Top of the List
John Merrow, who has covered DC schools regularly for years, writes
that, "With the indictment of former Atlanta School Superintendent
Beverly A. Hall and 34 other public school employees in a massive
cheating scandal, the time is right to reexamine other situations of
possible illegal behavior by educators. Washington, DC, belongs at the
top of that list." Former schools chancellor Michelle Rhee and her-then
deputy, current chancellor Kaya Henderson, have long maintained that
there was no widespread cheating on standardized tests in DC public
schools, and that if there was they had no knowledge of it. Merrow has
now obtained a document from January 2009 that shows both that the
standardized test cheating was rampant and that they were informed about
it then. Read all about it:
John Merrow, "Michelle Rhee’s Reign of Error,"
Greg Toppo, "Memo Warms of Rampant Cheating in DC Public
Schools," USA Today,
Valerie Strauss, "Why Not Subpoena Everyone in DC
Cheating Scandal — Rhee Included),"
Valerie Strauss, "Yes, Rhee Saw the Test Cheating Memo,"
The Committee on Education will have a public hearing on Bill 20-109,
"The Public Integrity Act of 2013," on Thursday, April 18, at 10:00
a.m., in Room 120 of the Wilson Building. From the announcement, "The
purpose of the hearing is to provide the public and government witnesses
an opportunity to testify on the bill, which would codify testing
security protocols and procedures for statement assessments administered
in the District of Columbia." But Education Committee chairman David
Catania, a strong supporter of Rhee and Henderson, wants to continue the
cover-up, and says he's not interested in revisiting the past.
Luke Rosiak and Jeffrey Anderson write about the shell companies that
operate as Certified Business Enterprises from phony addresses and empty
offices to function as "minority partners" to get DC government
contracts in "Minority Contractors ‘Game the System,’ Find Safe Havens
in DC Homes,"
Mike DeBonis and Nikita Stewart have an article on the Washington
Post web site that is far from shocking, "2010 DC Mayoral Candidate
Alexander Says Gray Urged Him to Quit Race,"
http://tinyurl.com/ck44qtg. Last week, it was
a nothing story that Senator McConnell in Kentucky had a campaign staff
meeting to discuss strategy against Ashley Judd if she entered the race
against him — politicians discuss how to run against their opponents in
every race. Similarly, it’s a nothing story if one politician urges an
opponent to drop out of a race. Alexander isn’t claiming he was bribed
or threatened, just that Gray asked him to drop out. Why is this news?
Desperate Campaign Tactics
On Saturday, I received a large postcard in the mail from Elissa
Silverman stating "She’s a leader who stands out from the guys on the DC
Council" — nine of whom were pictured without heads or hands, wearing
dark suits with the following words in white printed on their figures:
"Corrupt," "Indicted," "Under Investigation," "Works for City
Contractor," and "Tied to Special Interests." Silverman is pictured off
to the left in color, with a halo, looking gleeful and self-righteous.
Missing are the remaining four councilmembers. Is it because they aren’t
corrupt or because Silverman doesn’t need them in order to lead?
On the reverse side, I see the words "she fought" and "Elissa has a
record of fighting . . . ," "pushed for," "fought for," and "Silverman
is the one candidate who can clean up the DC Government." This is
classic Silverman — competitive, aggressive, argumentative, impatient, a
lightening rod, "better than others" — ultimately a loner who probably
won’t find many on the council she can work with. Do we really need more
difficult people on the dais?
While this kind of negative campaigning has its place — especially
for candidates who have nothing to lose and who are desperate for any
publicity they can get — it has also been shown in some cases to
suppress voter turnout especially among independents and swing voters. I
doubt this campaign ad will have that much effect but just in case, I
hope as many people as possible get out and vote by 8:00 p.m., Tuesday,
CLASSIFIEDS — EVENTS
Federation of Citizens Associations on DC
Electric Utility Service, April 23
The People’s Counsel, PSC Chairperson, and PEPCO’s Region President
will speak on the reliability of the city’s electric utility service at
the DC Federation of Citizens Associations’ Assembly to be held on
Tuesday, April 23, 6:45 p.m. at All Souls Memorial Episcopal Church
Hall, 2300 Cathedral Avenue, NW.
Guest presenters Sandra Mattavous-Frye, Esq, People’s Counsel; Betty
Ann Kane, Chairperson, DC Public Service Commission; and Thomas H.
Graham, President, Pepco Region will comment on electric service
reliability performance and upgrades, as well as react to audience
questions about such issues as power line undergrounding, tree pruning,
proposed rate increase, future demand, outages and smart meters.
The Citizens Federation’s Assembly is open to the public. All Souls
Memorial Episcopal Church is located at 2300 Cathedral Avenue, NW, near
Connecticut Avenue and Woodley Park Metro (Red Line). A parking lot
behind the church is located off Woodley Place. The church hall entrance
is down the garden steps from the parking lot. The door will open at
6:30 p.m. Guest presentations, to include audience Q&A, will begin at
7:00 p.m., following Federation announcements. For further information,
contact Anne Renshaw, Federation President at 363-6880. All ages are
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