Thursday, February 17, 2011

Reforming Rhee-form

Some good news coming out of D.C. Mayor Gray is standing up to de-funding threats by corporate reformers. He says he's looking to reform Rhee's "reform", collaborate with the union & select permanent Rhee-placement.  

Gray's education transition team is recommending significant changes to the controversial IMPACT teacher evaluation tool created by interim Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson as a way to rate teachers and fire them on the basis of student standardized test scores.  Henderson was Rhee's assistant. But it's looking more and more likely that she herself will replaced based on recommendations from Gray's transition team which is headed by Katherine Bradley, president of CityBridge Foundation, and Michael Lomax, head of  the United Negro College Fund.

The question is, will Arne Duncan and the venture philanthropists who backed Rhee-form take revenge on the district by pulling badly needed foundation and federal dollars?

Gray's moves have conservatives like AEI's Rick Hess in a tizzy. 
...when Gray promised to stay the course on D.C.’s promising reform efforts and welcomed Fenty’s decision to name Rhee’s deputy Kaya Henderson as interim chancellor, reformers crossed their fingers and hoped (especially since Gray knows that any serious retreat from the D.C. reform agenda risks tens of millions in philanthropic support, and an equal amount in federal Race to the Top funds).
Voucher blackmail

Sen. Lieberman is already threatening to withhold ed funds from D.C. schools unless district approves vouchers for Catholic schools. Would this kind of blackmail ever happen in a mainly-white or middle-class district? Or in a city with full voting rights?  Uh uh.

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