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Loose Lips Daily: Let’s Talk About Schools Some More Edition

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  • Good morning sweet readers! Wasn't it nice to see order restored in the universe yesterday with the Cowboys winning and the Redskins losing? [Editor's note: You're lucky City Paper doesn't have a mandatory probationary period, LL.] News time:

    Everyone Talk About Schools: President Barack Obama this morning told the Today Show's audience that D.C. public schools just aren't good enough for his daughters. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee appeared on Meet the Press on Sunday, where she said that school reforms can continue with or without her and she still won't say if she's staying or going. See The Post's Bill Turque for the definitive rundown, where he rightly notes that U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, AFT President Randi Weingarten and Rhee "are quickly becoming the Traveling Wilburys of education reform." Martin Austermuhle at DCist calls Rhee's performance diplomatic. With a somewhat difference take is the Post's Courtland Milloy, who says Rhee has mischaracterized the views of her opponents. He adds: "Rhee has certainly focused a lot on reforming schools in the District's more well-to-do and rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods. If you thought her priority was supposed to be educating poor black children, you were wrong."

    AFTER THE JUMP: More on Schools; Mendo Proves People Aren't Racist, City's Finances Worse Than Expected ...

    But wait, there's more school news. Duncan says that Mayor Adrian Fenty "can walk out with his head held high." Oprah Winfrey wants Rhee to go play with Mark Zuckerberg's $100 million Facebook money in Newark. Stanford prof Larry Cuban says Rhee will be a mere "footnote in a doctoral dissertation on the D.C. schools a generation from now." And Jonetta Rose Barras, in the Examiner says that Almost Mayor Vincent Gray's non-movement on the issue of Rhee is just a "stalling tactic," and he should keep her.

    Mendo Explains It All: Colby King points to Phil Mendelson's (surprising) victory against two white candidates (one of whom, some people thought was black), especially in black wards, should "put to rest any concern about a racist vote."

    King ends by giving props to Mendelson for being the only pol to attend an annual event called a "Mother's Summertime Tea," which honors the city's moms who have lost loved ones to violence. Just as a fun thing to point out: about the same time that event was getting started, Fenty was in Ward 8, staring at the back of Ron Moten's head while Anwan "Big G" Glover were accusing Gray of having Big G kicked off his radio show. Just sayin'.

    Haven't We Heard This Before: The city's finances are in worse shape than expected, reports Jack Evans to the Post's Nikita Stewart. The total gap $175 million. CFO Natwar Gandhi is having a press briefing at 3.

    Have You Filled Out an Application on the Website, Herb?: "One of the District's most charismatic real estate figures, Herbert S. Miller, says he has reached the end of his development career and hopes his next move is to become part of a Vincent C. Gray administration," writes the Post's Jonathan O'Connell. Big problem for Miller: he's one of Gray's frat brothers, and an anonymous source says there's little chance too many Tau Epsilon Phi guys are going to be getting much love from Gray after he spent so much time on the campaign trail bashing Frenty's frat brothers. Good news for Miller: he says he'll work for $1 a day, and see the item above.

    Hell Hath No Fury Like a Plotkin Scorned: Mark Plotkin is  angry with our president, saying he's ignored his new hometown, which showed him lots of love during the 2008 election."This president has shown no gratitude to the D.C. residents who overwhelmingly voted for him. Obama carried every D.C. precinct in the 2008 Democratic primary ... Still, Obama goes out of his way to ignore us. By refusing to do the minimum of political courtesies, he insults not only the likely next mayor of Washington but all residents of our nation's capital. ... This president acts as though we don't exist. And the presidential indifference and remoteness hurt." Obama, all Mark wants is a phone call, one call, from you to Gray. Is that too much to ask?

    You Have Our Blessing: The Post editorial board says the D.C. Council now has their permission to pass Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh's anti-vote buying bill, which they hastily passed before the election and Fenty vetoed. The Post also wants to answers to all the allegations made during the election that votes were bought. "In addition, it is important for there to be disposition of the specific allegations of wrongdoing made by Mr. Fenty and Mr. Gray during the recent campaign. The U.S. Attorney's Office doesn't comment on the status of investigations, but voters should know whether, in fact, there was any misconduct at the polls and whether it was willful. We hope authorities are able to set the record straight so that suspicions don't linger."

    You need to buy more bags, no wait, that's not the point [Examiner]

    DYRS uses GPS [Examiner]

    D.C. hospitals are the worst [WBJ]

    Comments

    1. Obama's Frat boys...
      #1

      Plotkin, Let's see Obama sent his frat boys to the party. He sent Holder to Gray and has sent Duncan to Rhee...that is a close as he will get until after the election on November 2, 2010. Now after that...it will be some type of picture-op at some universal place as Ben's Chili Bowl or the Kennedy Center Honors.

    2. #2

      Someone please tell me why Natwar Gandhi still has a job. Reasons he should be fired: Tax scandle on his watch; incompetent CFO for DCPS on his watch; constant agency budget over-runs on his watch. Gandhi is incompetent. He should have been fired a long time ago. In fact I think that DC needs to have an elected Comptroller who is not just accountable to the Mayor, but to the residents of the District.

      Gandhi still has a job as the CFO because he has friends on the Council (e.g. Jack Evans - who also needs to be fired by the voters in Ward 2). Let's petition to have the CFO renamed to Comptroller; and have the position an elected position. Get rid of Gandhi! - Let's start a movement people!

    3. #3

      Don't be so quick, IIO
      Aside from Evans, Ghandi will be the only one left our friendly Wall Street creditors know and trust.
      Getting rid of him could be like tossing a 9% per year credit card with a $50K limit for a 22% per year credit card with a $10K limit. And then paying additional penalties because you are over extended.
      Anyway, he's just providing the councilmembers we elect with... flexibility.

    4. #4

      The gages of school Reform have to be centered around the little black kids of D.C., they are for the most part the reason the system's rating is where it is. The key that's being so grossly over looked is the social factor that's envolved in this whole senario, until we take a wholeistic approach to this reform effort, it will alway's be destined for failure. The only reason little white kid's do so much better in school is because statisticly they don't have anywhere near the social concerns of the little black one's, this isn't (rocket science) people. The way to address any systemic problem is to use this same method, anything less and you're treating the symptom, not the problem. This is why Michelle Rhee's semantics on reform are such a farce. We need to be a little more in tune with the city's recent and distant history and stop being ready to have such a rush to judgement, it's much to important. We are just starting to recover from one of D.C.s most devastating drug epidemics and a large portion of these kids still suffer from it, there's no magical solution for the correction, it's going to take commitment and conscience work from us all.

    5. #5

      Milloy, your the man! Tell it like it is! Ward 3 already had good performing schools. Rhee did nothing for them. She ignored and gave a backhand slap to East of the River schools. Couple this with all of the people that she and Fenty put on the unemployment line while only creating jobs for out of towners. This is why he got his pink slip and she will in January 2011 either resign or get her pink slip too. Hey Rhee, I hear that Sarah Palin needs a new sidekick on her twilight zone tour. She would be a perfect fit and Republican in hiding anyway.

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