Feb 23, 2010
Cracking The Mystery Of Chancellor Rhee's Spreadsheet
Here is a guest column by Efavorite in which she analyzes Michelle Rhee's spreadsheet which was sent to Chairman Vincent Gray at his request. As Efavorite notes, this spreadsheet was created by Rhee after she was called on the carpet by Gray. This is an excellent analysis and a must read for everyone. Two thumbs up to Efavorite!
"Looking at the spreadsheet Chancellor Rhee provided to Chairman Gray is making me dizzy.
I can’t figure out why she would tell “Fast Company” magazine that she used the RIF as an opportunity to get rid of teachers who hit children and had sex with children, but then only RIF eight on a list of 68 “substantiated” abusers.
When I take a closer look at the spreadsheet, I see that three of the 8 RIFd teachers on the list were not even suspended for their actions, and none of them were sex offenders. Meanwhile, many others who were not RIFd did get suspended. So again, it’s a mystery why she would leave teachers in the system who got five day suspensions, while RIFing people who only got a verbal reprimand or were asked to do mediation with the principal.
To Rhee’s credit, she did RIF the only person who got a 10 day suspension, but then she oddly allowed the person who got the only nine day suspension to continue teaching. Weird. Also, another 25 people on the list left DCPS unrelated to the RIF, via termination, voluntary resignation or retirement. Still, there are 38 left whom she could’ve RIFd before cutting into some of the competent, non-abusive teachers who supposedly had to be let go for budgetary reasons.
On the surface, it looks like she is doing a very bad job of cherry picking from this list of potential RIFees. But it’s more likely that this list didn’t exist until Chairman Gray asked for it, making any relationship between it and the Chancellor’s RIFing decisions completely serendipitous.
If the Chancellor really had used the RIF to rid the system of bad apples, she would have constructed this list in advance and then fired everyone on it. She would have held a national press conference in which she announced her latest brilliant plan to “put children first” and received accolades from the adoring media for her bold, no-nonsense approach to school reform.
Obviously, that didn't occur to her. When you operate by the seat of the pants the way she does, these things happen. It’s the kind of thing really smart, but dysfunctional people do and get away with most of the time. Not this time, though. This time she’s backpedaling and painting herself into a corner and other mixed metaphors. Whatever is happening, a good manager would never do it. It’s fun to watch, I admit, but it’s tiring, and it isn’t helping children. Let’s stop it."
Posted by The Washington Teacher, featuring Candi Peterson- blogger in residence with Efavorite as guest columnist.