Kaya Henderson gives teachers a break


Kaya Henderson is moving to temporarily pull back on one of Michelle Rhee’s signature initiatives. (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)

In the school reform war fought by Michelle Rhee and Adrian Fenty, few battles were bloodier than the move to implement “value-added” teacher evaluations – that is, adding student test scores to the mix. So there were plenty of double takes Thursday when D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson, previously Rhee’s top deputy, announced that “value-added” evaluations would be put on hold for a year as a new standardized testing regime based on the Common Core curriculum is rolled out. The thinking, Henderson said, is that teachers should be “focused on teaching and not worried about whether or not the hiccups that come with implementing a new test are going to impact their livelihood.” Among those doing double takes was the federal Department of Education; a spokeswoman said, “we know there are many who looked to DCPS as a pacesetter who will be disappointed with their desire to slow down.”

In other news:

CFO Jeff DeWitt tells D.C. Council its budget is a mess (DofDWAMU-FM)

Linwood Barnhill Jr., cop accused of running prostitution ring, is expected to plead guilty this afternoon (Post)

Vincent Gray moves to name gym after Medric Mills Jr.; Mills family would prefer some accountability (DofDWTOPWTTG-TV)

More from Hizzoner’s NewsTalk appearance (WJLA-TVNewsTalk)

No, still no Muriel Bowser endorsement from Hizzoner (WashingtonianLoose Lips)

Marion Barry media tour continues: “Even if the FBI set me up, I had no business going into that room” (InformerAlan Colmes)

A Barry tweet that’s more introspective than his entire book (@marionbarryjr)

Could the ban-the-box bill use some tweaks to allay employer concerns? (Post editorial)

Virginia Avenue Tunnel foes wonder why DDOT already granted CSX key permits (Dr. Gridlock)

“Four big questions for a Georgia Avenue streetcar” (GGW)

More Marriotts planned for convention center area (WBJ)

David Catania bill would speed up special-ed evaluations (WAMU-FMDCFPI)

Two juveniles arrested in string of robberies of transgender women in far Northeast (PostWTTG-TV)

FOP pushes back on plans to start enforcing mandatory retirement age of 64 (WJLA-TV)

Union’s answer to spike in homicides: 1,000 new cops (Washingtonian)

Senate staffer who died suddenly of embolism had been in hit-and-run accident (Post)

Michelle Obama addresses D.C. CAP participants (Post)

Eleanor Holmes Norton on Dan Snyder: “Shame on him” (Politico)

Report details state of New Communities projects (DCist)

Micro-units truly are micro (UrbanTurf)

The old Morrison Street house that some Chevy Chase residents fought to save has been torn down (PoPville)

USDA could create “museum of cultivation” on Mall grounds (GGW)

How D.C. cops wised up about condoms and prostitutes (CityLab)

No going back on the invertebrates, National Zoo says (City Desk)

Petworth is declared flip central (WBJ)

D.C.’s first pedestrian signal was installed 75 years ago (Express)

Grace period for new speed cameras is over (Dr. Gridlock)

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 · June 19