Judge rips city on special-needs pupils

Says deal to improve services not executed

Ian Bauder of THE WASHINGTON TIMES writes:

A federal judge has ruled that the District failed to comply with a two-year-old agreement to improve services for special-needs students and has set forth an exhaustive list of questions for Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee to answer when she testifies Oct. 20, as the judge ordered last month.

In a harsh appraisal, U.S. District Judge Paul L. Friedman wrote, “The District has not made those requirements a priority and has not tasked particular individuals … with day-to-day hands-on responsibility [for them] …

“Indeed, it is not even clear to the Court whether … it is [D.C. public schools] or the [Office of the State Superintendent of Education] that is responsible for implementing certain Consent Decree requirements.”

Judge Friedman also ordered State Superintendent Deborah A. Gist to appear before him with Mrs. Rhee

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In the Name of Reform? A Lesson About Michelle Rhee’s Big Plans from Art Siebens

Eduwonkette writes:

Yet right under Michelle Rhee’s nose, her own theory of action – that principals will always pick the “best teachers” – has been tested by the case of Dr. Art Siebens. Few things manage to keep this groggy, dissertating kid awake once my head’s hit the pillow. But the case of Siebens, a biology teacher at Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington, DC for the last 18 years who was not rehired when the school reconstituted 20% of its staff last spring, is haunting for the glimpse it offers into the brave new world of unchecked principal autonomy.

By all accounts, Michelle Rhee should be carrying Art Siebens around on her shoulders, because he exemplifies all of the qualities she desires in DC Public Schools teachers…

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Fryer and Rhee Teaching Children to Demand: Show Me the Money

Jim Horn at Schools Matter writes:

Hoping to further his “research” on how to instill rat learning in children with ca$sh rewards, crackpot economist-cum-education-researcher, Roland Fryer, has brought some of Eli Broad’s bags of money to the D.C. area for another grand experiment on unwary middle schoolers. Michelle Rhee, of course, is in for a million + with D.C. education funds.

Operating under the appellation of the American Inequality Lab (AIL), Fryer and his paymasters are on their way to finding a prominent place in the dustbin of discarded educational atrocities against the poor, if and when people eventually wake up to this kind of Wall Street-inspired corruption of children. The name for this exploitation: Capital Gains.
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D.C. Parents Concerned About Alleged Teacher Shortage

ABC News writes:

After millions of dollars in renovations, some parents claim McKinley Tech High School still suffers a critical shortage of teachers.

“We asked what’s going on, why there’s no teachers,” said Monica Lowe. “They made false promises.”

Her son is a junior at McKinley. After weeks of school, his Algebra II/Trigonometry class is on its second substitute teacher, she says.

“Parent-teacher conference is next Friday, October the third, Mr. Ford, and we have yet to receive a teacher,” Lowe told ABC 7/NewsChannel 8 reporter Sam Ford Friday.

McKinley’s not alone. ABC 7/NewsChannel 8 visited Thurgood Marshall Elementary School last week and found classes with only substitute teachers. One classroom with a permanent teacher had 46 students.

The teachers’ union blames schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee.

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D.C. List Shows 90 Teacher Vacancies

 Bill Turque, Washington Post Staff Writer reports:

A list generated by the system’s human resources department Thursday shows 26 unfilled spots for special education instructors in addition to vacancies for math, English, science, foreign language and elementary school teachers. Teachers say it has created hardships in some schools, swelling class sizes and forcing regular instructors and substitutes to teach outside their areas of expertise.

Despite Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee’s promise that every school would have a music and art teacher, the list shows several openings in those areas as well. Dena Iverson, Rhee’s spokeswoman, said that the document is outdated and that the chancellor’s office is aware of only 42 openings.

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Michelle Rhee’s leadership called into question by federal investigation

DC Blogger writes:

Michelle Rhee will give a talk to the National Press Club tomorrow and take questions. Someone in that audience needs to ask her about the investigation of St. Hope. They also need to ask her about the consent decree here in DC concerning the education of special needs children. They need to ask her why using substitute teachers is better than using full time, experienced teachers. They need to stop acting like her PR flack and start asking some questions.

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Earth to Dan, your educrush’s non-profit is involved in a federal probe

A blogger at Ms. Mercer writes:

One commenter, Lori Jablonski, also shared why Rhee herself was suspect because of her associations with a local Sacramento charter operator, St. HOPE Academy. She headed up the high school, and when she was appointed to the Chancellorship, was on the Board of Directors (look how proud they are of her!). Ms. Rhee is not the only former St. HOPE leader looking to move up. Her boss, and the founder of St. HOPE, former NBA star Kevin Johnson (a local boy made good), is currently running for Mayor of my fair city.

Lori discussed one incident from when Rhee and Johnson were at Sacramento High,

After a Sacramento High School teacher’s report last year that a 17-year-old student told him she was inappropriately touched by Kevin Johnson, Johnson’s personal attorney and business partner investigated the complaint for the campus. State law requires that authorities be notified immediately when school officials learn of such an allegation. But – before police were called in by the teacher – Johnson’s attorney, Kevin Hiestand, questioned the girl during an internal investigation, according to interviews and e-mails obtained by The Bee.

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