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Will Gray Keep Rhee? Some Council Members Hope So | News

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Will Gray Keep Rhee? Some Council Members Hope So

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA) -- DC Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee is in limbo after a primary mayoral election that cost her chief benefactor his job and essentially gave it, instead, to a nominee who has refused to say if he wants her to keep her position.

Democratic Mayoral Nominee Vincent Gray ducked the question again Wednesday, telling 9News Now's Bruce Johnson that he will announce no personnel decisions until after the general election in November.

As the Democratic nominee, Gray is virtually assured of election in November. Republicans are not fielding a candidate.

He said he phoned Rhee on Wednesday to talk abut said he was unable to reach her. "We will talk," he said.

City Councilman Tommy Wells wants Rhee to stay.

"One of the things that I'm trying to do is try to re-assure parents, re-assure the community that school reform continues, as Chairman Gray stated, and that we maintain confidence in our school system, and the confidence in our school system has to be not just our parents and community, but also the US government that helped give us funding and the funders.

And so what I'm really asking Chairman Gray to do, and we've had some conversation about this, but I know we'll talk about it more at length, is that we really assure that there is continuity with the things that Michelle Rhee has been doing, that the reforms go forward.

"And, so, I think the transition is extremely important. Michelle Rhee won't be here forever anyway, so how we manage the transition with Michelle Rhee and -- what i would like to see-- is that she finish out this year and she give us one more year.

I think that would be optimal for our system," Wells said.


"Primarily because there is a lot of plans that start next fall and I really want to see that those plans go forward and Michelle Rhee and her staff have worked on those plans with her staff and with the parents and so I really want to re-assure the parents that those plans go forward," Wells said.

"I think the Chairman and the Chancellor should get together and see if there can be a meeting of the minds, and if there is to be a transition. I think it should be an orderly, and, I think, fairly substantial time period for the transition.

"When we adopted mayoral control, we said we should try it for five years. She's been at it for about three, so I was thinking a transition of two years.

"She said she needed five years to see if things were working. She wants to complete her project, I think.

And the Chairman, I think, doesn't want to have unnecessary tumult in the school system so I think it would be in both of their benefits to have a substantial transition period..." said Councilwoman Mary Cheh.


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