‘Frontline’ and center

January 9, 2013

If you didn’t catch it last night, be sure to watch the “Frontline” episode examining Michelle Rhee’s time as D.C. Public Schools chancellor. Veteran PBS correspondent John Merrow draws on his deep reserve of footage from his years embedded with Rhee. But he also delves into the aftermath of her tenure, fueling debate over the fairness and efficacy of the cornerstone of Rhee’s reforms — high-stakes testing — by airing an interview with a principal who accuses teachers at her DCPS school of erasing and correcting their students’ wrong answers. DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson on Tuesday strongly rejected principal Adell Cothorne’s cheating allegations, leveled also in a federal lawsuit, and questioned her motives. Meanwhile, on the interwebs, you can reads all sorts of reaction to Merrow’s work — procon and otherwise.

In other news:

The D.C. Council steps back once again from imposing welfare sanctions (PostExaminer)

In the new term, lawmakers will take up campaign finance reform … (Examiner)

… legalizing surrogate pregnancies (DCist)

… elementary school reading assessments (Examiner)

… and $25,000 tax breaks for organ donors (D.C. Wire)

David Gregory’s fate lies in Irv Nathan’s hands (Washington Post)

Budget autonomy referendum will go on (PostExaminerDCistWaTimesAP)

Jack Evans is not happy about his inauguration parking options (D.C. WireExaminer)

Blogs unite to help voters sort through the at-large candidates (Let’s Choose DC)

Council might personally deliver “Taxation Without Representation” license plates to the White House (Loose Lips)

Evans says he “made clear” to Trump representatives they would not be getting a tax break (WRC-TV)

Use any budget surplus to get cops and firefighters new contracts, says Harry Jaffe (Examiner)

Rapist who drove “taxi” is convicted of multiple incidents between 2005 and 2008 (Crime Scene)

Shady sex-for-work deals at the Stadium Club? (City Desk)

D.C. charter board objects to Michelle Rhee’s characterization of District policies (D.C. Schools Insider

On expulsions: “I would be willing to accept a somewhat less ideal outcome for the most-challenged students if it meant tremendously better life outcomes for their peers.” (Flypaper)

Is the point of charter schools to have competition or just lots of charter schools? (GGW)

Doug Jemal is now leasing to a charter school (WBJ)

Whitman-Walker is expanding to a new 14th Street NW building (Blade)

CFO estimates NHL lockout cost the city about $6 million in taxes (DCist)

Economic impact of film and TV industry estimated at $22 million (WBJ)

Hotel rates haven’t changed much here in the past five years (WBJ)

Is civic pride reason enough to want a sports team? (GGW)

A fond farewell to D.C. Central Kitchen’s Robert Egger (HuffPo)

Mike DeBonis covers local politics and government for The Washington Post. He also writes a blog and a political analysis column that runs on Fridays.
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Mike DeBonis · January 8, 2013