Education Opinion

DC Chancellor gives self failing grade

By Jessica Shyu — March 17, 2009 1 min read
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DC Chancellor Michelle Rhee graded herself an “F” when asked by The Washington Times how she would rate her first 20 months in office.

Political gimmick? Blog-worthy sound bite? A self-deprecating way to curry favor? Or just the cruel reality of what it means to not improve faster, better and at a rate of 100 percent in the world of education?

“If my goal is to provide every child that’s in my care an excellent education, we’re an F on that,” she said. “I want to be evaluated on the quality of education that I’m providing to kids,” Rhee said in the Times interview. Despite the numerical benchmarks we’ve hit over the past two years, we’re still a long ways away. “The reality is that we have a 70 percent achievement gap between our white kids and our black kids, Ms. Rhee said.”

I believe her when she says that DC will one day be the nation’s top-performing urban district. I also want to believe that her “F” is more than just a sound bite-- that it’s also a sign that our district’s leader will hold herself honestly and publicly accountable for doing what’s best for kids.

The opinions expressed in New Terrain are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.