Gray's appointment of deputy chancellor, Kaya Henderson, as interim chancellor is an indication that he isn't ready right now to stand up to the corporate reformers. Henderson is a Rhee acolyte who has vowed to continue the emphasis on mass teacher firings, privately-managed charter schools and standardized testing. Like Rhee, Henderson believes that poverty and racial inequities are just excuses for low test scores.
At an August meeting of school principals, Henderson offered a football-coach-style motivational talk, reinforcing Rhee's core message: that poverty and other conditions outside the classroom are not an excuse for poor academic achievement. (WaPo)It's possible that Gray simply needs time to let the Waiting for Superman mania subside a bit, let the mid-term elections pass and consolidate his own political allies before making a clean break with Rhee-ism. Let's hope.
* Also see Valerie Strauss' post at today's Answer Sheet, "What D.C. schools need now: A departure from Rheeism."