Michelle Rhee will announce her resignation today.  The resignation will take place at the end of the month.  According to the Washington Post:

D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee will announce Wednesday that she is resigning at the end of this month, bringing an abrupt end to a tenure that drew national acclaim but that also became a central issue in an election that sent her patron, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, to defeat.

Rhee survived three contentious years that made her a superstar of the education reform movement and one of the longest-serving school leaders in the city in two decades. Student test scores rose, and the teachers union accepted a contract that gave the chancellor sweeping powers to fire the lowest-performing among them.

But Rhee will leave with considerable unfinished business in her quest to improve teaching, close the worst schools and infuse a culture of excellence in a system that has been one of the nation’s least effective at educating students.

She will be replaced until at least the end of the school year by Deputy Chancellor Kaya Henderson, a close associate.

The resignation was predictable.    If Fenty lost, Rhee would go.  Rhee is fairly hated by many teachers in DC.  She runs a tight ship and fired people who didn’t measure up.  Fenty was targeted by the DC teachers’ union.   Rhee was targeted because she was a reformer. 

Rhee’s goals – higher student achievement, better teachers and greater accountability for their classroom performance – were generally shared by her predecessors. But with new powers putting the struggling school system under mayoral control, Rhee pursued the goals with an unprecedented zeal.

She closed more than two dozen schools, fired teachers by the hundreds and spent more than two years negotiating a labor contract that gives principals new control over teacher hiring while establishing a new performance-pay system that ties compensation to growth in student test scores.

From an outsider point of view, DC Schools are seen as a place where mediocrity has been allowed to flourish and seniority rules over student needs. DC has some of the worst test scores in the nation.  Test scores aren’t everything and many of DC’s students are poor and unmotivated.   Somewhere there has to be a happy medium. 

From the documentary, “Waiting for Superman.”  Please do not walk about with the notion that all schools are failing.  Many are not.


15 Thoughts to “Michelle Rhee to Resign Today”

  1. Rhee survived three contentious years that made her a superstar of the education reform movement and one of the longest-serving school leaders in the city in two decades.

    And this is why reform will never win against the entrenched powers that be in education.
    Longest serving and only 3 years?! And yet, the citizens keep wondering why their schools are failing. Union politics are killing our schools. If she was a superstar, the school system should be offering her the moon to keep her. Can’t have reform. Might upset too many applecarts. Nothing to see here….move along…..schools are fine…..trust us.

  2. Cato the Elder

    PWC should hire her!

  3. PWC Taxpayer

    By any and all measures Rhee’s tenure was a success – although you have to admit there was plenty of room for improvement. This is a victory of the unions, of teachers, of political pay-offs and of campaign finance over the needs of students. It is a prime example of teachers who continue to confuse their needs with those of the students and Rhee was the union’s Number 1 target. Rhee has demonstrated conclusively that higher salaries are not the key to these improvements; bringing respect, accountability and professionalism back into the the profession of teaching is. Not everyone can do it or should be allowed to do it.

  4. Cato, probably better stick to money and stocks.

    There is no comparison between DC schools and Prince William County Schools. DC schools have a unique situation.

    The main cause, I would say, is that the DC schools are in DC. DC has been guilty of accepting that which no other jurisdiction would tolerate. That sort of standard is not cleaned up in three years. DC govt in general has long been rife with graft, corruption, nepotism, cronyism. The school system is no different than regular DC govt.

  5. marinm

    Superman is dead. The economic jihadist teacher unions won and the children of DC will forever pay the ransom.

  6. Cato the Elder

    Speaking of which, AAPL @ 301!

  7. Cato the Elder

    Man dip buyers not wasting any time this AM. Pow bam to the moon Alice.

  8. Cheer! I was tied up and missed seeing it push over $300. Darn!

    Cato, please explain #7

  9. Cato the Elder

    They tried to push the market down right on the open and got met by an army of buyers. I still see people out here trying to get short, and that’s the kind of fuel we can go up to new highs on. I don’t see any capitulation buying yet. I do see a lot of secondaries coming to market and a dash for trash like small cap China companies so we might be seeing the beginning of the end, but right now this market wants to go higher.

  10. Cato the Elder

    Oooh my the bears are doing their best to push AAPL under 300 for the close. Close but no cigar fellas, better luck tomorrow.

  11. The bears can bite me! GRRRRRRR

    They were not successful. Cato, could you do me a huge favor and dumb your comments down. I like following what you have to say but sometimes I …well…drool on my self trying to understand.

  12. marin, remember our little talk about teachers’ unions and how you can’t lump them all together? [crickets chirping]

    Actually I don’t know jack about the DC teachers union and I cannot find out its affiliation. Here is a link to their history. http://www.wtulocal6.org/History/

    Some of the problem stems from DC being the stepchild of Congress.

  13. Emma

    How unfortunate for DC schools, which I believe spend more per capita than any other school district in the country for so little return. And whose administrators think nothing of pillaging student fundraising accounts for their own benefit. And whose schools are still in disrepair, still have problems with asbestos and lead-based paints, and the same story plays out year after year when they are simply not ready for the new school year. And all the corruption plays itself out right in the heart of our nation’s capital. The corruption is so entrenched as to make any real reform impossible. What can you expect from a city with a middle school named after John Philip Sousa that has no funding for a music program?

    1. Rhee was their best shot, I think. I have heard good and bad. There is no excuse for the ill repair and no excuse for stealing.

  14. Wolverine

    The departure of Michelle Rhee is not just a loss for the kids in D.C. It is a loss for the entire region, which badly needs our center city to make a better show of it.

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