. . . .Rhee's performance was viewed favorably by 59 percent of residents in January 2008, with 29 percent disapproving. Now, there is a near-even split: 43 percent approve of what she's doing, and 44 percent are dissatisfied. Those with children in D.C. public schools have nearly reversed their opinion of Rhee. Two years ago, 54 percent of those parents approved of her; now, 54 percent disapprove.
Support for Rhee has eroded most dramatically among African Americans. Two years ago, 50 percent of black residents backed Rhee, while 38 percent disapproved. Now, just 28 percent approve, with 62 percent dissatisfied. The intensity of African Americans' unhappiness with Rhee's leadership has also grown. The percentage who "strongly disapprove" of her performance has doubled over this period, from 22 percent to 44 percent.
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The poll results underscore how closely Fenty and Rhee are linked in public perceptions and how much of the mayor's political future might be staked on the chancellor's success in turning around the school system. Fenty's approval rating has dropped 30 points to 42 percent since 2008. During the same period, the proportion of residents who say he has done a "good" or "excellent" job in improving schools has declined from 52 to 42 percent. The segment of residents evaluating his school performance as "poor" has grown from 18 to 24 percent.
Fenty appointed Rhee in 2007, the same year a new law gave him direct control of the city's public schools. The percentage of respondents crediting the transfer of schools to mayoral control is stalled around where it was two years ago, with more now saying that move has made things worse.. . .
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