Friday, October 15, 2010

Does this make sense?

Washington D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee is stepping down at the request of newly elected Mayor Vincent Gray. This makes no sense. Even the liberal Washington Post lauds the "important work" Rhee has done in affecting "unprecedented change and unqualified improvement" during her 3 1/2 years at the helm of one of the nation's historically worst school districts.

The Post editorial concludes:
We worry that there's a tendency by some to think that most of the hard work of school reform has been accomplished. Ms. Rhee did much of the heavy lifting that her predecessors either avoided or were dissuaded from taking on -- from cleaning out the central office to closing underutilized schools to setting high standards to demanding accountability. New resources went into refurbished schools, and the results were seen in higher student test scores, better graduation rates and, for the first time in decades, an increase in student enrollment. Ms. Rhee's successor will inherit a teacher contract centered, for the first time, on advancing the interests of children. But despite these strides, a majority of D.C. students are still woefully deficient in even the most basics of reading and math. The system is still inadequate, and it will take someone as fearless as Ms. Rhee to continue her work.
So they finally found someone who is making a real difference and they are giving her the boot while hopping to find a successor who is as effective as she is.

This is madness, and thousands of kids will be the victims of it.

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