Rhee confirmed as Washington D.C. schools chancellor

July 11, 2007
City council approves Mayor Adrian Fenty's choice to lead struggling school system.

The Washington, D.C., City Council has confirmed Michelle A. Rhee as chancellor of the city's school system, putting aside concerns about her lack of experience and the $275,000 salary that will make her the highest-paid school leader in the Washington region. Rhee, 37, who takes over a system with 55,000 students and a $1 billion annual budget, was a teacher for three years in Baltimore and has never been a superintendent. But she is nationally known for founding and heading the New Teacher Project, a nonprofit group that recruits and trains teachers in urban districts.
Click here to read The Washington Post article.

EARLIER: Acting Washington, D.C., schools chancellor Michelle A. Rhee received accolades Monday from nationally known educators, former students and some of the staunchest critics of Mayor Adrian M. Fenty's school takeover plan. Rhee, 37, has never been a superintendent or chancellor and taught for just three years in Baltimore public schools more than a decade ago. But at a city council confirmation hearing, two dozen witnesses testified that Rhee's management skills and her passion for educating underprivileged children outweighed her inexperience. The council will vote on her nomination next week.
Click here to read The Washington Post article.

Acting Washington, D.C., schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee is assembling a transition team that will guide the strategy for the new school session starting in August, focusing on hiring principals and other pressing issues during the summer months. The team will be led by Jenny Abramson, 30, an advertising manager at The Washington Post. Abramson will take an unpaid leave of absence from The Post for an unspecified period to work for Rhee. Abramson previously directed program strategy for a year at the national nonprofit organization Teach for America.
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Michelle A. Rhee, the acting chancellor of Washington, 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. she will look internally, within the region and nationally for candidates to fill vacancies.
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Washington, D.C., leaders stood beside Michelle A. Rhee on the steps of city hall as a show of public support for the newly nominated schools chancellor, but they were complaining behind the scenes about the secrecy with which Mayor Adrian M. Fenty made his surprise selection. Fenty did not inform the city council of his choice until the eve of the announcement and did not give her name to a panel of parents, teachers and students as the takeover legislation requires. Fenty, however, says he has complied with the law.
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SIDEBAR: The two top people chosen to lead the Washington, D.C., public schools under Mayor Fenty are both from a program that has played a leading role in streamlining the school system's troubled human resources department. Click here to read The Washington Post article.

Washington, D.C., Mayor Adrian M. Fenty has named Michelle A. Rhee as the city's schools chancellor. Fenty assumed control of the 55,000-student school district today and replaced School Superintendent Clifford B. Janey with Rhee, the founder of the New Teacher Project, a New York-based teacher-training organization.
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Allen Y. Lew, who managed construction of the Washington Convention Center and is overseeing completion of the Nationals baseball stadium, has agreed to become the director of a new city department created to carry out the Washington, D.C., public school system's $2.3 billion modernization program. He is expected to resign from his position as chief executive of the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission next month to join Mayor Adrian M. Fenty's administration.
Click here to read The Washington Post article.

A school advocacy group in Washington, D.C., has issued a challenge to Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and schools chancellor Michelle A. Rhee to open up all city schools for a "community audit" that would check whether schools had been cleaned, teachers hired and other classroom-readiness issues resolved for the new school year. Click here to read The Washington Post article.

ALSO: Clifford B. Janey arrived in Washington, D.C., nearly three years ago, hailed by city leaders as the career educator whose experience teaching low-achieving, urban children was just what the school system needed. After six superintendents in 10 years, Janey reassured parents and students that he intended to stay put and "finish the job." But Mayor Fenty decided that Janey, 60, would not finish the job. Click here to read The Washington Post article.

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