» This Story:Read +|Watch +| Comments
» This Story:Read +| Comments

HIGHER ED BLOGS
· College Inc.
· Campus Overload

Higher Education

Your essential guide to college life & higher education news

Gray, Rhee talk - about schools, not her future

Video
D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray and Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee met for 90 minutes today for what Gray called a "philosophical discussion" about public education but they did not talk about her future in the administration. Following the highly anticipated meeting, Gray and Rhee emerged to face a throng of news cameras and reporters.

Network News

X Profile
View More Activity
Discussion Policy
Comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, September 23, 2010; 9:10 PM

Presumptive Mayor-elect Vincent C. Gray held a long-awaited summit with Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee on Thursday but said that his 90 minutes with the outspoken schools leader, who actively campaigned against him in a rancorous Democratic primary, hewed strictly to education issues and did not address her future in the job.

This Story
View All Items in This Story
View Only Top Items in This Story
This Story
View All Items in This Story
View Only Top Items in This Story

"We did not talk about Chancellor Rhee staying or going. We talked about the state of education in the city," Gray, the D.C. Council chairman, said upon emerging from his Wilson Building office with Rhee to speak to a throng of reporters.

Gray said the two will likely meet again within the next couple of weeks, a message reinforced by Gray advisers, who emphasized that the meeting was never intended to resolve the issue of Rhee's tenure. Gray won the Democratic primary Sept. 14 but still faces, at least nominally, a general election vote Nov. 2.

"This was always supposed to be just a first meeting to discuss where school reform goes from here," said Mo Elleithee, a senior Gray campaign strategist. "But he's been pretty clear: On his end, he's not making any decisions until after the election."

In a brief discussion with reporters after Rhee left the news conference, Gray said he hasn't even begun thinking of possible candidates for chancellor.

"Right now, the discussions are between Ms. Rhee and myself," Gray said.

Perhaps most striking was how the news conference's two principal players carried themselves as they stepped in front of the cameras. While Gray, apparently relaxed, strode directly to the bank of microphones, Rhee looked grim and subdued as she withdrew to a far corner, deferring virtually all comment to Gray.

As Gray continued to speak, she slipped back into the corridor fronting his fifth-floor office and rushed to the elevators. She was pursued by reporters but would not answer questions.

It was a dramatic contrast to the chancellor's last public appearance. Sitting on a panel at the Newseum on Sept. 15, she said that Gray's victory over Mayor Adrian M. Fenty was "devastating" for the city's schoolchildren and exhorted an audience of Washington A-listers and education reformers to use the election outcome "to lean forward and be more aggressive and more adamant" about pursuing fundamental change.

She later said that she was not being critical of Gray but expressing concern that the election results might be seen as a blow against reform.

In a phone interview Thursday evening, Rhee declined to discuss the meeting or her reaction. She also declined to comment on whether she was prepared to remain until the end of Fenty's term of office in January or whether she had been approached about other jobs.

She did say there was no substance to speculation that surfaced in a Thursday New York Times article that she was a possible replacement for Newark Schools Superintendent Clifford Janey - the man she replaced three years ago in the District.


CONTINUED     1        >


» This Story:Read +|Watch +| Comments
» This Story:Read +| Comments

More in Education Section

[Michelle Rhee]

Michelle Rhee

Full coverage of D.C. Schools Chancellor.

[Fixing D.C.'s Schools]

D.C. Charters

Learn about every charter school in D.C.

[Class Struggle]

Class Struggle

The latest on education from columnist Jay Mathews.

© 2010 The Washington Post Company

Network News

X My Profile