Rhee to make “major announcement” about Georgetown school, meet with parents

rosehardyHardy Middle School

Michelle Rhee, the gung-ho, tenure-terminating, union-hated D.C. school chancellor, has more or less left schools in the Georgetown neighborhood alone.

In October, however, a Northwest Current article reported that she planned to make a “major announcement” regarding the local Hardy Middle School.

Parents of children there quickly grew nervous, not least of all because they understood one of her comments, that she wanted to “turn” the school, which is 70 percent black and draws from around the District, to mean that she wanted to make the school more attractive to local white children and their families.

After much uncertainty, Rhee plans to meet with those parents tonight at 6:30 in Hardy’s auditorium. From the Washington Post:

Rhee has yet to describe her plan for Hardy, which parents strongly suspect will include the exit of long-time principal Patrick Pope and a change in the school’s visual arts and instrumental music program. Speculation about his successor is centering on Elizabeth Whisnant, currently principal of nearby Mann Elementary, one of the schools Rhee would like to see Hardy draw from.

“Your voices must be heard before Hardy’s curriculum is changed without your input!” said the flier announcing the “urgent” meeting, scheduled for 6:30 pm in the school auditorium at 1819 35th St. NW.

7 Comments on “Rhee to make “major announcement” about Georgetown school, meet with parents

  1. Somebody said during the French Revolution that there is no revolution without revolution. Michell Rhee has been appointed in that post to bring that necessary revolution in the DC public school system. Let her do her revoutionary job or else accept the fact that the DC public school system is designed only to produce the future losers of the society. There is no middle course.

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  3. Former Hardy parent here. My daughter went to Hyde Elementary where Patrick Pope was once principal. He had left by the time we went there but the other Hyde parents spoke so highly of him that we knew that we would be comfortable having our daughter attend Hardy. Mr. Pope has been a strong leader in a system which has been dysfunctional for years. He made Hardy a viable option for families like ours. As a white middle class parent, I don’t understand why in-boundary families fear Hardy. It’s hard to read this anxiety about Hardy as anything other than fear of being in the numerical minority at the school. My daughter did just fine at Hardy. What are you so scared of?

  4. Dear Hardy parents:

    Be viligant because what she is proposing is the same exact thing that she did with Adams Elementary. The Oyster parents wanted a middle school to transition their kids too and Adams was predominantly black and they told the parents that their children would be welcome; but in the end the didn’t accept but two students (I’m serious) — just two and none of the teachers. They even told the teachers that they could work in the new school. They shipped them all out. I think one teacher got a job at the elementary school. They just wanted the building and at one point said that’s all that they want was an empty building. The parents who are from the Oyster community where persisent in their pursuits to take our school and they did. It’s the same thing that they are proposing for you. They’ll say that all children are welcome and that all teachers can stay; but as they get closer and closer to the date they’ll make provisions (like change the focus of the curriculum) to make it less and less attractive to you. Set a precedence and don’t let them take your school and do what they want with it! If the neighborhood children want to go to your school then they have to just go with your kids. They are attempting to whitewash your schoool and don’t think it’s not ractially motivated because it is. Those parents want the school but they don’t want their kids sitting next to yours in class.

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  6. As a former Hardy parent- what most disturbs me about this uproar is that there are issues about Patrick Pope that no one is talking about. During our 5 year, 2 kid run there Mr Pope’s reaction to serious problems would often be to sweep them under the rug- especially issues like kids bullying other kids. He literally hid from parents in these cases- ducking phone calls and meetings. I saw it happen multiple times to the point where parents had to withdraw their kids. Parents never knew that other parents were having the same problems with a teacher or a bully because that is how he wanted it.
    He has always had his own agendas and more often than not been secretive and unwelcoming to parents.
    I couldn’t afford the private school alternative. In the end both of my very different children were very relieved to get out of there.

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