I am reposting this post because the main link was dead and I fixed it. Also, it was originally titled “The D.C. ‘Miracle’ turns to Ashes,” and a reader said a miracle can’t turn to ashes. So it has a new title.


A year ago, reformers were touting D.C. as their triumphant example. Those graduation rates!

Unfortunately, like every other reformer tale, it was a hoax. The graduation rate was phony. Students were walking across the stage without the necessary attendance or credits. Metrics!

From PBS:

“Critics view the problems, particularly the attendance issue, as an indictment of the entire data-driven evaluation system instituted a more than a decade ago when then-Mayor Adrian Fenty took over the school system and appointed Michelle Rhee as the first chancellor. Rhee’s ambitious plan to clear out dead wood and focus on accountability for teachers and administrators landed her on the cover of Time magazine holding a broom. But now analysts question whether Rhee’s emphasis on performance metrics has created a monster.”

Ya think?

And the teacher-turnover rate is 25% a year! 

The national average? Only 16%. In fact, D.C.’s teacher turnover rate (across both traditional public and public charter schools) is higher than other comparable jurisdictions, including New York, Chicago and Milwaukee.

For both public and charter schools, the highest turnover is taking place at schools with the most at-risk students, with the rate pushing past 30% in Wards 5 and 8.

This is the fruit of Michelle Rhee’s work. A district that continues to have the largest achievement gaps of any urban district tested by NAEP, a phony graduation rate,  and a startlingly high teacher turnover rate. Another “reform” hoax.