Six more promises from Rhee, Henderson & Company: Were ANY of them Kept?

Part Five of Many

You may recall that Michelle Rhee is famous for summarily firing administrators who didn’t bring student scores up the way she demanded.

As a result, the turnover in principals in DCPS is phenomenal.

The 2010 contract between DCPS and a bunch of billionaire-funded foundations also called for penalties if certain targets were not met.

I’m systematically going through those targets to see how many (if any) of those targets were actually met.

So far, out of four targets, Rhee/Henderson et al have ALMOST met one of them.

We have six more targets today, concerning specific numerical targets to be reached on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and its Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) from about 2009 through 2013.

For a change, I’ll start with 8th grade reading, then fourth grade reading. Next time, the same grade levels in math. Try to keep score as we go along.

8th grade naep tuda targets 2007-13


Let me try to explain what’s going on here. In 2007, the average score for all DCPS 8th graders in reading on the NAEP TUDA was 241. Rhee and her accomplices in DCPS promised that in 2009, that score would rise to 244, then to 248 in the year 2011, and finally hit 252 in 2013 (last year); those are the blue dots and lines that you see in the graph and in the chart.

In fact, the actual average NAEP TUDA scores were significantly lower, in each and every single year. In 2009 the average was actually 240, then 237 in 2011, and 245 last year (2013).

In other words, not a single one of those targets were met.  I count that as zero for three.

You may notice that I drew brown ‘diamonds’ (rhombi) around the cases where the targets were not met.

Now let’s look at 4th grade reading:

4th grade naep tuda targets 2007-13In this case, one of the targets was actually met! Huzzah! In the year 2009, the prediction was that the average scale score for DC public school students would be 202, but it was actually 2003! Yowzers!

But in 2011 and 2013, the goals were NOT met. So that’s only 1 for three.


I think I’ll put the math scores in an additional post, since this is getting pretty long.

But let’s keep score overall. Today, Rhee’s record is 1 for 6.

Over the last few days, we found that she got ALMOST a 1 out of 4.

Overall, that’s about one and a half out of ten, or 15 percent.

Anywhere in the US school system, and everywhere else that I know of, that is a very solid failing grade.

So, why does Kaya Henderson* still have a job as DCPS chancellor, and why does anybody listen to any of the promises that Michelle Rhee makes and has made, when their record is almost unremitting failure — EVEN ON THEIR OWN TERMS?


Thanks to Erich Martel for bringing this data to my attention and compiling the actual average scale scores from the NAEP TUDA website!

* Right-hand henchperson of Michelle Rhee and her acolyte and booster at “The New Teacher Project” and a failed NYC teach-for-a-while many years ago.


Alert readers will have noticed that I originally added wrong (three plus three is generally six), so I gave Rhee and company a better score than they deserved. This semi-alert writer caught his own mistake before anybody else rubbed his nose in it. Her score is 1.5 out of 10 (15%) overall, not 1.5 out of 9 (about 17%). So far. There are many more goals to go!


The saga so far:

  5.   (this one)


Once again, let me credit my colleague Erich Martel for coming up with the idea of going back to the original promises and seeing if they were kept or not, and sharing his findings with me. These calculations are generally my own, so if you find any mistakes, don’t blame him. Blame me.

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

16 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Is it hubris or stupidity?


    • I’m not certain that Rhee is statistically literate.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: