The Answer Sheet: D.C. Schools


Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 02/01/2012

New D.C. school principal left Texas under cloud

A principal recently hired by D.C. Public Schools is the same principal put on leave late last year in Dallas after investigators accused her of ordering third-grade teachers to focus only on math and reading in order to maintain an “exemplary” rating based on standardized test scores.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 02/01/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 09/20/2011

An odd way to honor teachers

Was Monday night’s Kennedy Center celebration to honor seven D.C. public schools teachers really the best way to honor the teaching profession?

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 09/20/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 09/15/2011

D.C.’s new sex ed standardized test: Fodder for a Jon Stewart skit

I can imagine the skit Jon Stewart and his crew at The Daily Show will put together on this: D.C. schools officials are developing the nation’s first statewide standardized test on sex education and health.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 09/15/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 08/19/2011

D.C.’s move toward charter-centric school system

There is new evidence that suggests that the D.C. public school system is intentionally being shaped into a system dominated by charters.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 08/19/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools, Charter schools

Posted at 09:47 AM ET, 08/16/2011

Could D.C. special ed bus program be more incompetent?

For more than a decade D.C. officials have been trying to get right a system that transports several thousand special education students to their schools, and then home again. Why is this a mission impossible?

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:47 AM ET, 08/16/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools, The Answer Sheet, D.C. Schools

Posted at 07:00 AM ET, 08/16/2011

D.C. teacher tells chancellor why IMPACT evaluation is unfair

A D.C. public school teacher wrote an open letter to Chancellor Kaya Henderson about her problems with the IMPACT teacher evaluation system. Here it is.

By Valerie Strauss  |  07:00 AM ET, 08/16/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools, Teacher assessment

Posted at 04:00 AM ET, 07/29/2011

D.C. teacher: Why I believe I was really fired

A D.C. public school teacher who was just fired under the IMPACT evaluation system explains why he thinks he was really let go.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 AM ET, 07/29/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools

Posted at 01:18 PM ET, 01/29/2011

Does Kaya Henderson want to run D.C. schools?

It just may be that Kaya Henderson, the interim chancellor of D.C. schools who was tapped to succeed Michelle Rhee, doesn’t want the job permanently.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:18 PM ET, 01/29/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools | Tags:  arne duncan, d.c. schools, d.c. superintendent, kaya henderson, michelle rhee

Posted at 12:35 PM ET, 01/21/2011

Say it isn’t so on IMPACT, Mayor Gray

Here’s why I was so disappointed to a plan by D.C. schools officials to have the flawed IMPACT teacher evaluation system reviewed by a Harvard think tank.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:35 PM ET, 01/21/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools | Tags:  d.c. schools, edulabs, harvard research, harvard thinktank, harvard university, mayor gray, mayor vincent gray, merit pay for teachers, michelle rhee, performance pay, teacher assessment, teacher evaluation

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 01/19/2011

Is Rhee's key D.C. reform being tossed?

While Michelle Rhee is busy trying to build up a national organization to take on the teachers unions, back in Washington D.C., where she was chancellor for 3 1/2 years, the new mayor may be on the road to taking apart her signature reform.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 01/19/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools | Tags:  IMPACT, IMPACT evaluation system, IMPACT teacher evaluation, d.c. schools, kaya henderson, mayor vincent gray, michelle rhee, school reform, teacher assessment, teacher evaluation, vincent gray

Posted at 05:47 PM ET, 01/13/2011

Should Duncan have plugged Henderson for D.C. schools boss?

If Education Secretary Arne Duncan were sitting in the editorial board of The New York Times talking about education, do you think he would put in a plug for a specific candidate to be chancellor of the city's public schools?

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:47 PM ET, 01/13/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools | Tags:  arne duncan, d.c. schools, d.c. schools chancellor, education secretary arne duncan, kaya henderson, mayor gray, mayor vincent gray, vincent gray

Posted at 04:25 PM ET, 12/15/2010

What Rhee wrought

Anyone who thinks that Michelle Rhee was a whiz as chancellor of D.C. public schools and should be heading a national "reform" movement ought to read about a high school she attempted to “transform” in the nation’s capital.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:25 PM ET, 12/15/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools | Tags:  d.c. schools, dunbar, dunbar high, dunbar high school, friends of bedford, michelle rhee, rhee, school reform, school transformation, transformation schools

Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 11/06/2010

How Bill Maher got D.C. school reform wrong

The myth-making about the course of D.C. school reform and why Mayor Adrian Fenty was voted out of office in the nation’s capital continued last night, this time on HBO’s “Real Time With Bill Maher.”

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:30 AM ET, 11/06/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools | Tags:  adrian fenty, bill maher, d.c. schools, hbo, mayor fenty, michelle rhee, real time with bill maher, school reform, the wall street journal, the washington post

Posted at 03:30 PM ET, 11/02/2010

What Michelle Rhee did in D.C.: Point by point

Here's a final critique of Michelle Rhee's legacy as chancellor of D.C. public schools, point by point, by a former D.C. schools student and teacher.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:30 PM ET, 11/02/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools | Tags:  d.c. schools, diane ravitch, michelle rhee, naep, rhee's legacy, standardized tests

Posted at 12:35 PM ET, 11/02/2010

Rhee's testing legacy: An open question

Michelle Rhee's aim was to raise standardized tests scores, and with few exceptions, even those who objected to her “abrasive” style and controversial policies seem to believe that she succeeded wildly in the testing area. This conclusion is premature.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:35 PM ET, 11/02/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools

Posted at 03:53 PM ET, 11/01/2010

The peculiar ‘ovation’ for D.C. teachers

It’s hard to settle on the strangest part of Monday night's grand event at the Kennedy Center called “A Standing Ovation for D.C. Teachers.”

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:53 PM ET, 11/01/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools

Posted at 09:57 AM ET, 10/29/2010

What Rhee's successor should do first

Michelle Rhee rather gracelessly delivered a parting shot to teachers on her way out of the building, telling them to watch their backs because the teacher evaluation system that she created, IMPACT, can tell who’s good and who’s not. Unfortunately, that’s not quite accurate. It's an unfair system open for abuse and Rhee's successor should move to fix it. Now.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:57 AM ET, 10/29/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools | Tags:  IMPACT, d.c. schools, kaya henderson, michelle rhee, performance pay, teach assessment, teacher evaluation, teacher preparation

Posted at 10:41 AM ET, 10/21/2010

Kudos for D.C. school meal program but hold applause for Congress

D.C. public schools officials deserve an ovation for a new program to feed dinner to about 10,000 students in an effort to help improve childhood nutrition and ensure that kids don’t go hungry. But let's hold the applause for Congress.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:41 AM ET, 10/21/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools | Tags:  d.c. schools, dinners at school, food stamps, healthy meals, hunger, michelle rhee, nutrition, obama administration, school breakfast, school dinners, school lunch, school meals, school nutrition act

Posted at 01:41 PM ET, 10/14/2010

Michelle Rhee's greatest hits

Here are some of the most memorable things that Michelle Rhee said during her tenure as chancellor of Washington D.C. schools. I think my favorite is the one about taping students' mouths shut.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:41 PM ET, 10/14/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools | Tags:  d.c. schools, greatest hits, michelle rhee, rhee, rhee quits, rhee's greatest hits, rhee's tenure, school reform

Posted at 05:30 AM ET, 10/13/2010

Rhee’s big legacy: Being a whirlwind

She came in like a whirlwind, kicking up dust wherever she went, and now, Michelle Rhee, all-powerful chancellor of D.C. public schools, is leaving after three years, securing her place in the history of D.C. public education as, well, mostly a whirlwind.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:30 AM ET, 10/13/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools | Tags:  d.c. schools, michelle rhee, michelle rhee quits, michelle rhee resigns, reformer quits, reformers, rhee leaving, rhee quits, rhee resigns, school reform

Posted at 01:03 PM ET, 09/26/2010

Will Rhee be a footnote in school reform history?

Like Hugh Scott, the first African American superintendent in Washington D.C., Michelle Rhee will be a footnote in a doctoral dissertation on the D.C. schools a generation from now, educator Larry Cuban writes.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:03 PM ET, 09/26/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools | Tags:  $100 million and newark, $100 million newark schools, adrian fenty, gray and schools, larry cuban, mark zuckerberg, michelle rhee, newark schools, rhee and fenty, rhee and vincent gray, school reform, teacher assessment, teachers, will rhee stay, zuckerberg and newark

Posted at 01:02 PM ET, 09/21/2010

Oprah and her warrior woman, Michelle Rhee

When Oprah Winfrey aired “Waiting For Superman - The Movie That Can Transform America’s Schools,” on her television show, viewers should have realized that they were watching an entertainment show with a show woman -- not an educator -- as host. Guests Michelle Rhee, Bill Gates and Davis Guggenheim all played their parts, not letting facts get in the way.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:02 PM ET, 09/21/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools | Tags:  bill gates, bill gates and oprah, d.c. schools, davis guggenheim, guggenheim film, michelle rhee, michelle rhee and oprah winfrey, oprah, oprah and gates and rhee, oprah and rhee, oprah show, oprah winfrey, rhee on oprah, school reform and rhee, waiting for superman, waiting for superman and rhee, will rhee go?, will rhee stay?

Posted at 04:00 PM ET, 09/16/2010

Why 'Waiting for Superman' premiere was chilling

Something chilling happened at the Washington D.C. premiere of "Waiting for Superman" that involved Michelle Rhee and the A-list audience.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:00 PM ET, 09/16/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools | Tags:  adrian fenty, al franken, arne duncan, charter schools, d.c. schools, david axelrod, fenty and gray, george miller, melody barnes, michelle rhee, movie premiere, obama and refoms, obama reform, president obama and school reform, research and education, research on charter schools, rhee and gray, superman film, superman premiere, teachers and unions, vincent gray, waiting for superman, what will rhee do?, when will rhee leave?, who will replace rhee

Posted at 10:33 PM ET, 09/15/2010

Is that so, Chancellor Rhee?

So, it turns out, the problem with school reforms in D.C. -- which contributed to the defeat of D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty in the Democratic primary -- wasn’t that some of them were punitive and nonsensical. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee said in an interview today that the people just didn’t get it. It’s the people’s fault.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:33 PM ET, 09/15/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools | Tags:  adrian fenty, d.c. schools, gray and fenty, is reform dead?, michelle rhee, msnbc, rhee, rhee and blame, rhee interview, school reform, vincent gray, will rhee stay

Posted at 08:48 PM ET, 09/15/2010

Rhee should stay or go, not be a lame duck

Oh no. Two D.C. Council members are essentially during Vincent Gray, the man expected to be Washington D.C.’s next mayor, to turn D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee into a lame duck.

By Valerie Strauss  |  08:48 PM ET, 09/15/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools | Tags:  d.c. election, d.c. schools, d.c. vote, gray and rhee, gray wins, is rhee leaving, is rhee staying, michelle rhee, vincent gray

Posted at 06:40 AM ET, 09/15/2010

What Gray, Rhee should do now for D.C. schools

D.C. school kids and parents and teachers don’t need uncertainty about who is going to be in charge of the system. That means Vincent Gray and Michelle Rhee have to figure out quickly if they can work together or not.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:40 AM ET, 09/15/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools | Tags:  d.c. school reform, fenty loses, gray and rhee, gray wins, is rhee leaving, michelle rhee, rhee and fenty, rhee and gray, what now for d.c. schools, will rhee leave?

Posted at 01:02 PM ET, 09/12/2010

If Rhee leaves ... if Rhee stays

If D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee leaves, the schools won't crumble. If she stays, and there is a good argument to be made for consistency in leadership, she should broaden her view of how to evaluate teachers and schools.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:02 PM ET, 09/12/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools | Tags:  IMPACT, NAEP, Rhee and IMPACT, d.c. school reform, d.c. schools, fenty and gray, future of D.C. schools, michelle rhee, rhee and fenty

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 08/30/2010

Education implications of D.C. mayoral primary

Frederick Hess looks at the three education takeaways from The Washington Post poll showing D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty behind his challenger in the Democratic primary.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 08/30/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools | Tags:  adrian fenty, d.c. mayor, d.c. mayor's race, d.c. public schools, d.c. schools and rhee, fenty and rhee. mayor's race, fenty poll, frederick hess, mayor's poll, michelle rhee, rick hess, washington post poll, will rhee stay?

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 08/18/2010

Should Rhee stay or go?

Educator Sam Chaltain looks at the pros and cons of Rhee staying as D.C. schools chief as a decisive election approaches.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:00 AM ET, 08/18/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools | Tags:  d.c. election, d.c. schools, michelle rhee, rhee and d.c. schools, rhee and fenty, sam chaltain

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 08/05/2010

Accountability in DCPS: Details from teacher's IMPACT report

Aaron Pallas, an education and sociology professor and a statistician who critiqued DCPS's IMPACT teacher evaluation system last week, responds to critics of that post and looks at new data from a teacher's report as he argues that DCPS continues to publicly misrepresent IMPACT's evaluation methods.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 08/05/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools | Tags:  IMPACT and d.c., d.c. teacher evaluations, d.c. teachers, dc schools and teachers, how to evaluate teachers, value added evaluations

Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 07/28/2010

Were some D.C. teachers fired based on flawed calculations?

A professor of sociology and education at Teachers College, Columbia University, argues that D.C. Public Schools botched the calculations that were used to decide to fire some of the 241 teachers let go last week.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:30 AM ET, 07/28/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools | Tags:  DC CAS, IMPACT evaluation system, d.c. public schools and teachers, d.c. schools, d.c. teachers fired, how rhee fired teachers, rhee and d.c. and fire and teachers, rhee fires teachers, value added and teachers, why rhee fired teachers

Posted at 04:30 PM ET, 07/13/2010

Rhee’s problem with D.C.’s new test scores

D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee has a problem, and it’s not the fact that elementary school standardized test scores just went down (at, it is worth noting, a bad time for Mayor Adrian Fenty, who appointed her and is seeking re-election).

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:30 PM ET, 07/13/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools | Tags:  CAS scores in d.c., d.c. CAS, d.c. schools, d.c. standardized tests, d.c. test scores down, d.c. test scores mixed, d.c. test scores rise, fairtest, michelle rhee and reform, monty neill, rhee and test scores, tmichscho

Posted at 04:30 AM ET, 07/01/2010

Why Rhee's mayoral comments are troubling

D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee's all-but-direct threat to quit if Fenty loses to D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray in September’s Democratic Party raises a troubling question about her priorities, not to mention her reluctance to admit that she might not have all the answers to fixing D.C. schools.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:30 AM ET, 07/01/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools | Tags:  michelle rhee and d.c. mayor, michelle rhee and fenty, michelle rhee and vincent gray, rhee and d.c. mayor, rhee and d.c. schools, rhee and fenty and gray, rhee and quit, rhee's threat to quit

Posted at 01:58 PM ET, 06/17/2010

Randi Weingarten: Rhee is wrong

The teachers union president whom D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee highly praised in an op-ed article this week -- the one in which she tells New York schools boss Joel Klein that he has a lot to learn from hr -- is taking strong issue with Rhee’s advice to Klein.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:58 PM ET, 06/17/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools | Tags:  aft president randi weingarten, d.c. schools chancellor michelle rhee, d.c. teachers contract, michelle rhee and joel klein, randi weingarten and michelle rhee, rhee and klein, rhee gives advice to klein, rhee op-ed, weingarten and rhee, weingarten op-ed

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 06/14/2010

Rhee and her advice to NY: Hubris, or what?

In what could easily be seen as an astonishing act of hubris, D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee has offered a lot of unsolicited advice to New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, the man who recommended her to D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty to run the city schools.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 06/14/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools | Tags:  michelle rhee and d.c. contract, michelle rhee and new york daily news, new d.c. teachers contract, rhee and advice and klein, rhee gives advice to klein, rhee's advice to klein

Posted at 07:31 PM ET, 05/20/2010

D.C.'s NAEP scores: Don't get excited

To hear all the crowing about rising standardized test scores in D.C. public schools, you might think it was the first time that this had happened in the District and that Chancellor Michelle Rhee has worked some sort of minor miracle. It isn’t so.

By Valerie Strauss  |  07:31 PM ET, 05/20/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools | Tags:  D.C. schools and NAEP, D.C. scores rise, Michelle rhee, NAEP scores, TUDA and D.C., TUDA scores, rhee and schools, rhee and scores

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 05/20/2010

Charters should leave D.C. teachers contract alone

Public charter school advocates are, not surprisingly, upset about a proposed new contract that will significantly boost the salaries of unionized teachers in traditional D.C. public schools. But D.C. school system officials have it right: They shouldn’t be.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 05/20/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools | Tags:  charter schools, d.c. charter schools, d.c. public schools, d.c. teachers contract, michelle rhee, teachers contract, washington teachers union

Posted at 06:16 PM ET, 04/28/2010

Yes and no on D.C. teachers contract funding

Yes, the contract that D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee negotiated with the Washington Teachers Union should be approved. But no, the city should not allow itself to be beholden to private foundations who have offered to donate $64.5 million to help pay for teachers raises.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:16 PM ET, 04/28/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools | Tags:  Chancellor Michelle Rhee, D.C. schools, D.C. teachers, D.C. teachers contract, d.c. teachers contract, foundations and teachers contract, private foundations and D.C. teachers contract, rhee and contract, rhee and gandi and contract, teachers contract, teachers contract and D.C., teachers contract in trouble

Posted at 11:00 PM ET, 04/16/2010

Rhee and the confounding mess in D.C. schools

Somebody has to intervene fast to figure out who is going to be paid what, and how, in D.C. schools before the budgeting process becomes a comic farce. Perhaps it already is.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:00 PM ET, 04/16/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools | Tags:  chancellor rhee and budget, d.c. schools and budget, d.c. schools and rhee, gandhi's letter, gandhi's letter to rhee, michelle rhee, rhee and budget, rhee and gandhi

Posted at 04:48 PM ET, 04/13/2010

Rhee back in trouble with D.C. teachers

It would be best for D.C. kids if Michelle Rhee’s reform effort actually works in improving schools. It’s just hard to see how that is going to happen when she keeps landing herself in situations that only increase people’s mistrust of her.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:48 PM ET, 04/13/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools | Tags:  Chancellor Michelle Rhee, D.C. schools, D.C. schools and budget, D.C. teacher firings and Rhee, D.C. teachers, D.C. teachers and Rhee, D.C. teachers contract, Rhee and D.C. Council, Rhee and D.C. teachers, Rhee and controversy, teacher layoffs and D.C.

Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 04/09/2010

Rhee's biggest, and most costly, failing

A former school superintendent, teacher and now a university professor writes about the biggest failing of D.C. Schools Superintendent Michelle Rhee, and why it may ultimately lead to her departure from the city.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:00 PM ET, 04/09/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools | Tags:  D.C. public schools, D.C. teachers pact, Larry Cuban, Michelle Rhee, Rhee and teachers

Posted at 09:29 AM ET, 04/07/2010

The lesson in Rhee’s deal with the WTU

There is a great lesson in the proposed pact struck by D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee and the Washingotn Teachers Union. And no, it is not that people will take desperate measures to shore up their positions before an election.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:29 AM ET, 04/07/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools | Tags:  Chancellor Michelle Rhee, D.C. schools, D.C. teachers, D.C. teachers union, Rhee makes deal, teachers and Rhee

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 03/22/2010

Inexcusable: Empty promises to a D.C. school

What can you say after you say that D.C. school officials have yet again let down a school community that has been trying for years to get decent conditions in which its students and young children can learn each weekday? A lot.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 03/22/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools | Tags:  Chancellor Michelle Rhee., D.C. public schools

Posted at 01:10 PM ET, 03/09/2010

Should PETA be protesting at elementary schools?

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals plans a protest against a circus at a D.C. elementary school, complete with a person in an elephant suit with a bandage around its head. Is this any way to teach kids about the treatment of animals?

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:10 PM ET, 03/09/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools | Tags:  D.C. schools, PETA, circus

Posted at 10:00 PM ET, 02/07/2010

D.C. schools close: Better late than never

I don’t know what happened in the two hours between the announcement by D.C. Public Schools that schools would open two hours late Monday, and the announcement by D.C. Public Schools that schools would be closed (like all the other school districts in the region as well as the federal government), but clearly, we’ve got a problem here. Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad that D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee reconsidered the decision and came to the conclusion that the better part of valor here was not putting kids and adults at risk by braving snow and ice-filled streets to get to school. But the process that resulted in the initial decision needs to be reviewed. So, for that matter, does the decision to keep administrative offices open tomorrow one hour late, without any hint of leniency for those who can't get there.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:00 PM ET, 02/07/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools | Tags:  dcps

Posted at 07:03 PM ET, 02/07/2010

Rhee, Fenty: Say it isn’t so about opening D.C. schools

Sometimes bucking a trend shows leadership, courage and smarts. And sometimes it suggests the opposite. This is one of those “opposite” times. D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee, presumably with the approval of Mayor Adrian Fenty, has decided to do something that every other school district—and the federal government—realized is a bad idea: Open tomorrow.

By Valerie Strauss  |  07:03 PM ET, 02/07/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools | Tags:  dcps

Posted at 02:39 PM ET, 02/07/2010

Deciding to close schools isn’t always easy

How hard can it be to decide whether to close a school for bad weather? To find out I called a household where the husband and wife both make the decisions for the two private D.C. schools they head--Georgetown Day School and Beauvoir, the National Cathedral elementary school. There are factors that go into the decision that you might never consider.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:39 PM ET, 02/07/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools | Tags:  closing schools

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 02/01/2010

Should Rhee ignore the new poll?

If I were D.C. Schools Superintendent Michelle Rhee, I wouldn’t care much about a new Post poll that shows declining support among parents in the city. Monday’s Post has details of a new poll largely about Mayor Adrian Fenty but that also includes questions about Rhee, and it shows the popularity of both officials down from where it was two years ago.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 02/01/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools | Tags:  michelle rhee

Posted at 10:10 AM ET, 01/28/2010

Rhee: In her own words

Nobody is immune from saying things they don’t mean--but it is probably a good idea to watch what you say when you work in the public eye. A reader put together this list of quotes from D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee, suggesting a record of inconsistencies that go beyond the most recent controversy surrounding her word. Rhee got into trouble recently over remarks to a magazine that teachers laid off last October had had sex with children and hit kids. After my colleague Bill Turque wrote about the comments, it came out that one of the 266 teachers had been accused of having sex with a student. Here is the list of Rhee quotes, with links. What do you think?

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:10 AM ET, 01/28/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools | Tags:  d.c. public schools, michelle rhee

Posted at 03:15 PM ET, 01/26/2010

Rhee still perplexing

Now that we know why D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee told a magazine that some laid off teachers had had sex with children and hit them too, I’m still perplexed. I wonder why Rhee didn’t tell District residents about this when the layoffs happened last October. I wonder why she didn’t try to explain herself immediately when the controversy over her magazine comments first became public within the last week.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:15 PM ET, 01/26/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools | Tags:  d.c. schools chancellor michelle rhee

Posted at 03:22 PM ET, 01/25/2010

Rhee in trouble; Gray not helping

What was she thinking? Even for D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee, who routinely attracts controversy, this time she really stirred up unnecessary trouble by telling a magazine that some of the teachers that she laid off last year because of budget cuts had been having sex with children and hitting them. Really? I can’t figure out if Rhee actually likes stirring up controversy or just muddles her way into it--or both--but in this instance, whether it was a hasty remark she didn’t intend to make or an intentional bomb, I don’t see a good way out. Why didn't she do something about it earlier?

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:22 PM ET, 01/25/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools | Tags:  dc public schools, michelle rhee, sidwell

Posted at 10:10 AM ET, 01/25/2010

Rhee D.C.’s person of the year?

Let’s congratulate D.C. Schools Chancellor for being named the Federal City Council’s Washington D.C.’s Person of the Year. Now let’s look at the rationale behind the decision, explained in an advertisement in yesterday’s Washington Post on page B2, the second page of the Outlook section--and see whether it holds together. It was signed by Frank Keating, the president of the Federal City Council and former governor of Oklahoma.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:10 AM ET, 01/25/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools | Tags:  d.c. public schools, michelle rhee, school reform

Posted at 03:00 PM ET, 11/16/2009

School meals: the breakfast sugar overload

The first thing that jumped out at me about today’s Washington Post story about kids in D.C. schools eating federally funded breakfasts was “sugar.” How much sugar was in the breakfast given to fourth-grader Alex Brown to consume before school?... Way too much.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:00 PM ET, 11/16/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools | Tags:  breakfast, d.c. schools

Posted at 11:20 AM ET, 11/09/2009

The rush to hold kids back – does it make sense?

In the past few years, jurisdictions across the country have moved to push back the starting age for kindergarten, including Montgomery County and the District of Columbia. Some believe that older children are more mature and academically-inclined than their younger counterparts. States also see it as a quick way to boost test scores. And parents may be increasingly jumping aboard this trend toward “redshirting,” holding children out of school until they are older or having them repeat a grade. It is not at all unusual to see a 6 1/2 year old in kindergarten or a high school freshman old enough to get a driver’s license. Is it really best for kids?

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:20 AM ET, 11/09/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools | Tags:  redshirting, school readiness

Posted at 12:10 PM ET, 10/31/2009

Enough feuding! It's time for a D.C. schools summit

I just may scream if I hear one more person invoke what is “best for the kids” in the growing conflict between D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee and her critics....It’s time for someone to make a high-level intervention and put a stop to this feuding. I’d vote for the man who hired Rhee in the first place and made her more powerful than previous schools chief. That would be Mayor Adrian Fenty.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:10 PM ET, 10/31/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools | Tags:  D.C. Schools, Mayor Adrian Fenty, Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee

Posted at 04:44 PM ET, 10/02/2009

What's Going On In D.C.?

It sounds like a great plot to a movie for kids: A security company that provides guards to public schools goes bankrupt overnight. Anxiety and confusion rule the day when kids go to school and discover that about 300 guards aren’t there. Some kids even get sent home because nobody can monitor the entrances! What fun! But, as we know, this did just happen in Washington D.C. And once again we find ourselves asking: Who in the city could or should have foreseen this and why didn’t they?

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:44 PM ET, 10/02/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools | Tags:  D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, D.C. Schools Chanceller Michelle Rhee, D.C. schools

Posted at 01:27 PM ET, 09/25/2009

The Power of Magic (Johnson)

I have long questioned the value of motivational speakers who tell young people to stay in school and stay out of jail. Kids often slump in their chairs and use the time to catch up on their sleep. But then this morning I watched about 850 students--all minorities--at a high school about a mile from the White House sit at rapt attention for more than an hour as Magic Johnson talked about dreams, the importance of education, sex, responsibility and perseverance.

By Washington Post editors  |  01:27 PM ET, 09/25/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools | Tags:  DC schools, Magic Johnson

Posted at 01:44 PM ET, 09/22/2009

A Troubling Trend in D.C. Schools

Reporters like to declare a trend when they see at least three examples of the same phenomenon. Based on the rules of trends, The Answer Sheet sees a troubling trend involving D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee and what seems to...

By Washington Post Editors  |  01:44 PM ET, 09/22/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools | Tags:  d.c. schools, mayor adrian fenty, michelle rhee

Posted at 05:20 PM ET, 09/17/2009

The Same Story in D.C.

Here we go again: The D.C. school system starts the new year with high hopes, and in just a few weeks questions are raised about suspicious erasures on standardized test scores, and, now, there are budget problems that may force teacher layoffs. So who in the city government could have and should have foreseen this financial situation in time to stop principals from filling teacher vacancies this past summer and making other decisions that may now have to be reversed?

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:20 PM ET, 09/17/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  D.C. Schools | Tags:  chancellor michelle a. rhee, d.c. schools, mayor adrian fenty