To: David Catania, Chair of DC Education Committee and Ted Trabue, President of the DC Board of Education
Don't let Rhee cheat the system!
Investigate fully and properly the 2008 DC CAS test scores. Ms. Rhee was right, those scores were "unbelievable." In the push for accountability, the chancellor must lead by example. Taking credit for faulty scores only hurts our students' education because no one knows what actually works when it comes to educational improvement.
Why is this important?
We are closer now than ever to holding Ms. Rhee accountable. I believe we should follow Atlanta's example and do so. See the link to the memo published in one of the Washington Post blogs.
The first year Ms. Rhee was in office she offered teachers $8K and principals $10K for making gains of 20 percentage points or more in math or reading. I remember the start of the following school year after the test scores came back. Teachers were gathered at the convention center for a back to school pep rally. Rhee used the word "unbelievable" at least 10 times to describe those test scores gains yet she handed out the checks to those staff anyway. Staff of several schools were handed checks. One school claimed to have made gains 30% in reading AND 40% in math. 40%!!!! I mean if those scores had been real, every magazine in the country would have featured the staff on the cover of their magazines. Anyone with two brain cells should have investigated because anyone who works with real educational improvement knows how very difficult even a 5% gain can be. The memo further proves that there was enough evidence in that year to support further investigations.
I believe Michele Rhee suspected that those scores were false, yet because they made her look good, she never properly nor fully investigated. Instead she paid out the big bucks. I wonder how much of her overall success of raising test scores 6% in reading and 15% for elementary schools over the 4 years she served came from those dramatic (yet likely false) gains of that first year.
Bottom line, a person without integrity is a person not to be trusted, nor respected. Lets bring justice to yet another "DC scandal."