Feb 8, 2010

DC Schools Open Monday ?

Rhonda Roads said it best in 'the mail', an on-line magazine publication by Gary Imhoff about Chancellor Rhee's decision to initially open DC schools on a 2-hour delay. After many parents complained to the Mayor and TV news stations did this administration decide to reverse their decision later. Here's what Roads sent to Chancellor Rhee:

"An E-mail to Chancellor Michelle Rhee: Are you f---ing crazy? Totally out of touch with the world? No Metro bus service. Feds closed. Universities and charters closed. Most sidewalks are not clear and most residential side streets are not plowed. Children will have to walk in the streets.

Are you even in town, or out in Sacramento? Another example of your poor leadership. Please resign."

Posted by The washington teacher, featuring Candi Peterson blogger in residence


Anonymous said...

I'm justing saying, Fenty and Rhee want to show others that they can make tough decisions. I'm just saying, do the job without being self promoting.

President Obama, please do not consider either of these people for positions in your administration. You need people in your corner who are there to do the job not to promote themselves (literally).

I Can't Believe It !! said...

Candi, the union should have protested the decision to open schools tomorrow, even 2 hours late. Most of us are still snowed in. My car in my garage is clean but the I can't get out of the alley!! Plus my street hasn't been plowed. How are our children expected to walk on those sidewalks tomorrow? What was Rhee thinking!!!

The Wash. Teacher said...

Seems there were a lot of complaints from parents and concerned DC residents about the decision to open DC schools on a 2 hour delay. Channel 4 news covered this story and showed DC streets that were still covered with snow as well as DC school parking lots that had not been plowed. This one was a no brainer. The Mayor with his low popularity rating had no choice but to reverse this decision.

Mr. Potter said...

Maybe I'm looking at this through rose-colored glasses, but I interpreted the two-hour delay as a first step with the possibility of more later. Metro and buses hadn't announced whether they'd be up and running when DCPS announced two-hour delay. But the DCPS website also said "stay tuned for more updates". Metro announced limited service, the federal govt closed, so DCPS updated its status accordingly. Ultimately they realized that roads wouldn't be clear in time, so they made the decision to close. Why is this so terrible?

The Wash. Teacher said...

Response to Harry Potter:
You are actually wrong. The Federal government had already announced it would be closed when DCPS announced the 2 hour delay. They announced early yesterday as my husband got an email alert and we also saw it on the news. We followed this story closely since he works for the Feds.

Read the online TV station comments and perhaps talk to DC parents and residents who were outraged about this decision. News 4 showed pictures of DC's streets, DC School parking lots, schools steps and hazardous conditions which says it all that the safety of DC students and staff was not a factor in this initial decision. Many believe that it is better to miss a day of school than to risk one student's life. I would have to agree .

DC Stakeholder said...

Definitely not a decision that puts children first! People are beginning to stand up and express their feelings.

Anonymous said...

Whoever Rhonda Roads is, YOU GO GIRL!! The chancellor and the boy in the window are dead wrong to have even tried to pull that one off. THAT IS FUNNY as I don't know what!!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Potter's logic is exactly the excuse Rhee will stand behind. The point is that it was an idiotic decision to have school open for children to walk through imperiled streets. Some schools have already called school for tomorrow as well because they have experienced leadership who can make good decisions.

If the federal government closed it would be common sense to realize that perhaps people really wouldn't be able to get to work. She not only tried to jeopardize children but also her entire workforce.

Last, did she make that idiotic decision from Sacramento or from her house in DC? My chips are on Sacramento. As for Fenty, he should be able to call the shots and direct her. We can clearly see who's the boss now!! Perhaps that's how he gets all of that out of town campaign money.

Kings said...

Yes, Mr. Potter, you are looking at this with rose-colored glasses - also with misinformation, as Candi has pointed out.

I hoped a smart guy like you would be past this kind of defense of the Chancellor by now, but I guess intense psychological investment trumps intelligence and critical thinking skills.

This is disturbing. It suggests that other smart people at 825 who are more closely aligned and invested with Rhee are even more defensive and will ignore the glimmer of common sense indicating that the ship is going down with them – and the children – in it.

Anonymous said...

Potter you are taking the same drugs as Fenty, come on, you know 2 hour delay does not mean stay tuned!! And what about the "students don't need to come and won't be penalized but teachers do". How are you supposed to stay tuned, I'd have to set off so early to even get to school with no buses and overground trains running. He totally screwed up on this one. Even if he doesn't care about teachers, how were the lunch staff, custodians, security guards, etc. supposed to get to school ? They are going to risk their lives, dig out, walk miles to school for minimum wage only to get there and be told the school is closing after all or there is no heat. Get real!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for covering this. I can't believe that DCPS (Rhee & Fenty) puts their pride first before the safety of students and staff.

Many teachers live outside the district where conditions in neighborhoods are horrible and not expected to get much attention until mid-week (not to mention the snow potential for tomorrow). I'm guessing that since DCPS was initially willing to open 2 hours late today that the decision to open tomorrow has probably already been made while most neighboring districts have already announced to be closed.

Since one of the reasons DCPS opens is to ensure a meal for students that are eligible for free/reduced lunch, where is the data to show what percentage of students come to school during inclement weather? How about providing NUTRITIOUS meals for students rather than the sometimes indistinguishable garbage they are fed? Many of my students don't bother eating their lunch or come to my class sick after eating.

I don't think it's right to justify school as a "soup kitchen" and babysitting service for students. What do these students do during spring break or holidays or summer or weekends?

This was a note posted on the DCPS website when they initially had a 2 hour delay: "NOTE: At DCPS, it is our job to keep schools open and operating so that our children can keep on learning. The city has worked hard to clear school areas and sidewalks in order to make this possible. Parents, however, make the ultimate decision about sending a child to school. If you are concerned about the aftermath of the storm, and choose not to send your child to school tomorrow, we will work with schools to ensure that students are not penalized for this absence."

1) I find it interesting that this note only addresses parents and their students and not teachers or staff. Inconsiderate.

2) This sounds like Rhee is leaving the decision (that DCPS should have made) up to parents. Pathetic.

3) Students aren't penalized for their absence so why should teachers or staff have to be penalized by taking leave? Unbelievable!

Rhee caved said...

Rhee obviously changed her mind due to pressure from a bunch of outraged parent and/or teacher emails. Or could it have been from the Union threatening to have teachers call in, since most of us could not safely get to school. Whatever it was, Rhee's decsion to open 2 hours late was supposed to be final and not subject to revision or updating. Except she and Fenty weren't prepared for massive public outrage and incredulity over such a bonehead call. I still can't get to Safeway and we need milk.

Parker you gotta be kidding us said...

George Parker did not contact Rhee to let her know that the teachers union was outraged by the 2 hour delay. Instead he encouraged teachers to make the decision to use their own leave if they felt the delay jeopardized their safety.This latest robo call is another example of Parker's weak leadership. I would expect a union leader to take the lead in contacting the chancellor and the mayor.

Anonymous said...

According to Bill Turque, Rhee's decision to close had nothing to do with parent pressure. I had to do with undisclosed "pieces of information" that she received later in the day. No kidding. read more at


Mr. Potter said...

Wow, people are really mad.

I guess I can't get too worked up, since I got what I wanted -- schools are closed. One of two things happened after Rhee and Fenty said schools would open two hours late. Either they got new information that led them to re-evaluate their decision, or they got a lot of angry phone calls and emails and changed their minds. Either way, how is that bad?

Anonymous said...

Great, great post by Sarah Otto at DC Teacher Chic, Plea to Chancellor Rhee. Please check it out it sums up exactly how teachers are feeling and is so well written. It was too long to post here but here is the link.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Rhee was advised not to open the schools, someone (Rhee or Fenty I don't know) made the decision to ignore the advice. That is a fact.

Anonymous said...

Harry Potter is either blind as a bat and up Rhee's but or maybe both.Niagra Falls will have to hit him on the head to wake him up. Don't waste anymore time responding to his comments. Don't feed the troll.

Kings said...

Harry - here's how it's bad - it means that unlike the federal government, the counties and parents and teachers, Fenty/Rhee couldn't figure out that it was dangerous to open schools. Only later in the day did this get through to them. This shows they have terrible decision-making and management skills and it doesn't say much about about you either, that you don't get it.


Anonymous said...

The worse thing is that they then posted that students didn't have to go to school if their parents didn't think it was safe. So if students don't even have to go, what is the point in having everyone else traipse into school? Rhee and Fenty were on conference calls all day re. status of schools along with other officials in the region, as per usual procedure during a storm like this, they were the only ones who chose to ignore common sense. They also posted the change very late. That, Mr. Potter is why so many people are pissed.

Sheila H. Gill said...

Why does George believe he has to notify DCPS educators and instruct them to use their leave after a blizzard of snow?

I am confident that DCPS educators are independent thinkers and know exactly what to do after Fenty/Rhee Rhee are clueless about the safety of our kids in DCPS after a blizzard of snow.

Did George contact Fenty or Rhee Rhee about their foolish decision?

Give me a Break,
Enough is Enough, Rhee must GO!
When? NOW!!!

Pissed said...

What about tomorrow? I don't trust these 2 to make any decision regarding our or our students' safety.

Anonymous said...

The flip flop on school opening/closing is due directly to the lack of support by the WAPO. Rhee doesn't care what parents or the community thinks!


DCPS schools are closed Tuesday. Wow that's progress!

reneeinc said...

The parents were the ones that got Michelle Rhee to change her mind even if she doesn't want to admit it. The letter that she had posted on the website when there was a 2 hour delay stated that crews had been working very hard to make the schools ready for today. Yet the news showed schools that were not ready to open. Is she even in town???

I have friends that are parents that sent email to Michelle Rhee and she responded to them in a rude and scarcastic manner. I told them to forward those emails to the press and let them see how she talks to the parents.

This decision was truly not in the best interest of children and parents should not have had to flood her inbox for them to understand that.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

We were forwarned that Obama makes shady friends. Kevin J. is his friend as well, do the research.

Fenty is doing what he is told by the NY people who back Rhee and they put a little money under his belt. They can take his money and position if he does not put up.

Rhee is not here to fix anything, she is here to damage the black kids and that's all and with that being said, what will the wealthy and rich blacks do. Will they just stand by and hope her evil will not touch them as it will.

You wealthy and rich blacks and whites that know rhee is here to hurt and dumb down the black child, take a v stand against her rich friends. Their bank accounts should be investigated, thier properties and connections to see if this is DOMESTIC TERRORISM and act promptly in a methodical and v way.

When will the people stop cry and complaining and do what we know must be done.

kingja said...

DAMMMMN ! That email was hard as hell.

Anonymous said...

What I don't understand is what is the big fuss about students missing a week of school, most of the ones in my high school don't come anyway.