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Will D.C.’s Rhee be part of Gray’s administration?

Both to meet and discuss future on Thursday

- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 23, 2010

High noon on Thursday: That is when D.C. Council Chairman Vincent Gray and Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee are scheduled to hold their highly anticipated meeting.

Since winning the Sept. 14 Democratic mayoral primary, Mr. Gray, the presumptive mayor-elect has consistently said he wouldn’t comment on whether Miss Rhee would be a part of his administration until after the two meet on the issue.

Miss Rhee, who campaigned for her boss, Mayor Adrian Fenty, has said she didn’t think Mr. Gray would give her unbridled support to shake up the school bureaucracy and institute her brand of reform.

A nationally recognized school-reform figure, Miss Rhee was hailed this week by Oprah Winfrey as a “warrior woman” during an appearance on her show.

Mr. Gray, meanwhile, is being urged to work out an agreement with Miss Rhee.

Two of his Democratic council colleagues, Mary Cheh and Tommy Wells, said Miss Rhee is needed to ensure a smooth transition.

And President Obama’s education secretary, Arne Duncan, said Wednesday that he is reaching out to Mr. Gray and would like for Miss Rhee to stay put.

Mr. Duncan, who calls himself a “big fan” of Miss Rhee, also pointed out that the average schools chief holds the job for 2.4 years.

Miss Rhee has been running D.C. schools for more than three years, since June 2007.

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