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

Friday, April 16, 2010

Official: Rhee's $34 Million Imaginary, But She Has Found an Another Imaginary $29 Million to Almost Replace It

Can there possibly be any more evidence required that the fuming sourpuss, Michelle Rhee, is not up the task--and possibly out of control? From Bill Turque:

The District's chief financial officer said Thursday that a $34 million surplus in the school system's budget, cited by Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee as a major source of funding for raises promised to teachers in a proposed labor contract, does not exist.

Natwar M. Gandhi's analysis, outlined in a stinging letter to Rhee, is likely to raise new questions about the prospects for an agreement between the city and the Washington Teachers' Union. The tentative accord introduced last week, which must be approved by union members and the D.C. Council, was the product of more than two years of contentious bargaining and was hailed nationally as a progressive model of education reform.

In the letter, Gandhi, who is responsible for certifying collective bargaining agreements as fiscally sound, tells Rhee that although there is a projected $34 million in "underspending" in the school operations section of the agency's budget, it is offset by an estimated $30 million in overspending in the system's central office.

In unusually blunt language, Gandhi takes Rhee to task for what he describes as a failure to adequately consult his office before mentioning the surplus at a meeting with D.C. Council members.

"I was incredulous to learn that in your April 13, 2010, presentation to the Council on the contract you asserted that a surplus is available to fund the proposed salary increases based on preliminary information," he wrote.

Rhee disputed Gandhi's assertion that the information was preliminary but said Thursday night that she had "no choice" but to accept the findings. She also said she has identified $29 million in new sources of money to restore funds Gandhi disallowed. She did not elaborate.. . .

1 comment:

  1. It is with much chagrin that I point out that Michelle Rhee hails from my hometown, Toledo Ohio. Rhee attended the most elite private school in northwest Ohio, Maumee Valley Country Day School. Public school was far too pedestrian for precocious Michelle. Other than her two year stint with Teach for America, her founding of The New Teacher Project, and her shady dealings with Kevin Johnson's St. Hope Academy (which also had issues with large sums of money), Ms. Rhee has no significant experience or training in public education. How anyone could see her as the top applicant and most qualified person for head of the D. C. schools (or even a teaching position) is baffling.

    What I find particularly stunning is that we see so many individuals with no practical experience and/or formal training in eduction in positions of power, most notably Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan.

    Inspired by Duncan and Rhee's ability to land jobs for which they have no apparent qualifications, I am interested in becoming the top administrator at NASA. The fact that I have no understanding of or background in space travel should vault me to the top of the applicants' list.