The Answer Sheet: D.C


Posted at 11:29 AM ET, 03/28/2014

Muriel Bowser’s muddled message about D.C. schools

Why won’t she say flat out what her public education vision really is?

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:29 AM ET, 03/28/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  D.C. Schools

Posted at 03:16 PM ET, 09/30/2013

Now it's the principals' fault

What new principal evaluations in D.C. schools really mean.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:16 PM ET, 09/30/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  D.C. Schools, New Evaluations

Posted at 05:02 AM ET, 09/25/2013

D.C. education officials accused of hyping test scores

It wasn’t long ago that D.C. officials boasted about history standardized test scores. Oops. Here’s what’s happened.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:02 AM ET, 09/25/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  D.C. Schools, It's All In The Scoring

Posted at 12:04 PM ET, 08/30/2013

What would Michelle Obama think about this?

You've got to wonder about a school system that institutes a new requirement that violates its own wellness policy.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:04 PM ET, 08/30/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  D.C. Schools, Limited Recess in D.C. Schools

Posted at 08:02 AM ET, 07/18/2013

Teacher: D.C. schools forcing 'us to swallow a magic pill'

The District

By Valerie Strauss  |  08:02 AM ET, 07/18/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  D.C. Public Schools, Questions About New Ninth-Grade Academies

Posted at 04:56 AM ET, 07/03/2013

Arne Duncan praises, slaps charter schools

Text of Duncan's speech at charter school convention in Washington.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:56 AM ET, 07/03/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Charter Schools, Talks About D.C. Charters

Posted at 04:03 AM ET, 06/18/2013

The problem(s) with D.C. school reform bills

Undoubtedly well-intentioned, D.C. Council member David Catania's proposed school board legislation raises some important concerns.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:03 AM ET, 06/18/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  D.C. Public Schools, Process and Substance, School Reform

Posted at 06:31 AM ET, 06/17/2013

'I didn't really research anything' in high school, D.C. valedictorian says

The difficulty some high-achieving D.C. public schools students have when they get to college raises questions about the system's reform program.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:31 AM ET, 06/17/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  After Years of Reform, D.C. Public Schools

Posted at 05:01 AM ET, 06/06/2013

A critique of how DCPS is implementing Common Core (update)

The problem, the author says, is not with any one standard or assessment stem—it's with a checklist mentality.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:01 AM ET, 06/06/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  A Checklist Mentality?, Common Core State Standards, D.C. Public Schools, Skills Over Content?

Posted at 01:19 PM ET, 05/09/2013

The charter future of D.C. public schools

With one decision about one elementary school, D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson is filling in the picture of the future for the city's long troubled school system.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:19 PM ET, 05/09/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Chancellor's New Move, D.C. Public Schools

Posted at 10:44 AM ET, 05/03/2013

More than 200 colleges, universities still accepting students for fall

Here are some of the college and universities still taking students for fall.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:44 AM ET, 05/03/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Across The Country, Admissions, College Admissions, In D.C., Maryland, Other States, Virginia

Posted at 12:16 PM ET, 05/01/2013

Does what happened in 2008 still matter in 2013?

Why should we keep trying to figure out what happened in D.C. Public Schools in 2008?

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:16 PM ET, 05/01/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  D.C. Schools, D.C. Schools and Cheating

Posted at 11:01 AM ET, 04/26/2013

A bad idea in D.C. on school reform -- and a sharp response (update)

The belief that this process should start with a team of lawyers and not end with one speaks to a fundamental missed opportunity.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:01 AM ET, 04/26/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  'Stop Hunting and Ask the Crowd', A Bad Idea, D.C. Public Schools, School Reform

Posted at 06:02 AM ET, 04/22/2013

What's wrong with this school language survey form?

Look at this Home Language Survey Form from D.C. Public Schools to parents. What's wrong with it?

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:02 AM ET, 04/22/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  D.C. Public Schools, DCPS Home Language Survey

Posted at 12:58 PM ET, 04/16/2013

D.C. custodial staff were evaluated by student test scores. Really. (update)

How obsessive have school reformers been with linking student standardized test scores to the evaluations of adults in school buildings?

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:58 PM ET, 04/16/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  D.C. Public Schools, Evaluation, That's Not All

Posted at 11:06 AM ET, 04/14/2013

Count the errors (update)

... in this D.C. Education Committee description of an upcoming hearing on test security.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:06 AM ET, 04/14/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  D.C. Council, DC Council, Test Cheating

Posted at 10:11 AM ET, 04/14/2013

Probe of past D.C. test cheating called 'impractical' (update)

The D.C. Council's Education Committee will discuss the standardized test cheating scandal at a previously scheduled hearing on Thursday that, ironically, was intended to be about about test security .

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:11 AM ET, 04/14/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Better Late Than Never, D.C. Schools, Michelle Rhee, Standardized Tests, Test Cheating

Posted at 09:35 AM ET, 04/13/2013

Study: School reform in 3 major cities brings few benefits, some harm

A new study on the effects of corporate-based school reform in Washington D.C., New York City and concludes that little has been accomplished and some harm has been done to students.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:35 AM ET, 04/13/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Chicago, D.C., New York City, School Reform

Posted at 12:16 PM ET, 04/12/2013

Why not subpoena everyone in D.C. cheating scandal -- Rhee included? (update)

You don't investigate criminal activity by going in and asking, "Did you cheat? Are you sure you didn't cheat?" Everyone should have to testify under oath, including Michelle Rhee.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:16 PM ET, 04/12/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Cheating on Tests, D.C. Schools, New Memo Surfaces

Posted at 04:01 AM ET, 04/01/2013

Atlanta test cheating: Tip of the iceberg?

In the past four academic years, test cheating by adults has been confirmed in 37 states and Washington D.C. Atlanta may not have been the worst of it.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:01 AM ET, 04/01/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  In 35 States and D.C., Test Cheating

Posted at 12:15 AM ET, 01/09/2013

Ravitch on Rhee

The PBS show "Frontline" on Tuesday night aired John Merrow's documentary on Michelle Rhee, which focused on the 3 1/2 years she was chancellor of D.C. Public Schools. There is sure to be a variety of opinions on what it said and what it didn't say. Below is the reaction of education historian Diane Ravitch, the preeminent voice in the growing opposition to Rhee's style of school reform.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:15 AM ET, 01/09/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  D.C. Public Schools, Michelle Rhee, Reaction to Frontline Profile

Posted at 02:06 PM ET, 01/07/2013

Michelle Rhee's new state reform report card

StudentsFirst, her lobbying organization that has taken aim at teachers unions, just released a "reform" report card that grades states on whether they have followed the reforms that she likes. That means that D.C. schools did better than Maryland and Virginia. Really. Here's more about the report card and what else Rhee is up to.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:06 PM ET, 01/07/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  How DC, How Powerful Is She, MD scored, Michelle Rhee, School Reform, VA

Posted at 10:58 AM ET, 11/29/2012

Updated: Michelle Rhee writes a zealot's manifesto,' er, memoir

Michelle Rhee has written a memoir that gives her version of reality about the years (2007-2010) that she ran D.C. Public Schools and became a national leader of corporate-based school reform. The book is due out next year but Washington City Paper's Loose Lips has already read it and describes it in less than flattering terms. Here are some of the highlights.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:58 AM ET, 11/29/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  D.C. Public Schools, Michelle Rhee, Rhee-visionist History

Posted at 11:25 AM ET, 11/21/2012

The future of D.C. public schools

D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson's plan to close 20 traditional public schools in the nation's capital is nothing if not an acknowledgement that the system over which she presides is inexorably dwindling and being transformed into a collection of independently run public charter schools.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:25 AM ET, 11/21/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Charter Schools, D.C. Public Schools

Posted at 01:52 PM ET, 11/18/2012

D.C. vouchers: What you need to know

Hundreds of D.C. student who receive money from the congressionally created voucher program attend unaccredited schools, including one school whose curriculum is based on a Bulgarian psychotherapist's philosophy and one Nation of Islam school. There's plenty more in a Post investigation.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:52 PM ET, 11/18/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  A Post Investigation, D.C. vouchers; Voucher Programs, School choice

Posted at 03:40 PM ET, 11/09/2012

Sprouts for sprouts

It isn't a vegetable that kids gravitate to, but brussel sprouts were the centerpiece of a bunch of concoctions at a taste test for D.C. school children. Picture from the D.C. Central Kitchen.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:40 PM ET, 11/09/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  D.C. Public Schools, School Food

Posted at 11:36 PM ET, 10/23/2012

Welcome to the blogging world, Superman!

It's not often that a superhero joins the blogging world, but, apparently, we are getting one -- Superman, er, Clark Kent.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:36 PM ET, 10/23/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Blogging, Clark Kent Quiting Newspaper, Clark Kent Quits Newspaper, D.C. Comics, Superman

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 01:09 PM ET, 01/10/2011

D.C. named most literate U.S. city

a new study that looks at six different factors concludes that Washington D.C. is the most literate city in the country.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:09 PM ET, 01/10/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Reading | Tags:  d.c. literate, d.c. most literate cities, literacy, literacy and d.c., literate cities, most literate cities

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 12/16/2010

If D.C. region really is the nation's most educated, then...

If the Washington area really is the most educated educated region in the country, as new Census Bureau figures confirm, why can’t we figure out how to use the self-checkout machines in food and drug stores without begging for help from a salesperson? And more...

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 12/16/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Laugh and cry | Tags:  census bureau, most educated region, washington d.c. region, washington region, wealthiest region

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 01:02 PM ET, 12/03/2010

What is Michelle Rhee up to in Florida?

What is Michelle Rhee up to by taking an unpaid, advisory position on the education transition team of Florida Gov.-elect Rick Scott?

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:02 PM ET, 12/03/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Educational leadership | Tags:  bush and rhee, florida schools, jeb bush, michelle rhee, rhee and education, rhee and florida, rhee in florida, rick scott, steven colbert, the colbert report, washington d.c. schools

Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 12/02/2010

Rhee, Ackerman and 'cultural competence' in urban reform

Are any school superintendents who helicopter into big cities for a few years "culturally competent" to do the job well?

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:30 AM ET, 12/02/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  arlene ackerman, michelle rhee, philadelphia schools, public schools, school reform, the notebook, washington d.c. 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 06:00 AM ET, 11/01/2010

Is D.C.'s teacher evaluation system rigged?

A professor writes about teacher evaluation systems: "The pendulum has simply swung from one end of absurdity to the other; if many systems have historically rated 99 percent of teachers 'satisfactory,' ... we now have in D.C. a system that declares exactly 50 percent of teachers ineffective or minimally effective."

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 11/01/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Teacher assessment, Teacher assessment, Teacher assessment | Tags:  d.c. and impact, impact, michelle rhee, nyc teacher ratings, rhee legacy, teacher evaluation, teacher ratings, value added measures, value-added

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 01:30 PM ET, 09/23/2010

Ravitch: Why Fenty, Rhee really lost

Diane Ravitch, writing about Mayor Adrian Fenty's loss, says: "Journalists attributed Fenty’s loss to the power of the teachers’ union, but such an explanation implies that black voters, even in the privacy of the voting booth, lack the capacity to make an informed choice. When the Tea Party wins a race, journalists don’t write about who controlled their vote, but about a voter revolt; they acknowledge that those who turned out to vote had made a conscious decision."

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:30 PM ET, 09/23/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Diane Ravitch, Diane Ravitch, Diane Ravitch, Diane Ravitch | Tags:  D.C. schools, Diane Ravitch, adrian fenty, bill perkins, democrats for education reform, dfer, fenty loses, gray rhee, gray rhee summit, michelle rhee, school reform, tea party, teacher unions, vincent gray

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, 09/09/2010

Rhee in D.C.: The myth of the heroic leader

A former superintendent and Stanford professor emeritus writes that the heroic view of superintendents breaking china in order to build a better district for students—an image loved by media and the public—is a sure-fire recipe for disappointment and cynicism over turning around failing schools.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 09/09/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  fenty and rhee, larry cuban, michelle rhee, michelle rhee and adrian fenty, rhee and d.c. schools, will rhee stay or go?

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 09/07/2010

The (D.C.) Odyssey, starring Rhee and Fenty

Sam Chaltain explains how D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty and his schools chancellor, Michelle Rhee, have been on a journey befitting Homer's Odyssey: "From the start, Fenty and Rhee have behaved as strangers in a strange land. In Fenty’s case, it was by turning a tin ear to many of the core supporters who had been most essential to his victory in 2006. With Rhee, it was by repeatedly making public comments that demonized the group most essential to her efforts – the city’s teachers."

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 09/07/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Sam Chaltain, Sam Chaltain, Sam Chaltain | Tags:  andrew rotherham and washington post, d.c. mayoral primary, d.c. schools, fenty and grey, fenty and race, rhee and fenty, will rhee stay or go?

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 06:30 AM ET, 07/16/2010

A parody: Baseball phenom to run D.C. schools

Here's a news parody that manages to include D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, Washington Nationals pitcher Stephene Strasburg, and LeBron James.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 07/16/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  d.c. schools, lebron james, michelle rhee, news parody, parody on d.c. schools, reforming d.c. schools, rhee and fenty, stephen strasburg

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 06:30 AM ET, 06/30/2010

How and what to get kids to read this summer

If you are secretly in despair that your child will never willingly read a book this summer, Micki Freeny has some advice for you. Freeny is the coordinator of children and youth services at the D.C. Public Library, and her thoughts on how to get kids to read may surprise you.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 06/30/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Reading | Tags:  best books for teens, books on tape and value, d.c. public library, getting kids to read, graphic novels, great books for kids, justin bieber and magazines, reading, reluctant readers, tom braden

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 06/26/2010

Scary things in U.S. report on school vouchers

A new government report on a voucher program in Washington, D.C., is remarkable for what it says about things other than vouchers.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:00 AM ET, 06/26/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  d.c. voucher program, private school voucher program, standardized tests and student achievement, voucher program

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 06:30 AM ET, 06/08/2010

Study: N.Y. teacher performance pay program flops

On the heels of a study about an ineffective program in Chicago linking student test scores to teacher pay, here's another one, with the same results, from a New York program. Do you see a pattern?

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 06/08/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  No Child Left Behind, No Child Left Behind, No Child Left Behind | Tags:  d.c. teachers contract, merit pay, michelle rhee, nclb, performance pay, teachers, teachers performance pay, test scores and pay

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 10:10 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 01:27 PM ET, 11/18/2009

Why can't kids eat in class if they are hungry?

Here is the story of one mother whose son attended a D.C. middle school and often got hungry in the late morning before his scheduled lunch, which was close to 1 p.m. He was not, however, allowed to eat. Read what she wrote, and then tell us if your children can eat in school.... "When should our kids be allowed to eat? Is five hours too long for kids to go without any food at all?

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:27 PM ET, 11/18/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Community Colleges, Community Colleges, Community Colleges | Tags:  D.C. schools, eating in class

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 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

Posted at 03:22 PM ET, 09/16/2009

Sniper's Execution Set;Talking to Your Kids About Capital Punishment

The sniper who terrorized the greater Washington region with random killings in 2002 that left 10 people dead is now set to be executed Nov. 10--and you may find yourself in an unexpected conversation with your child about capital punishment. This is one of those tough discussions whose timing is dictated by events outside the world of school, but it is no less important than any you have about science or math. Experts in child psychiatry say that this is one of those conversations that can and should be shaped by your own beliefs.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:22 PM ET, 09/16/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  D.C. sniper, capital punishment, john allen muhammad, lee boyd malvo

Posted at 11:55 AM ET, 09/11/2009

P.S.: Who Watched Obama's Back-to-School Speech

My colleague Nick Anderson on the national schools beat offers a postscript to the flap over President Obama's back-to-school speech: There was much buzz beforehand about whether it was appropriate to show students the speech that Obama gave Tuesday at...

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:55 AM ET, 09/11/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Civics Education, Civics Education, Civics Education | Tags:  Arlington Public Schools, Calvert County Schools, D.C. schools, Fairfax County Public Schools, Howard County schools, Montgomery County Schools, P.G. Schools, President Obama, back-to-school, education speech

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 09/08/2009

CHECKING IT OUT: What's a ‘highly skilled’ teacher in D.C.?

Back in the day at Everglades Elementary School in Miami, I had a fifth-grade teacher named Berry Shaw. She was known as the second toughest--read that, second meanest--teacher in the place, and I quaked on the first day of class....

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 09/08/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Teachers, Teachers | Tags:  D.C. schools, Highly Skilled Teachers, Michelle Rhee, Teachers