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Gray hedges on school chief’s fate in D.C. debate

- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty and D.C. City Council Chairman Vincent Gray squared off Wednesday in their latest face-to-face debate ahead of a sharply contested Sept. 14 Democratic primary.

Mr. Gray, answering an early question about the future of public schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee, said he wouldn't move forward on replacing her until he'd first spoken with the chancellor. Mr. Gray said he was pro-reform, but added that he felt the public needs to have more input into the process — and he specifically criticized Ms. Rhee's abrupt firing of scores of teachers last year.

Mr. Fenty said the chancellor has done a good job and said Mr. Gray and his supporters on the council are trying to micromanage the schools. "That's how we got into this mess in the first place," he said.

Recent polls say Mr. Fenty faces an uphill battle in his fight for a second term. The Democratic primary is considered tantamount to election in a city where Democrats vastly outnumber Republicans.

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