Cleveland, of all places, is chortling over the Rhee Regime's luring of several notable Cleveland failures to the District's system:
We knew something strange was going on when Lisa Ruda, the chief of staff for the Cleveland schools back in their heyday of horror, got hired to play the same role in the Washington, D.C. school district [“Thanks, D.C,” August 7]. She may have been part of Barbara Byrd-Bennett’s Dream Team that invented attendance numbers, bungled the $1.5 billion construction project, and helped the district earn a reputation for the Worst Education This Side of the Mississippi. But we never would have believed that someone else wanted to repeat our experiment in abject failure…
Needless to say, Cleveland isn't exactly upset about the District's "poaching" their "talent." In fact, they're ecstatic that Ruda, once she landed in the nation's capital, began hiring her cronies, although Lisa Rab, the reporter covering this strange rhee-incarnation of failure, was admittedly perplexed and tried to connect the dots. Here's the connection between DCPS and Cleveland:
Turns out that Byrd-Bennett, the former Cleveland schools chief who led Ruda and the rest of the disastrous team, also has a new job in D.C. She’s a director for New Leaders for New Schools, a non-profit that trains principals to – get this! -- turn around failing schools. Which means, unfortunately, that one of Cleveland’s most-hated government flunkies is now spreading her wisdom to younger generations. According to the Washington Post, she’s been advising D.C. schools chief Michelle Rhee on some issues, too.
Amazing. A corrupt former schools chief and her corrupt cronies are imported almost whole-cloth into the District. New Leaders for New Schools is one of those organizations -- like Rhee's own New Teachers Project -- that found there was money to be made (and lots of it) consulting and providing head-hunting services for the public schools.
Byrd-Bennett, unlike her underlings, is not working directly for DCPS; instead, her organization is providing the "vetting" or litmus test for principal hires in DC. Byrd-Bennett is not well-liked in Cleveland and beyond. In fact, the ACLU went after her for trying to circumvent Ohio's "sunshine laws" that ensure public disclosure of school business. Incidentally, Michelle Rhee already won a court battle in her attempt to keep public school budget numbers from the public until it's too late...but it's possible the DC Council might get some backbone to stop the nonsense...doubtful, but possible.