Monthly Archives: June 2008

22 Assistant Principals Are Latest to Be Fired

D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee fired 22 assistant principals this week, her second round of school administrative terminations, which came about a month after her dismissal of 24 principals.

Rhee, who previously said some of the principals were dismissed because she differed on the direction in which they were taking the schools, offered no reason for firing the assistant principals. Although the administrative leaders work on year-to-year contracts and can be fired without cause under D.C. law, an official with the principals union said the action appears to violate the contract because many of the assistant principals were not given a required evaluation.

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At Benning Elementary, School’s Out Forever

NE Campus Closing A Year After Rhee’s Visit Stirred Hope

Bill Turque of the Washington Post Staff Writes:

Last June 12 was a day of unusual promise at Benning Elementary, a dingy, virtually windowless school near RFK Stadium with a leaky roof, occasional air conditioning and dismal test scores.That day it became the first school visited by Michelle A. Rhee as chancellor, just hours after her surprise unveiling by Mayor Adrian M. Fenty.

In an elegant white jacket, she walked the dimly lighted corridors and soiled carpets with Fenty and a platoon of cameras, chatting up students and teachers, promising to fix what ailed Benning. Fenty (D) picked the Northeast Washington school for Rhee’s debut, aides said, because it crystallized many of the technical and academic challenges she would face. Her brief tour created the most striking image of change on a momentous day in the city’s history, the first in which the long-troubled school system was under mayoral control.

Today, exactly a year later, change has overtaken Benning, but not the kind that most parents, teachers and staff had sought. As summer break begins for 47,000 D.C. public school students, Benning is closing for good, one of 23 low-enrollment schools Rhee has decided to shutter. After a moment of such genuine hope, it is a bitter thing for many parents and staff members.

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School closings affect rec center for at-risk youth

Markette Smith, WTOPnews.com writes:

WASHINGTON – When D.C. School Chancellor Michelle Rhee ordered the school building located at 3012 Georgia Ave. to be closed, classes weren’t the only thing that were going to be shut down. The Bruce-Monroe Recreation Center will also be closed on Thursday, June 12, the last day of school.

The center offers after school programs to about 12 to 30 at-risk youth until 9 p.m., Monday through Friday. It has been around since the 1970s, but was closed in the late 90s and later reopened in November 2007 after a series of shootings plagued the surrounding Columbia Heights neighborhood.

“It’s really become a safe haven for these youth,” says Maia Shanklin, of the Peaceaholics, an organization that works with youth at the center. She says many of the young people, mostly males, were engaged in gang activity before attending the center.

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LEARNING FROM PARASITES

SAM SMITH, PROGRESSIVE REVIEW writes:

To understand the war on public schools, it helps to think of the Defense Department where our national security has been turned over to a mass of private contractors that make billions under the pretext of improving our national defense. There are no standardized tests at the Pentagon, the closest parallel being war itself, one of which we haven’t won against a comparable enemy in over 60 years. A fair description of how the Defense Department works is that it is government by parasites.

Something similar is happening to our public schools under the guidance of an arrogant and aggressive coterie of educational bureaucrats like the much touted Michelle Rhee of Washington DC. There have always been commercial parasites hovering over public education, but the opportunities exploded with No Child Left Behind, basically a government subsidy to every firm that designs tests, the books that help students pass them, or provides untested consultant or administrative services to public officials who once knew how to run a school system without so many deals on the side.

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