Cooperation and Collaboration
Why are you reading stuff on the Internet when it’s coming on to
the third day of a three-day holiday weekend, and the weather has been
beautiful? So I’ll keep it short.
You’ve read the poorly written and content-free argument published
in today’s Washington Post as “How to Fix Our Schools: A
Manifesto by Joel Klein, Michelle Rhee, and other Education Leaders,” http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/07/AR2010100705078.html.
Usually foolish education fads are abandoned only after they have
miseducated one or two generations of schoolchildren; remember the “New
Math”? But the manifesto raises my hopes that this fad may have
already peaked and be on the way out. If the empty rhetoric that this
manifesto represents is all that this round of “education reform” has
to offer, it won’t be around much longer.
The sixteen “education leaders” who signed the manifesto write as
though wanting to have good teachers in schools is a new, innovative,
approach to education that they have invented, and that others oppose
them because they want to hire good teachers. Actually, all that is
new in this movement is the belief that building good schools doesn’t
come about through cooperation and collaboration with a dedicated
teaching force but through confrontation, contention, and conflict with
teachers. Valerie Strauss has already published a fuller takedown of “The
Bankrupt ‘School Reform Manifesto’ of Rhee, Klein, Etc.,” http://tinyurl.com/3y4nwyh,
and it’s well worth your time even on a holiday weekend.
Robert McCartney’s column on Thursday, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/06/AR2010100607123.html,
compared Rhee’s reign as chancellor in Washington with Andres Alonso’s
time as the chief executive of Baltimore’s school system. McCartney is
no critic of Rhee’s, and in this column he sympathetically treats the
argument for her methods. But he’s not blind to the stronger argument
for Alonso’s cooperative style: “However, Baltimore’s experience
demonstrates that Rhee’s tactics aren’t the only ones that yield
results. Some experts say a more collaborative, low-profile strategy is
more successful in the long run because it preserves trust and
confidence with teachers and the community. ‘What Baltimore shows is
that you can bring real change to urban schools without a lot of
acrimony,’ said Jack Jennings, president of the independent Center on
Education Policy. ‘The national foundations and some reform groups
have made [Rhee] into a poster girl because they just want change, and
she’s a highly vocal advocate for change. But others have brought
about just as much change as she has, and I would guess that their
reforms would last longer.’”
I find it ironic that the council is willing to save squirrel
families, but will do nothing for children at risk who are participating
in Baby Doll scams. Until we get child protection right, lets not spend
any money saving abandoned wildlife. A few dedicated undercover officers
working with child protection could stop this scam in a week — since
word of enforcement gets around. Indeed, there are probably only a few
perpetrators out there — we just need someone to care enough to
Letter to Ward 3 Neighbors
Erich Martel, ehmartel at starpower dot net
The following letter was distributed at the Ward 3 Community Meeting
on Thursday, October 7. “Dear Ward 3 Neighbors and especially, Past,
Present and Future DCPS Families: We are asking you to join us in
welcoming Council Chairman and Presumptive Mayor-Elect Vincent Gray and
his goal of One City to this important Ward 3 forum. He deserves the
same opportunity to engage our hopes for quality teaching in our public
schools and efficient residential services from our city agencies that
we gave Mayor Adrian Fenty four years ago.
“Many of you know us as former teachers of your sons and daughters
at Wilson High School. Most of you have read about the arbitrary way we
were transferred from Wilson. This happened despite our established
records of commitment to academic excellence, the integrity of student
records and the high school diploma, and our advocating for safe and
orderly schools that do not tolerate disruption. We hope that you, our
Ward 3 neighbors, benefit from hearing Vince Gray explain his plans,
just as Mayor Fenty did when he won the Democratic primary four years
The letter was signed by Dr. Art Siebens, who taught AP biology,
introductory biology, anatomy and physiology, zoology and botany at
Wilson from 1990 to 2008, when Wilson was restructured under NCLB,
having failed to “make AYP” for five years. No explanation was given
for the removal from Wilson; transferred to the Woodson ninth grade
academy at Ron Brown and later, Woodson High School; now retired. It was
cosigned by Mr. Erich Martel, who taught Modern World History and AP US
History at Wilson for twenty-five years (after sixteen years at Cardozo
HS); and was involuntarily transferred to Phelps ACE HS in the fall of
2010. This was “due to significant educational philosophy differences
between you and the Wilson administration. . . .”
DPW and Columbus Day
Kevin B. Twine, firstname.lastname@example.org
Most DPW services will be affected in observance of Columbus Day on
Monday, October 11. Trash Collection: There will be no trash and
recycling collections. Trash and recycling collections will “slide”
to the next day for the remainder of the week. For example, Monday’s
trash and recycling collections will be made on Tuesday and Tuesday’s
collections will be made on Wednesday. In neighborhoods with
twice-weekly trash collections, Monday and Thursday collections will be
made Tuesday and Friday. Collections normally made on Tuesday and
Friday, will be made Wednesday and Saturday. Trash and recycling
containers should be placed out for collection no earlier than 6:30 p.m.
the night before collection and removed from public space by 8:00 p.m.
on the day(s) of collection.
Parking enforcement for meters, rush hour ticketing and towing,
residential parking, abandoned vehicles towing, and booting will be
suspended. Other violations — blocking a fire hydrant, crosswalk, bus
stop, or driveway — will be enforced. household hazardous/electronic
waste and shredding at Ft. Totten Trash Transfer Station Only:
The Ft. Totten trash transfer station (4900 John McCormack Drive, NE)
will be closed for household hazardous/electronic waste and shredding on
Monday, October 11 in observance of the holiday. Ft. Totten will reopen
Tuesday, October 12, at 1:00 p.m. for residents to bring their trash and
bulk items. Other services suspended for Columbus Day include scheduled
street and alley cleaning and nuisance abatement. All services will
resume Tuesday, October 12. For DPW’s trash and recycling holiday
schedule for the remainder of the year, visit http://www.dpw.dc.gov
and click on Holiday Schedule under the “Information” header, or
call the Mayor’s Citywide Call Center at 311.
P.L. Wolff, email@example.com
This is to advise that the October 2010 issue PDF (which includes all
content, including the popular Scenes from the Past feature — this
month titled “It Wasn’t a Castle, But the Mansion Built by Hearst’s
Parents in Dupont Circle Was Impressive” — plus photos & other
images), has now been posted on our web site, www.intowner.com,
and may be opened by clicking the front page graphic on the home page.
This month’s lead stories include the following: 1) “Dupont
Circle House Tour to Feature Victorian, Beaux Arts, and Contemporary”;
2) “Major Streetscape Enhancement Proposals for 14th Street Above
Thomas Circle Unveiled by DDOT”; 3) “The House on Florida Avenue.”
The selected street crimes feature, which is separately posted on the
web site, will be updated later on, at which time we will provide
The next issue PDF will publish early in the morning of November 12
(the second Friday of the month as usual). For more information, either
send an E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 234-1717.
CLASSIFIEDS — EVENTS
Smart Meter Education Workshop, October 14
Herbert H. Jones, III, email@example.com
The Office of the People’s Counsel for the District of Columbia
cordially invites you to attend our free smart meter education workshop
to be held at The Sumner School, 1701 M Street, NW, on Thursday, October
14, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. We value your input and welcome any
questions you may have regarding how the change of all customer electric
meters in the city may affect you. This workshop will provide you with
the resources to thoroughly understand the complex undertaking currently
underway. You will leave this event with knowledge of why customer
meters are being changed, how the installation process will be
performed, what consumers must do to prepare for the change, and how
services will differ in the future. Representatives will discuss the
meter installation process, the impact on your bill, meter features.
expected benefits, and anticipated challenges.
On behalf of Interim People’s Counsel Brenda K. Pennington, the
Office thanks you in advance for your willingness to accept this
invitation to ensure that the voices of District of Columbia consumers
are incorporated into PEPCO’s plans. Additionally, we encourage you to
share this information with your neighbors, ANC, civic and citizens
associations. As we look forward to working with you to bring similar
briefings to your community in the coming months. If you need additional
assistance, or need to request interpreter service, please contact OPC
at least 48 hours prior to the event at 727-3071.
Department of Parks and Recreation Events,
John Stokes, firstname.lastname@example.org
October 13, 20, 27, 11:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Riggs LaSalle Community
Center, 501 Riggs Road, NE. Diabetes Workshop for ages eighteen and up.
Participants will receive information on diabetes. For more information,
call Shirleta Settles at 576-5224.
October 15, 11:00 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Riggs LaSalle Community Center, 501
Riggs Road, NE. Golden Corral event for ages eighteen and up.
Participants will choose from a variety of entrees. For more
information, call Shirleta Settles at 576-5224.
October 15-17, 5:30 p.m. Friday to 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Ft. Davis
Recreation Center, 1400 41st Street, SE. Camp Riverview retreat. Youth
will stay overnight at DPR’s wonderful campground; they will
participate in fun and games and gain a great camping experience. For
more information, call Elijah Fagans.
October 16, 12:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m., Stead Recreation Center, 1625 P
Street, NW. Stead Park Sports Day for ages thirteen and under. This
event is a fun family day that includes various sports, arts and crafts,
music, prizes, and food and helps youth stay active and learn new
sports. For more information, call Vincent E. Hill, 673-4465.
October 17, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Largo, Maryland. Six Flags Fall
Championship for ages six through eighteen. The cheer team from Rosedale
will compete in a cheer competition hosted at Six Flags America for more
information, please visit http://www.acdaspirit.com.
For more information, call Brian Williams at 671-0314.
October 17, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Community College of Baltimore,
Dundalk, Maryland. Fall Free Classic. The cheerleaders from Fort Lincoln
Recreation Center will participate in a competitive cheer competition.
For more details, please visit http://www.cheeranddanceextreme.com.
For more information, call K’Yanna Blackwell at 258-7501.
The 1910 Height Act, October 19
Abigail Lane, email@example.com
The Committee of 100 on the Federal City invites you to The 1910
Height Act: A Centennial Celebration. How has the Height Act shaped
Washington? Will DC become high, tight and dense? Featured speakers will
be Steven E. Sher, Director of Zoning and Land Use Services, Holland
& Knight LLP; and Bradley Truding, Chief Counsel and Legislative
Director, Office of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. The moderator
will be William T. Miles, Staff Director, Subcommittee on Federal
Workforce, Postal Service, and the District of Columbia, Committee on
Oversight and Government Reform.
The meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 19, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at
Sumner School. Great Hall, 1201 17th Street, NW. Closest Metro: Farragut
North. A reception will follow; no RSVP is required. The event is free
and open to the public. For more information log onto http://www.CommiteeOf100.net
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