"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Fenty Moves to Ax Oversight and Evaluations of Rhee Regime

Last year when Adrian Fenty put forward the names of Fred Hess and Kenneth Wong as potential independent evaluators of the Fenty/Rhee Regime, council members noted that Hess had lost an election as President of the Michelle Rhee Fan Club and that Wong had publicly declared his support for educational dictatorships for the urban poor. Their names were pulled.

A year later Council proposed the independent National Research Council provide an unbiased evaluation of the Fenty/Rhee Cabal. And now Fenty wants to eliminate the funding to pay the evaluators, as well as funding to provide staff for ongoing oversight of his corrupt, corporate fiefdom. Again, the question remains--how long will the Oligarchy allow Bill Turque to report such stories?

By Bill Turque
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty has eliminated funding for an independent evaluator assigned to assess the progress of public school reform under Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee, according to the revised 2010 budget he submitted to the D.C. Council late Friday.

Fenty (D) also reversed a series of other budget measures, approved by the council in May, that sought to divert some of the mayor's control of education to other agencies. They include the shift of staff and funds from Deputy Mayor for Education Victor Reinoso to the D.C. State Board of Education, which would be established as an independent agency. The board would house the office of the ombudsman for public education, which is responsible for investigating complaints and answering questions from parents.

The proposed moves reflect the council's discontent with what some members see as a lack of transparency and accountability in the mayor's efforts to transform the District's struggling public school system. The ombudsman's office, for example, is supposed to file monthly reports but has not done so since March. The ombudsman, Tonya Vidal Kinlow, resigned in December and has yet to be permanently replaced.

Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D) and the council are free to restore the funding cut when they vote on the revised budget July 31. But speaking to the council Monday at a hearing on Fenty's plan to close a two-year, $666 million revenue shortfall, city administrator Neil Albert urged that the governance structure established in 2007 remain intact.

"Our education reform efforts are demonstrating real results," Albert said, "and we strongly believe that, rather than changing course with the established structure, we should maintain momentum forward."

Albert did not directly address the school evaluation, which Fenty is required to submit annually under the law that established mayoral control. He also has the option to skip the yearly reports and deliver a five-year independent assessment by September 2012.

In May 2008, Reinoso recommended two prominent education scholars for the project, Frederick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute and Kenneth Wong of Brown University. But the plan stalled when Gray raised questions about their independence. Hess wrote an op-ed piece for The Washington Post in 2007 praising Rhee. Wong testified in favor of the mayoral takeover.

When Reinoso didn't offer other candidates, Gray decided to move on his own. This past May, he included $325,000 to hire the National Research Council, one of four nonprofit organizations that operate under the National Academies umbrella, to conduct the evaluation. The money would cover about 20 percent of the total cost, with the NRC raising the rest from private sources.

Fenty spokeswoman Mafara Hobson said Monday that the mayor was still committed to an independent evaluation but did not elaborate.. . . .


  1. "If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier. Just so long as I'm the dictator." GW Bush.

  2. PaulMoore9:27 PM

    When you are up to no good, you do your dirty work behind closed doors.

    Cockroaches forage in the dark. They scurry away in the light.

    To their great misfortune, Michelle Rhee was ushered into the lives of the District's children by the "global economy". Globalization is at the very foundation of business model for public schools, charters, vouchers, data driven instruction, merit pay, standardized testing, and most perversely of all, paying students to consume their version of education. Globalization was the reason the Business Roundtable was interested in public education at all and the reason Bill Gates orchestrated the DCPS takeover by his male spokes-model Adrian Fenty. The corporate CEO's wanted a profit making private school system and Gates wants higher profits for Microsoft. There was supreme irony in President Obama's entreaty to the NAACP that the children should put down the Xbox, one of the diversions Gates and Microsoft plies them with.

    For her lack of any discernible qualifications, the shocking appointment of Michelle Rhee as Chancellor of D.C. public schools, can be understood only when you realize that she was brought in to inflict maximum damage on the district's public schools. And as a cultist (Teach For America, New Teacher Project) and true believer she came at a bargain basement salary. Really qualified people were courted (Mayor Fenty even visited Miami with several members of the D.C. commission to interview Dr. Rudolph Crew) but that was just for show. They could not be counted on to mindlessly take a club to D.C.'s public schools and the boss Gates wanted Rhee. The havoc and chaos that Rhee caused was no accident. It was the plan!

    Michelle Rhee has come to D.C. to destroy its public schools. No independent evaluations can be allowed to hinder that mission!