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Michelle Rhee in D.C. and Chicago’s Ron Huberman were very different cowards

Michelle and Ron
Michelle and Ron
Chicagomag.com

Comments

  • Monise Seward 4 years ago

    Wow. After a week of national spotlights covering her resignation, someone finally decided to call a spade a spade. Very, very rare in this education 'reform' circus, unless of course people are talking about how poorly Black kids are raised. It's amazing how people in powerful positions continue to gamble with the education of our kids and get away with doing so simply because of their pedigree, connections, or skin tone. DC and Chicago are definitely two places to watch in the upcoming months.

  • Profile picture of Edward Hayes
    Edward Hayes 4 years ago

    Yeah Monise, my professional honesty, which worked very well for me as an Army Officer, was always my undoing in my civilian career. The world of K-12 education CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH. In fact, the only reason I managed to stay on the payroll was because I actually improved bad schools enough that my superiors could not easily fire me. BTW, you are very correct in saying we should watch D.C. and ChiTown. At this moment serious people are contacting their school boards to encourage them to hire Rhee. Any urban school district that hires her had better fasten their seat belts because D.C. proved that RESISTANCE is not necessarily Futile.

  • Larry Biddle 4 years ago

    Rhee left after it became clear she was dead woman walking. She could have stayed, but to what end? The mayor made it clear she could no longer do the job as she saw fit. Therefore, she made the same decision any sane person would - she left. Game over! I think calling her a coward is ridiculous.

    Any school reform that happens, will only happen with support form the top. as you will probably agree - w/o it, you are wasting your time. For better or worse, its the new mayors ball. Its best to let him run with it. I think you are right on point to blame the parents for their role in lack of movement on education. But why slam Rhee for accepting the reality of the situation?

  • Profile picture of Edward Hayes
    Edward Hayes 4 years ago

    Larry: I fly airplanes for a hobby. If the the weather suddenly gets tough or the engine unexpectedly gets rough, I don't bail out and leave my crew and passengers to fend for themselves. I owe those on board who were counting on me, my best effort to get them to their destination; it isn't their fault that the flight plan hit a snag and the job got more difficult. Rhee, in her first superintendentcy, has never demonstrated she has the 'real' toughness required to do the job on her own merits. The real boss of D.C. schools was Fenty just as Daley really ran Chicago's mess, not Huberman and not Basketball Duncan. I call Rhee a coward so that future hiring decisions by the pinhead big wigs in public education take this reality into account. Dedicated educators never abandon their children. Some have even taken a bullet to stay the course. Rhee is also leaving her personal staff high and dry to fight of the new mayor. Furthermore, who among us can do any job 'as we see fit?' We have to make adjustments and sacrifices if we believe in what we are doing. I stand by my assessment, but also appreciate the discourse.

  • Larry Biddle 4 years ago

    @Edward. I think the world of Rhee and Fenty for that matter, although as I think you suggest correctly he needed to be a better politician to run interference for Rhee. That being said, Fenty lost the election. And the new mayor has the right and duty to have his own people in sensitive jobs. Given that Rhee was a key issue in the campaign and the people voted against her leadership, she did the honorable and CORRECT thing by leaving. In a democracy, this is that way it works.

    Now, as to the her leaving her personal staff "high and dry, to fight the new mayor", I say this: (1) Her staff are grown, professional adults, who have options just like her, and have to do what they wish with their lives. New management will want its own people (some might be members of Rhee's staff, who knows?) but in any event her staff is not the people who needed protecting - its about the kids. It would be hypocritical of her to hang on to protect her staff, when she had to lay off building supers and lunch ladies, to make the cuts needed for this new contract. Its not as if Rhee had the clout to protect them anyway.

    (2) What kind of has me baffled about your problem with Rhee quitting is that you say above that " They (including Rhee) did nothing that the average school administrator could not do".. Huh? Well if you believe that, what difference does it make if she stays...anybody can do what she did. The truth is she was brought in to be a hard-charging, change agent. If they don't want that kind of leadership, they don't need her. That is the one thing she brought to the table, that's different than her predecessors. Surely you have to agree?

    (3) Let's be real..she didn't quit..she was fired..by the voters of DC. She knew it. You should too. The coward thing is way off base...We much disagree.

  • Profile picture of Edward Hayes
    Edward Hayes 4 years ago

    Larry: You drive me nuts. Your argument is reasoned and substantiated. And for the first time I am giving a reader a Mexican Standoff, jeez, can we even use that term anymore? Nonetheless, I defend my 'coward' statement. Every 'real' principal of a troubled school has to make a personal stand in the face of constituent opposition, why not the principal's boss in a troubled district? Rhee did not have to do that, thus she is like a rear echelon soldier who has never been in direct combat. That disqualifies her from leading those that have been. The only thing standing in the way of school reform for children is adults, so the education leader must have the courage, fortitude, and guts to take on the parents, teachers, unions and other assorted pinheads. I give Rhee, and Chicago Huberman, credit for knowing their limitations and running for hills after losing their protector. The point here is: Don't hire weak people to run school systems and even dare to think you will get any type of school improvement, much less REFORM.

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