Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bloomingdale resident Peter Frampton's letter to CM Thomas on Chancellor Michelle Rhee

Bloomingdale resident Peter Frampton asked me to post his Email to Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. and the subsequent reply.

So here you go.

From: "Thomas, Harry (COUNCIL)"
Date: October 27,
2009 7:40:13 PM CDT
To: Peter Frampton
Cc: Carole Frampton,
"Rodgers, Neil (COUNCIL)", "Pittman, James (COUNCIL)", "Nix, Susan (COUNCIL)"
Subject: RE: We support DC School Reform

thanks for your email and sharing your concerns.

From: Peter Frampton Sent:
October 27, 2009 8:05 PMTo: Thomas, Harry (COUNCIL)Cc: Carole Frampton

Subject: We support DC School Reform

Dear Mr Thomas,

as residents of Thomas St NW, Ward 5, with two girls in the DC Public School system, we support Michelle Rhee in her efforts to reform the school system. Change was never going to be easy nor painless, but it is really making a difference in the lives of the children who are most dependent upon the school system to achieve their dreams in life.

Please support Michelle Rhee's efforts. She's doing it for the children.

Many thanks for your services to the city and in our Ward.

With kind regards,
Peter Frampton,
father of Chloe 7 and Lydia 5, who attend Ross Elementary.

Peter Frampton
Thomas St NW
Washington DC
20001 USA

Care to commment?

Let us review, once again, what the rules are for posting comments:

1) Identify yourself. A full name would be best, but at least include a first name.

2) Identify your neighborhood.

3) Totally anonymous posts will not be allowed and be deleted, regardless of the content of the comment. BOTH name and neighborhood name are required!

Thanks for honoring the rules.


Anonymous said...

I don't know if I should support her effort. From my understanding through some of the DCPS teachers that I know that she has gotten rid of some very good teachers. They are praying that they are not next. How is she determining on which teachers to get rid of and or keep?
P. Bowe-Hester

Peter Frampton said...

Mostly I would say it is the principals that decide which teachers go and which stay, rather than Rhee herself.
Inevitably when some people lose there jobs there will be debate about whether the right people were let go. It's easy for the issues to become personal. I've even fought hard to have Rhee reverse a decision to remove a principal who I thought didn't deserve to be fired. I failed in that quest. (And we did end up with a better principal.) But I still absolutely support Rhee's overall campaign to bring accountability into the system and her duty to get rid of underperforming teachers. My starting point in assessing Rhee's actions is to assume that she's acting in the interests of the children. And the test results already clearly show that her actions are working.

Anonymous said...

I would strongly urge Councilman Thomas NOT to support Ms Rhee. She may have made a difference in some individual cases but over all Ms Rhee created a mess. The actions were callous and insensitive to the overall students needs. Ms Rhee could have acted at the end of last year or over the summer. She hired too many new teachers and has not negotiated a contract with the existing ones. Who cries "I have a budget shortage" and hires new employees? She thought she would get away with firing experienced, older and higher paid teachers to let in teachers with no experience for less pay. Most of these teachers are from Teach for America who come in and teach long enough to have their loans paid off. Then they are off to the Federal Gov or private industry jobs. Ms Rhee says she tells it like it is but she doesn't. Her arragance like that of Mayor Fenty is; I do what I want, when I want and no one can stop me. If these actions are to improve education for DC students why was it done on the downlow? I trust that the DC Council will see through her smoke screan and reinstate those teachers until a true accessment of what is really going on can be made.

Kathleen Rand Reed said...

For the record, my name is Kathleen Rand Reed. I am originally from Chicago. I know the concept of "good schools," which was code for either "all White" or "White with a mix of 'upper-class' Blacks." I spent over 25 years in the Bay Area and amongst Asian communities. I am also Afro-Asian, among other ethnic and genetic identities. What you are watching with the actions of Michelle Rhee, is the "second" wave of gentrification for the District -- Bloomingdale included. My statements are not slights against my beautiful White brothers and sisters who have deep love in their hearts for a mixed community -- but reserved for those who believe they are "pioneers," awaiting the more vanilla-ization of "Chocolate City." Within the first sweep of gentrification and the high housing costs, many NOT ALL, of the properties were purchased or recaptured by three distinct groups: (1) couples with cash from the equity in their parents' suburban homes; (2) a "personal use" exemption from "White Flight" property owners who fled but did not sell the property (wait long enough and it all changes); (3) gay couples who may or may not have also been from group (1), but who often were and are DINKs (Double Income --No Kids). Now comes the "second" wave. These are often but again NOT ALL folks of more modest means. They may be well meaning, but they cannot afford PRIVATE school for their kids, and yet are still not about to allow older, Black, women (a fundamental and high percentage of the DCPS teaching workforce) to teach THEIR children, anything. In comes Michelle Rhee -- with a "Teach for America" agenda that is part religious zealotry straight from, the nineteenth century "Great Awakenings" and part Australian "Aboriginal Child Removal Acts." In most of Rhee's explanations of her actions, she answers with in loco parentis, "It's for the good of the children -- I know best." To be clear, I am conservative and believe in education reform and the clear firing of anyone who is not performing. DCPS had some deadwood, still does. But I am also pragmatic, politically astute, "sharp as a tack," and have been around the "urban issues" block enough times, I've got scuffs on my Louboutins. I know the Korean community and the degree to which most Koreans understand with sensitivity, the history and culture of a people. Any Black American could have told Rhee that there was a time when the ONLY professions for a Black person was "Doctor, Lawyer, TEACHER, Preacher." To have traumatized educators, especially in the Black community, was to have been nunchi eoptta or "without nunchi." Instead she brought nothing but the sadness of han. Her job was to work with the Black, White, Latino, LGBT, Asian and the wealthy and the poor to bring about change in education reform, not attempt to join in the ethnic-cleansing of Chocolate City, starting with its educators.

They are a number of "us" -- meaning -- bright, educated, street smart, highly political and globally effective -- of all colors, flavors, socioeconomic levels and skillsets, who believe that the days of White flight, Black flight and hypersegregation is over. If folks want flight they'd better get a rocket ship. The 21st century is where we SHARE -- the richest and the poorest. Where what young educators with skills and older educators with wisdom, sit together and share information that will prepare kids for their respective futures. Anything else, they've got to come through "us," and that ain't happening!

2nd Street NW and Thomas