Despite its recent gains on the 2013 NAEP, the District of Columbia is not a national model.

It remains the lowest performing urban district in the nation.

Its policy of test-and-punish-and-fire have produced a startlingly high attrition rate among teachers.

Churn is not good for schools or for children or for building a culture of collaboration.

Few of the principals hired by Rhee remain in the system.

The real story in D.C.: Thanks to Mayor Vincent Gray, D.C. started universal pre-K, and it is showing benefits in the early grades. A writer in the Washington Post called Gray’s work “a staggering achievement.”

As for the rest of the story, read this article that I wrote for Talking Points Memo.

It is hard to imagine that anyone would want to copy a system built on striking fear into the hearts of teachers and principals.

No successful corporation–large or small– operates in that manner. The best of our nation’s business companies boast of how they carefully select new hires, support them, and pamper them with perks to make them happy in their work.

Success in schooling grows from collaboration, love of learning, experienced teachers and principals, equitable and adequate funding, and leadership that holds itself accountable for its decisions.