What will happen to Michelle Rhee in a Vincent Gray administration?
What will happen to Michelle Rhee?
That's one of the biggest unanswered questions from the D.C. primary elections Tuesday.
There was an emotional show of party unity today when Mayor Adrian Fenty reached out to Council Chairman Vincent Gray, the candidate who beat the incumbent Tuesday in the Democratic Primary.
And one person is blaming herself for this dramatic change in leadership.
In three years as chancellor of the D. C. Public Schools, Rhee has made a lot of controversial changes in the school system.
But will she stay or go under the new administration expected to take office in January?
Although Rhee has not directly criticized Gray, she called the election results "devastating for the schoolchildren."
And she told ABC 7 and TBD TV that she wants to continue improving the schools.
She and those who support her school reform movement must not retreat, but instead should "be more aggressive and more adamant," she said to The Associated Press.
Rhee, who unapologetically fired hundreds of teachers in an effort to reform a sputtering school system, sounds like a person looking for another job after her boss lost his.
"It pains me to be in a situation where I could be very shortly leaving," Rhee said.
But Gray has not said whether he wants to keep Rhee in her job or not. And he said he won't make any personnel changes until after November's general election.
"We want to make the right decisions for the city and part of that process is sitting down with the people in the jobs now," Gray said. "And we'll do that in the weeks ahead."
"I think it would be a great loss for the city, to jeopardize the momentum that has been built for change," said Councilmember Jim Graham.
But another councilmember insisted the future of education in the district should not be about one person.
"Michelle Rhee should not be the issue," Councilmember Marion Barry said. "I think she made a mistake for campaigning. The chancellor should be above politics."
But she's not-so-subtly hinting that a change in her job title may be forthcoming.
"If I can somehow, in some small way, make a dent for some group of kids, somewhere, I'd do it in a heartbeat," Rhee said.
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