One purpose of the hearing was to advance Mr. Catania’s own legislation to make cheating a crime (which it apparently is not under current District law). But he acknowledged that the publication of Dr. Sanford’s memo had given the hearing a second purpose: to look back at what transpired in 2008 and 2009.

Reading from what he called a ‘timeline’ of events, Mr. Catania said that Dr. Sanford had been asked to review the testing data on January 28, 2009 and wrote his memo the next day. Dr. Sanford actually traveled to Washington on January 25th and spent the next five days at DCPS, apparently writing his memo on the fifth day of his work there. (Dr. Sanford also billed DCPS for 16.5 hours of work done before flying to Washington.) He did not, as Mr. Catania’s timeline suggested, get the data one day and dash off a memo the next. He took it seriously, as well he should have.

While the timeline error is minor, it highlights a pattern of minimizing the memo itself, which both Ms. Rhee and Ms. Henderson have done publicly. They have cited Dr. Sanford’s warning that ‘the picture is not perfectly clear,’ while omitting the rest of his point: ‘the possible ramifications are serious.’

Chairman Catania kept pressing on the absence of an investigation of the 2008 erasures. Every other year has what he called a “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval” investigation. After all, Mr. Catania said, we have investigations by “independent outsiders” in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. Why not 2008?

And the Chairman made his own position clear: “If I found any evidence that suggested there was a coverup or significant cheating, this would be a different situation.”

Several times he contrasted the DC situation with Atlanta, usually saying something to the effect that ‘this is not Atlanta.’

Later he noted, “We may never really know what happened in 2008 because the trail runs cold.”

As the Chairman must know, the trail has not ‘run cold.’ And while there is no proof that cheating in 2008 was not as extensive as it was in Atlanta, the truth is out there: CTB/McGraw-Hill still possesses all of the materials from the 2008 DC-CAS. He, the entire City Council or the Mayor could demand a sophisticated erasure analysis to determine if the WTR erasures reveal patterns. We already know that hundreds of classrooms in about half of the schools had WTR erasures that were four, five and six standard deviations away from the norm. That suggests but does not prove hanky-panky.

A deep analysis might reveal that almost all the students answered the hard questions correctly–after erasing their original wrong answers. Bingo!

If someone wants to know the truth, it’s right there in the files.

Long-Lost Memo Stirs Allegation Of Cheating In D.C. Schools

Decline and fall of Michelle Rhee


Translating Rhee speak

michelle rhee: a glossary

Michelle Rhee retrospective

I am very proud that this was one of the first non-teacher blogs to expose the hubris of Michelle Rhee. So I am doing a little retrospective:

Chancellor Michelle Rhee August 28, 2007

Stealth privatization plan, December 4, 2007

Is Chancellor Michelle Rhee a bungee boss?, March 9, 2008

DC Public School Deform, May 21, 2008

talking about school deform, May 29, 2008

Rhee’s crony kleptocracy, July 2, 2008

Rhee-diculous education deform
, July 4, 2008

Union busting under color of education reform, July 5, 2008

Three cheers for Vincent C. Gray!, July 13, 2008

Why does Michelle Rhee need a chauffeur? , July 15, 2008

Michelle Rhee snubs the City Council, July 16, 2008

Is Rhee trying to provoke a strike?, July 20, 2008

Michelle Rhee on accountability, July 21, 2008

Another sign that Rhee is a disaster, July 22, 2008

Simple question for Michelle Rhee

Michelle Rhee’s disaster capitalism

Michelle Rhee subverts process, July 26, 2008

Michelle Rhee’s shell game, July 28, 2008

The cost of Michelle Rhee’s chauffeur, August 5, 2008

Michelle Rhee’s astroturf, August 9, 2008

The arrogance that is Michelle Rhee
, August 12, 2008

Rhee’s cynical tenure-for-pay swap, August 12, 2008

Parents, students fight for assistant principal’s job
, August 12, 2008

Rheebots, August 14, 2008
, August 20, 2008
21 first century reform? or 19th century union busting?

The problem with teach to the test August 20, 2008

Another bad idea from Fenty and Rhee, August 22, 2008

Wash. Teachers Union Files Suit Over Firings August 23, 2008

Michelle Rhee’s potty mouth August 23, 2008

Michelle Rhee is a fraud

I am thrilled it is finally coming out.

How many of those principals she fired lost their jobs because they could not be counted on to assist with cheating?

Michelle Rhee’s declining expectations

Fast Company January 12, 2011: Michelle Rhee Wants to Spend $1 Billion Fixing Education

Politico January 27, 2011:

Now Rhee is in the process of shifting from political naif to full-fledged power broker. She has created an emphatically political new organization, StudentsFirst, and she told POLITICO she hopes to raise and spend an astonishing $200 million annually — a large sum, even in the deep-pocketed world of education philanthropists

Maybe making yourself politically radioactive wasn’t such a bright idea. And maybe the billionaire union busting movement wants a new face for their work.

Another reason Rhee must go

Tell D.C. School Administrators You Don’t Appreciate Child Abuse

If you missed it yesterday, here’s the link to where you can hear Chancellor Rhee joking about how she taped all of her students’ mouths shut with masking tape, and how they all cried when they removed the tape and made their mouths bleed. And, you can hear the new teachers in the audience laughing about the incident:

R-E-S-P-E-C-T, don’t know what it means to me

The Root

D.C.’s outgoing mayor and his schools chancellor used education reform as something to do to black people instead of with black people. Reform advocates around the country should be taking notes. This is a local story with national implications.

Sulaimon Brown for Mayor

As mayoral candidate, Gray taking wait-and-see approach with Rhee

D.C. Council chairman and newly announced mayoral candidate Vincent C. Gray said he would decide whether to retain schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee only after he is elected, and raised “burn out” and her impending marriage to Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson as issues he would want to discuss with her.

This is a sign that Gray does not have what it takes to take on the right wing stink tanks and business interests who back Rhee. It is also a signal to Rhee that she can continue to disrespect this city and pay no price.

The best we can hope for is that the WTU will decline to endorse. Under the leadersheep of George Parker the WTU would never have the guts to endorse Sulaimon Brown.

If we want real change we have to have the courage to vote for candidates our media tells as are also rans. Otherwise the oligarchy that has run this city into the ground will continue to wield power.

The save Rhee campaign has begun

Bill Turque of all people:

Still, should Gray actually win in September, both he and Rhee stand to lose by parting company. Gray would face criticism from school reform advocates, locally and nationally, who like Rhee. He could also find private foundations less willing to invest their millions in D.C. schools with someone else in the chancellor’s office.

Should Gray prevail in September it would be evidence that school deform advocates are a minority within the city. And if private foundations are only interested in giving money to projects that are abhorrent to voters, better our mayor say thanks but no thanks to their money. I am not sure that Gray understands that, which is why I lean towards Sulaimon Brown.