- Blame Bush: 5 years later, that’s still the mantra, pollsters find
- Dutch prostitutes demand same retirement benefits as soccer stars
- John McCain to Harry Reid: I’ll ‘kick the crap’ out of you
- Dogs that talk: Researchers seek $10K for ‘No More Woof’ technology
- 1,000 firefighters called to battle stubborn Big Sur wildfire
- Black Friday brouhaha: Millions of Target shoppers hit by credit card theft
- Britain orders airplane to rescue citizens from violent South Sudan
- Mega Millions winner emerges as Georgia mom, in ‘disbelief’
- ‘Duck Dynasty’ Phil Robertson suspended ‘indefinitely’ for gay quip
- John Podesta eats crow: ‘I apologize to Speaker Boehner’
Henderson on track to head D.C. schools
Question of the Day
Mayor Vincent. C. Gray's pick to lead the District's public school system received open support from several council members on Thursday, despite mixed reviews from the public and varying opinions about her links to the prior regime.
Mr. Gray named Kaya Henderson acting chancellor of the D.C. Public Schools on March 9, prompting a series of "unprecedented" public hearings in the community before a formal vetting before the Committee of the Whole, Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown said.
Ms. Henderson told the committee she is dedicated to fighting truancy, establishing a "culture of respect" and addressing school funding inequities.
"We should have one of the highest-performing school districts in this country," Ms. Henderson said.
The public schools, she said, will be a "pre-eminent place" if she is permitted to do her job effectively.
The hearing was marked by a widespread belief that Ms. Henderson will be approved by the full council, despite an air of concern about transparency in school budgeting and student progress east of the Anacostia River.
"The council is going to confirm Ms. Henderson," council member Marion Barry, Ward 8 Democrat, said from the dais.
"I would like for you to be confirmed expeditiously," Tommy Wells, Ward 6 Democrat, echoed hours later.
Yet the specter of Michelle Rhee, the previous chancellor under former mayor Adrian M. Fenty, loomed large in the proceedings. Witnesses voiced concerns about Ms. Henderson's link to the former administration, marked by teacher downsizing and modern approaches to education. Critics also wanted a national search for the position, arguing Ms. Henderson would rise to the top if she is the best candidate.
"This is a rubber-stamp confirmation," said William P. Wilson, who identified himself as a volunteer in Ward 7 schools.
Nathan Saunders, president of the Washington Teachers' Union, said Ms. Henderson has no enemies in his organization, but noted he is committed to 266 teachers who were "wrongfully terminated" in 2009 downsizing.
Mr. Saunders declined to take a position for or against Ms. Henderson.
Daniel del Pielago, education organizer for Empower DC, told the council he worried about education strategies that emphasize test scores. Would public school students be well-educated, he asked, "or robots that can spit back out information they've been made to remember?"
Ms. Henderson said there have been positive developments throughout the city, including top candidates for leadership positions at schools in poorer sections of the city.
"I want to go to a community where I'm needed most," the candidates say, according to Ms. Henderson. "I wanna go to Ward 7, I wanna go to Ward 8."
Ms. Henderson, 40, is a native of Mount Vernon, N.Y., and received bachelor's and master's degrees from Georgetown University, according to her DCPS biography.
She taught Spanish at a South Bronx middle school before becoming a recruiter for Teach for America and executive director of Teach for America-DC.
Beginning in 2000, she worked on recruiting, training and policy improvement efforts before being named deputy chancellor in 2007.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Tom Howell Jr. covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at email@example.com.
- Calls for military pension fix grow
- La. Gov. Jindal defends suspended Duck Dynasty star
- Sen. Cochran files bill to repeal Obamacare if more lose coverage than gain
- Top insurers' group: Obamacare customers have 10 more days to pay first premium
- Pelosi raises alarm over handling of classified Obamacare documents
Latest Blog Entries
- Sen. John Thune: Congress will restore military-retiree cuts when it gets back from holidays
- Obamacare 'pajamas boy' gets roundly mocked
- Uninsured Americans just as skeptical of Obamacare as those who have coverage
- Sen. Saxby Chambliss: Americans just aren't keen on Obamacare
- Rep. Issa, White House fight over Obamacare website's security
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Fourth Amendment says Obama is not at liberty to collect metadata
- Duck Dynasty Phil Robertson suspended indefinitely for gay quip
- Gov't wasted $30 billion on 'pillownauts,' crystal goblets -- buying human urine!
- Half of America strips religion from Christmas
- In court filing, NCAA denies legal duty to protect athletes
- Bill Gates: The Secret Santa disguised as a 'friendly fellow' on Reddit
- Obamacare 'pajamas boy' gets roundly mocked
- Armed response, not restrictive gun laws, brought swift end to school shooting
- U.S. Army mulls wiping out memory of Robert E. Lee, 'Stonewall' Jackson
- NAPOLITANO: NSA spies pick up interference from the Constitution
- John McCain to Harry Reid: Ill kick the crap out of you
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Politics, economics, and business from a real world perspective.
The cold hard truth about politics in America today and the state of this once great nation.
Nobody likes to talk about dying. But we can help.
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow