City Desk

Weekend In Review: Two Years for Rhee

Good to see Michelle Rhee getting some ink these days. It's been two years since she started as chancellor of the D.C. public schools, a time the Washington Post figures is as good as any to go long on her performance.

The catchy lede, on why Rhee appeared on the cover of Time mag holding a broom—a cliched pose for a reformer of any institution. Here's the Post's Bill Turque, reporting Rhee's account to D.C. Council Chairman Vincent Gray of why she allowed this photo to go get shot:

Rhee explained that most of the shoot for the Dec. 8 issue involved images of her with children. The idea for the broom, which she gripped while standing stern-faced in front of a blackboard, came up near the end, she said, according to Gray's version of their meeting. She told Gray that it wasn't her first choice for the cover but that the decision wasn't hers. Gray wasn't satisfied.

"Why did you let the picture be taken in the first place?"

Then comes the nut graph!

Other key points:

*There are pockets of success in a context of continued failure;

*She has confidence in about a third of her principals;

*She has some perspective on herself: "We weren't doing a good job of communicating," she said regarding her too-fast push for change;

*She must kiss the asses of D.C. councilmembers to get the funding she needs;

*Good observation skills by Turque: "Rhee now sits at hearings for hours at a time waiting to speak, per the council tradition that has members of the public appear first. She can be seen fiddling with her BlackBerry, conferring with aides and idly cracking her knuckles, one hand at a time."

The skinny on this Rhee front-pager is that it's a great way for people to catch up on all things Rhee. It's comprehensive and there's fun stuff about the politics of Rheeism. But for dweebs who've been following the twists and turns of the chancellor's reform efforts, not a lot of smashing-new content here.

And now for the official Weekend in Review retrocast: Amazing weekend on the weather front, in all respects. Low humidity, dry after a long wet spell—perfect for just about any kind of outdoor activity. Sun a bit intense during those peak afternoon hours, but hey, this is D.C.

Check out the analysis of ubiquitous sports analyst Dave McKenna on the latest woes of Six Flags. And to think that just after Snyder took that company over, I was seriously considering buying stock. After the way he was so successfully fleecing Redskins fans, I figured, Hey, how can I lose? Good thing I never pulled the trigger on that one.

And speaking of more financial woes, LaVar's restaurant didn't work out so well.

Wouldn't be a weekend roundup without visiting the Washington Times, and this weekend, the editorial staff is really on a hot new topic: tasteless video games!

Rant of the weekend: Yes, the Francis has long been something of a scene, a cruising spot, and so on. But if you're going to take it to the next level and make out and roll around on the concrete and really kinda get into it, you should bring some more padding than just a towel. It can't be that comfortable to mash around like that on that hard concrete surface. Try multiple towels, an inflatable raft, or the grass on the field just outside. Those are more comfy options.

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