About Last Night, Now The What?

My take on what a Fenty loss likely means for schools in DC and for school reform nationally is my column this week at Time.  Punchline:  Instability in DC, politics nationally, talent drain, and not a great day for reformers if she goes.  But there is more via the link above.

Over at TNR Seyward Darby’s take is well-worth checking out, too. I’d argue, however, that the next contract negotiation is less the issue than all the behind the scenes formal and informal changes that can make the contractual provisions irrelevant in the meantime.   But she gets into the charter issue some in a way I haven’t seen elsewhere — all that new money Mayor-elect Gray promised may well come with some strings charters don’t like so much.

8 Replies to “About Last Night, Now The What?”

  1. Technically, Chairman Gray is not the Mayor-elect until November. You never know, Faith may pull it out this year!

    Seriously, it sounds like you don’t know Chairman Gray that well. I know many charter school parents and staff members who have met with Gray several times over the past year or so and he’s been 100% supportive. DC charter school parents and employees are an often overlooked part of the Gray coalition. If anybody posed a threat to charters it was Adrian Fenty, who only exploited them to get Race to the Top money for DCPS.

  2. DC will have the school reforms that The People want. This is still the United States of America. Demagogues and autocrats should go to other countries, where that form of government is acceptable. DC gives us a glimpse into what is going to happen when “reform” is understood by the majority of our citizens. So far the average person isn’t aware of what is happening. Teacher-bashing isn’t big in the USA.

    Politicians beware: Never trash your electorate if you expect to be elected or reelected.

  3. Correction, Faith lost the Statehood-Green primary. My bad.

    Apologies to Linda/RT and others, but the foes of Rhee and school reform who are now gloating are soon going to realize that Vince Gray was supported by the teachers’ union, but was not in their pocket and will not likely abandon reform. He campaigned on a platform of aggressive reform.

  4. DC resident:

    I can’t speak for others but I too want aggressive reform for DC and other urban districts. I know that Gray supports charter schools (without fraud), preschool education, assistance for mothers and newborns, highly-qualified teachers and fair evaluation and professional treatment of all educators. There are also other alternatives that offer parents ways of getting their children out of failing schools, such as public school vouchers, magnet schools, private schools paid for by private individuals, institutions or corporations. Personally I pay the tuitions of three impoverished children, so I’m certainly no advocate of keeping poor children in failing schools.

    If Rhee had instituted her changes with fairness, compassion, honesty and respect for the rights and opinions of others, she might have earned my admiration and support.

    What I don’t want is mistreatment of teachers, charter school fraud, false “miracles,” gaming of standardized tests, and autocratic rule that ignores the opinions of stakeholders (teachers, parents, students, other citizens). We can’t have that.

  5. Rhee, whom I have known for more than a decade, is a charismatic leader who has attracted people from across the country to work in the city’s central office and schools.
    Maybe Andrew meant county, as in Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, and Howard.

  6. @Phillipmarlowe

    Introducing evidence into these comment threads always risky, I know! Rotherham was probably talking about Justin Cohen, Susan Cheng, Kaya Henderson, Josh Edelman, Erin McGoldrick, and really a lot of the senior team:


    DCPS has the strongest (or as strong) front office of any district in America today. Make no mistake, that was a Rhee effect.

  7. I’m thinking of schools, especially those featured by the Washington Post:
    Dwon Jordon-PGCPS
    Peter Cahall-MCPS
    Brian Betts-MCPS
    William Taylor local guy (feature by Amanda Ripley in The Atlantic)
    I believe there is a lady from Howard CPS, but she might not be in a school.

  8. Yes – I can see the recruitment push for the team Rhee is abandoning in DC is in full effect. Gray is being urged to keep them and Rotherham is implying they are in great demand nationwide.

    New motto for school reformers: “No Rhee staffer left behind!”

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