Sunday, June 17, 2007

I hope this chick kicks ass!

Schools Chief Makes Quick Mark -

Michelle A. Rhee, the acting chancellor of D.C. public schools, has moved quickly to exert control over the system by halting the principal hiring process, because she is concerned about the quality of the candidate pool.

"What I wanted to avoid was a rushed decision to fill a vacancy just for the sake of filling a vacancy," she said during an interview. "I have to know that we have a strong pool of candidates."

Rhee, former executive director of the New Teacher Project, said she will look internally, within the region and nationally for candidates to fill vacancies. "We need to be incredibly aggressive about recruiting the best," she said.

Rhee said she will consider interim principals rather than hiring someone permanently who is not a top candidate. The school system has at least 10 vacancies, including five at high schools.
Don't know why, but she seems like she might be the business.


allen said...

I'll reserve judgment for a while. Her opposition has had a long time to learn the ins, outs and in-betweens of the system.


Rhee said she planned to conduct an assessment of the central administration staff before deciding how many new employees to hire.

...however does not bode well.

If she hasn't figured out that a central administration with a staff of one is grossly overstaffed then she's already lost. You can start hanging the crepe when you find out she's hired an administrative assistant.

Dennis Fermoyle said...

Rory, I've never taught in an urban school with a lot of problems, and quite frankly, it's not something I'd want to try anytime soon. I admit that my knowledge of urban districts is no better than anyone else's but I'll tell you what I think anyway. If someone tells me that I'm ignorant about this, I'll have a tough time arguing.

I don't think the problems in a district like this are a result of the people in the schools not working hard enough. I think the major problem is that you've got a lot of messed up families, and because of that, there are a lot of messed up kids. I think a district like this is not going to have it's biggest problems solved by any new superintendent. If they want to solve the problems in the high schools (and probably the junior high schools), they have to give teachers the power to remove the most disruptive kids and focus on those kids who really do want to learn. That, at least, would be a start. At the elementary level (and now I'm really out of my league), I'd like to see something like Direct Instruction tried. I'm not convinced that it would be as effective in this situation as some of its proponents do, but after what I've heard about it, I think it's got at least as good a chance of working as anything else.

Dennis Fermoyle said...

By the way, Rory, "Chick"? How politically incorrect of you! But then you don't really strike me as a politically correct kind of guy.

Anonymous said...


There was a recent article (I think Washington Post) about how DC spends about half of its education dollars on administration. So, yes, the central administration is probably a huge part of the problem.

Amy P

TMAO said...

Rhee is leaving one of the most successful and foward-thinking education non-profits in the land, one responsible for training tons of effective new teachers, as well as producing policy research and analysis that is spot on. I think she's gonna make some big whacks.

Parentalcation said...

"whacks" might be an appropriate word considering the mess she is going to have to fix, and the knuckleheads that got it there.

p.s. loved your graduation story TMAO