This morning Michelle Rhee made official the news that began circulating last night: She is stepping down as chancellor of D.C. Public Schools at the end of the month. Her deputy chancellor, Kaya Henderson, will act as interim chancellor. Henderson appeared alongside Rhee, presumptive mayor-to-be Vince Gray, and Mayor Adrian Fenty at a downright jolly press conference today. The event was marked with jokes, hugs (so many!), and lots of shared whispers and smiles between Rhee and Gray. Behind the veneer of cheer, though, were plenty of barbs directed at Gray. A sampling of Fenty and Rhee’s most pleasantly veiled potshots at the new mayor, and The List's translations.
Fenty: praises Rhee’s “willingness to do what is right, even if it has political consequences.”
Translation: Gray, you only won because, well, we were just so brave and so willing to do the right thing.
Rhee: Gray’s “decision to make my deputy chancellor Kaya Henderson the interim chancellor of DCPS should put any fears aside of what reform will look like in a Gray administration.
Translation: Gray, everyone is terrified that you’re taking D.C. back to Barry days.
Rhee: “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.”
Translation: My deputy and all my people are staying, so you can’t screw it up too badly, Gray.
Rhee: “The chairman ran a great campaign.”
Translation: Gray, you are in no way was more qualified, better liked, or better suited to be mayor; you just happened to run a campaign well.
Rhee: “He deserves the opportunity to work toward his goal of one city with a team that shares his vision.”
Translation: Because I sure as heck don’t.
Rhee: Henderson is “an absolutely unbelievable candidate, and I have the utmost of confidence in her ability to lead this effort moving forward. I also have a high degree of confidence in my 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 children.” Pause.
Translation: I’m confident in Henderson, confident in my team, and…that’s all! Am I missing someone?