DCPS: Michelle Rhee’s Best Interest of the Students Policy

According to the Washington City Paper, Michelle Rhee is making policies with the goal of being for the students.

At a D.C. Council hearing on Nov. 2, Rhee said this to councilmembers: “I am convinced that we must not let the rights, privileges, and priorities of adults to take precedence over what is in the best interests of students. We cannot allow children to languish while we try to remediate adults. We cannot forsake their futures for adult issues in the present.”

This week, Rhee offered the following reason for proposing the closure of several schools.

“Currently, we are not affording our students quality programs they deserve,” Rhee said. “We must provide initiatives and school programs that not only serve kids well but also appeal to parents. With this initiative, we believe, we’ve laid out a plan that will achieve the highest level of academic performance for students. In order to do this, we must move toward a more effective use of our resources.”

For one parent, the initial reaction to Rhee’s closure proposal was shock:

But parents and students who might be affected by the closures focused yesterday on what the changes would mean for them.

Jill Weiler, who advocates for parents at Bruce-Monroe Elementary as a member of the community group Telling Stories Project, said parents at the Ward 1 school were shocked that the mayor apparently reneged on an agreement not to close the school. She said the mayor spoke to parents this summer.

“He said it’s a new day in D.C. We have a partnership; we make decisions together. . . . It was such a celebratory night,” she said.

Now, Weiler said, parents “feel terribly disappointed, discouraged and betrayed.”