Who is Rhee?
Rhee’s Tenure as Chancellor in DC
Rhee’s Claim: “We’ve created conditions for success in the district: got rid of the school board, leadership in place, accountability in place” – Michelle Rhee, Washingtonian Magazine
The Truth: Rhee’s administration was criticized by the Government Accountability Office for a “a lack of foresight in the often hurried implementation of new initiatives” and “failure to involve stakeholders in the decision making process” (cite).
Rhee’s Claim: Improved NAEP scores during her tenure
“Over the three years that I was there, we saw really record gains in academic achievement on the NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) examination“ -Michelle Rhee, in testimony before the Florida Senate K-12 Education Committee, Feb. 13, 2011.
The Truth: Rates of test score gains under Rhee’s leadership were no better than under previous Chancellors
According to “The Rhee DC Record: Math and Reading Records No Better than Vance and Janey” by Dr. Alan Ginsburg, the rates of DC test score gains under Rhee were no better than the rates achieved under predecessor Clifford Janey, and lower than those under Paul Vance. Read the full report here.
Rhee’s Claim: As of July of 2007, Rhee’s official biography stated that “her outstanding success in the classroom earned her acclaim on Good Morning America and The Home Show, as well as in the Wall Street Journal and the Hartford Courant”.
The Truth: The Daily Howler attempted to locate the critical acclaim she mentioned. According to the Daily Howler, “in no case could we find any sign that Rhee had been praised in those news orgs’ reports”.
Rhee’s Claim: “Over a two year period, I moved students scoring on an average at the 13thpercentile on national standardized tests to 90 percent of the students scoring at the 90th percentile or higher.” (from her resume)
The Truth: According to researchers, this claim is mathematically impossible. According to Guy Brandenburg, “Her claims of absolutely unprecedented, jaw-dropping, spectacular gains in test scores by her students are unfounded and do not show up at all in the data.” See Guy Brandenburg’s blog for several more posts on this lie.
Michelle Rhee’s role in the matter of Kevin Johnson’s sexual misconduct (official investigative documents):
Michelle Rhee was actively involved in “fixing” and “damage control in the matter involving Kevin Johnson and his alleged molestation of young women. There were official investigations involved payments made to the victims using federal Americorps funds (see p. 60, witness account of Jacqueline Wong Hernandez).
Here’s an excerpt from a Joint Congressional Staff Report : (p. 16)
“Michelle Rhee, who is currently Chancellor of the District of Columbia Schools, was a St. HOPE board member at the time. According to Wong-Hernandez, Rhee learned of the allegations and played the role of a fixer, doing “damage control.”64 Wong-Hernandez’s OIG interview summary states, “When there was a problem at St. HOPE, Ms. Rhee was there the next day taking care of the problem.”65 After Wong-Hernandez informed Rhee of the allegations of Johnson’s inappropriate sexual conduct, Rhee told her she was “making this her number one priority, and she would take care of the situation.”66 Soon after that, Wong-Hernandez heard that Kevin Johnson’s lawyer had contacted the victim.67 Wong-Hernandez resigned and told Rhee in her exit interview that her reason was St. HOPE’s handling of the incident.68 According to her OIG interview.”