This is a remarkable exchange of correspondence about the PBS program “The Education of Michelle Rhee.”
Many readers on this blog thought the documentary was too favorable towards Rhee, recycling a lot of old footage in which she is shown as a courageous upstart who did it all “for the kids.” They thought it provided far too rosy a portrait of a woman who provided lessons in how NOT to be a leader, not only because she used pressure tactics to demand higher scores, but because she repeatedly showed herself to be heartless, callous and indifferent to other human beings.
Others, however, thought it was unfair to Rhee.
Chancellor Kaya Henderson wrote a statement to the PBS ombudsman to complain about the program’s portrayal of the (alleged) cheating scandal. She believes that the investigation by the D.C. Inspector General cleared the district of any suspicion.
Someone who describes herself as a DC parent also wrote to the PBS ombudsman to complain that the program harped on a non-existent cheating scandal.
As you will see, both the statement and the letter attack the credibility of former principal Adell Cothorne, who told John Merrow that she witnessed staff changing test sheets.
PBS stands by the documentary. The exchange is well worth reading.