Most Read: Local

D.C. Wire
About this Blog & the Writers |  On Twitter  On Twitter  |  RSS RSS Feed
Posted at 08:28 AM ET, 08/18/2008

Rhee: Not Going to Take a Council "Beating"

If D.C. Council members wonder why Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee has not been the most communicative or accessible of city officials, they might want to take a look at the September issue of Fast Company magazine.

She doesn't seem to like the way they do business.

In his profile of "The Iron Chancellor," Jeff Chu writes that Rhee "refuses to play the traditional, subservient role of a D.C. agency chief with the city council, which, despite its limited authority over DCPS, has repeatedly questioned her decision making and management."

When Rhee catches a council hearing on late night TV she sees "her own version of a horror movie."

"There's this crazy dynamic where every agency head is kowtowing. They sit there and get beat down," she told Chu. "I'm not going to sit on public TV and take a beating I don't deserve. I don't take that crap."

The mostly admiring piece contains some interesting personal bits, such as her capacity for enormous meals despite her slight build --Chu describes a buffet lunch in which she went back twice-- and her idea of the perfect Saturday: "This is going to make me sound like a loser. If I had my druthers, what I'd really like to do on Saturdays is stay in bed and work."

When asked what will happen if she can't get a new labor deal with the Washington Teachers Union that includes big pay raises but more power for administrators to hire and fire, Rhee smiles and responds with her signature bluntness.

"Then I'm screwed."

Bill Turque

This entry previously incorrectly identified the writer of the Fast Company piece.

By Marcia Davis  |  08:28 AM ET, 08/18/2008

Categories:  Education, Education

Read what others are saying

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company