Three notes on the Michelle Rhee – DCPS cheating issue that is again front and center after today’s NYT column by Michael Winerip:
- It still seems to me that it’s pretty clear some cheating went on in D.C. But I’d be surprised if Rhee even tacitly knew about it. And it’s worth noting that the National Assessment of Educational Progress – a test that’s hard to cheat – shows gains in D.C.
- Rhee’s in a tough spot here. She’s the former chancellor, which means a policy of not commenting on an ongoing investigation in the city’s schools is a reasonable one. No one wants their predecessor splashing around in a situation like this or talking with the media. And if she were doing that you could write a column about how inappropriate that is. But, this is exactly why Rhee’s initial instinct to comment as well as the substance of her remarks were ill-considered and created the box she’s in. Still, at this point she should stay quiet until the ongoing investigation is done and cooperate with it.
- In general, and in this case, cheating investigations are really messy and generally turn on confessions or corroborated accusations.