Cliff Janey will be looking for a new job right about now. Actually, he’s probably known this was coming for a little while. Replacing him will be Michelle Rhee, current CEO and Founder of The New Teacher Project, an organization built around “increasing the number of outstanding individuals who become public school teachers and to creating environments for all educators that maximize their impact on student achievement.”
While Rhee has taught in public schools (including some of Baltimore’s lowest performing), she has never headed up even a single school. Choosing Rhee to run DC’s poorly performing school district is a bold choice for the new mayor, and though he had been seen courting Miami’s Rudy Crew, a veteran of several large districts, Rhee’s choice seems to come from left field.
All I know is, when the median percentage of students that can pass the math standards test is 22%, something drastic is necessary. If you look at the Post’s Dynamic Scorecard for DC Schools, which shows you 6 different metrics that schools can be measured on, things are pretty dire. When it takes a year for the average urgent maintenance ticket to be addressed, and when each school has an average of 8 or so urgent tickets, clearly facilities need to be dealt with. This isn’t Rhee’s forte, judging from her record. While she might be able to help address the mere 62% of accredited faculty, it’s not likely that she has much experience with the on-average 29 crimes per school site.
Good luck, Michelle Rhee, you have your work cut out for you. DC needs a change, here’s hoping you’re the right one.
Or, here’s hoping you get a good five to ten years to actually fix the system.
This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs