24 August 2007

Schoolhouse Rock!

School starts in the District on Monday. This Saturday is the DCPS Beautification Day, in which parents, teachers, principals, staff, and community members come out and fix up the schools in preparation for opening day. In years past, it was pretty depressing to realize that those volunteers were more or less being used by DCPS to do all the things its disfunctional facilities plant wouldn't do: paint walls, fix faucets, etc.

This year is a little different at our school; we were one of the schools selected by then-Superintendent Clifford Janey to receive "Blitz" money, and even after he was unceremoniously dumped by Mayor Fenty, Rhee's regime honored the commitment to the Blitz repairs and our school has received significant maintenance work over the summer. That means that this Saturday, we'll be able to concentrate on cosmetic details, like cleaning pebbles off the playground and washing the playground equipment.

In other school news, it's been a long time coming, but the Post is finally reporting what many parents and principals had been saying since the "missing textbook scandal" first broke in the Post several weeks ago: many of us not only have all our books, but also we received those books early this year under Janey's new system. Here's a nice little excerpt:
Although some were waiting for a handful of books, often extra copies, many principals called this the smoothest delivery in years. Nearly 400,000 new textbooks were delivered in May -- weeks early -- after Clifford B. Janey overhauled the way the system orders books when he was superintendent.

It's been clear from the get-go that Rhee understands that one way to deflect criticism of your own performance or credentials is to pile shit on your predecessor. Hopefully, too, she will learn that the strategy doesn't work when strong contradictory evidence can be found to weaken your thesis.

In fairness to Rhee, she's dealing with a very disfunctional system and there are many problems that Janey had not yet addressed or seemed to be powerless to remedy appropriately (see facilities). I am hopeful that she'll provide strong academic leadership, while at the same time the bullying by the mayor's office will help light a fire under facilities and keep it burning. Regardless, the lesson we parents have learned through experience is that if you see a problem, make noise and keep making noise as loudly and in as many ways as possible.

School opens Monday.

Plus, we're featured in the latest Dupont Current.

1 comment:

Momentary Academic said...

I hope that it all works out! Perhaps the school issues will be addressed. And well... Here's hoping!