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Morning Shots

Not your average cover girl

D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee seems to be dominating the media these days, and she’s making headlines again this week, gracing the cover of TIME Magazine.

While there’s nothing glamorous about firing nearly 300 teachers and principals, Rhee has made more changes within DCPS in one year than most could even dream about over several decades. She’s not your typical cover girl, as TIME points out. She’s been called a “nightmare” but Chancellor Rhee seems okay with that. “Have I rubbed people the wrong way? Definitely. If I changed my style, I might make people a little more comfortable… but I think there’s real danger in acting in a way that makes adults feel better.”

A piece in today’s Washington Post shows that this new style can work, but with folks like AFT boss Randi Weingarten highly critical of this new trend, it is unlikely to catch on without bold leadership from our elected officials.



(Sung to the tune of 12 Days of Christmas):
During the second week of transition, Obama gave to thee:
Four Berkeley lawyers,
Three Clinton holdovers,
Two union operatives,
and a severely status quo team for DOE.

All that talk about reform. We kept saying people are policy. A look at the latest education transition team members is telling on that score. They come from the traditional, Kozol-esque education perspective that relies on well-intentioned government programs and court decisions to force schools to do good, rather than accountability and power in the hands of educators and parents to create good. The Berkeley bent which embraces the old civil rights agenda (top down) not the new one (bottom up) is apparent in most of these, the Obama Education Transition Team members.

Joan Baratz Snowden

This former Director of Educational Issues for the AFT believes we should consider performance based pay systems but only with teacher buy-in (i.e. unions). Meanwhile, Rome is burning while Nero fiddles…

Maria Blanco

Directs with Professor Chris Edley the Berkeley based research unit that is heavily oriented toward financial and top down solutions to equity issues (i.e. desegregation) rather than power solutions (ie. choice)

Juliet Garcia

As President of the University of Texas at Brownsville, Higher Ed is her specialty, financial assistance her focus. Served on a Carnegie Foundation council that pushes the same.

Eugene Garcia

His Arizona State University Ed Dept gave us the group we affectionately call the “don’t worry be happy” education crowd; Berliner, et al who have tried to convince us we have a “manufactured crisis” in education. Tell that to the 50% of illiterate students we have.

Goodwin Liu

Another Berkeley scholar, Liu’s specialty is affirmative action; he’s for it. And he co-chairs for the

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Why A Charter School Should Not Be the Obamas' Choice

This country is great. We’ve just elected the first African-American president, who has brought tremendous pride to many communities, but especially to African-Americans. I’ve seen it myself across the color and political spectrums.

It reminds us that you can have anything you want in America – unless you’re poor, that is.

Nowhere is this more clear than when it comes to schooling your child. Much has been written about where the Obamas might send their babies to school. As they are looking at private schools, their new hometown paper, The Washington Post, is reminding them that there are other people who want such a choice, but the President-elect doesn’t support the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program that allows such a choice with taxpayer dollars.

There are others who want him to go to a charter school. One of his biggest fans, Democrats for Education Reform, a group which really believes he will carry their agenda, is pleading for him to choose a charter school in D.C., one of the 62 or so high quality schools currently serving almost 30 percent of the D.C. public school population.



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