When the scores on the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) were released, much was made of gains registered in Washington, DC. I understand spin and the desire of those responsible for current policies to want to make things look good, but the rest of us need to take a deep breath and a second look.
I am done reporting about Michelle Rhee.
Michelle Rhee is known as the woman who, during her tenure as Chancellor of DC’s public schools, took on a corrupt and failing system and shook it up. The rest of the story is rarely mentioned, not even in the press. It should be.
Michelle Rhee looked the other way when presented with pretty strong evidence that adults, not students, were responsible for the suspicious erasures. Perhaps she was putting her own career ahead of the interests of children. Does that make her a fraud? That’s your call, not ours.
Suppose you were a school superintendent – what guarantees would be appropriate to demand from your principals? Here’s my thinking: Because what we choose to measure reveals what we value, I would use performance guarantees to send a clear message to my principals about what matters.
Why is Washington in denial? Fear of Michelle Rhee’s wrath? An unwavering commitment to 2007’s great narrative about the fearless young reformer who “challenged failing schools and incompetent teachers”? I wish I knew the answer.
A great deal has happened since “Michelle Rhee’s Reign of Error” appeared in this space two weeks ago.