October 13, 2010

Resignation Statement of Michelle Rhee 

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Michelle Rhee has resigned from her position as Chancellor of DC Public Schools. Here is her official statement, which she delivered on Wednesday, October 13:

Today, Mayor Fenty, Chairman Gray and I have reached the mutual decision that I will leave my post as Chancellor of the D.C. Public School System. This is not a decision we made lightly. But it is one that I believe is essential to allow Chairman Gray to pursue our shared goal of uniting this city behind the school reforms that are making a difference in the lives of our children. In short, we have agreed — together — that the best way to keep the reforms going is for this reformer to step aside.

Chairman Gray has made his commitment to continuing the progress and the reforms clear to me and to the team of dedicated DCPS staff who have done so much to turn our schools around. His support of the decision to make Deputy Chancellor Kaya Henderson the Interim Chancellor of DCPS should put to rest any fears of what reform will look like under the Gray administration. The answer is that reform will continue.

With Kaya Henderson at the helm and the DCPS management team in place, everything the city needs to be able to continue the reforms will be in place. I have a high degree of confidence in this team. They are the most talented and dedicated team of any school district in the nation and they will continue to focus on creating a world-class educational system for our kids.

I've put my blood, sweat and tears into the children of the District for the last three and a half years and have completely enjoyed every moment of it. I'm honored and humbled for the opportunity to have served these very deserving young people. The thought of not being in this role anymore is heartbreaking, to put it mildly, but it's right for the school system and right for the children. As I told Chairman Gray, he should be able to start his term as Mayor with the same privilege I've enjoyed for the past three and a half years — to work with someone that he chose and has full confidence in. He ran a great campaign, will lead a great city and deserves the opportunity to work toward his goal of "One City" with a team that shares his vision, can keep the progress going and help bridge the divide.

I want to thank Chairman Gray, as this was a difficult decision for both of us. In the course of our discussions, we found common ground in our commitment to wanting to do what is right for the children of this city. I am proud to give him the best team of people to help him begin his mission and I am confident in the continued success of our reforms under Mayor Gray.

I want to thank the parents, the teachers and the community of DCPS. You've emailed me, you've called me, you've come to the coffees and the office hours, you've never been shy about telling me when you disagreed with me, and because of you, we are bringing change into every corner of this city. And to the students — you are the greatest! I have the utmost of confidence in the young people of this city to do great things. You've not disappointed...

Finally I want to thank Mayor Fenty for the support and friendship that he has provided since the beginning. His commitment has been steadfast and his impatience for improvements to give every child in this city a world-class education has at times even surpassed mine. The children who attend public school in our city are the true beneficiaries of his character and his leadership.

Thank you, Chairman Gray, Mayor Fenty and Interim Chancellor Henderson.

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