Principal Pope of Hardy Middle School ousted by Rhee
On Friday afternoon at Georgetown’s Hardy Middle School, D.C. Chancellor Michelle Rhee proved speculations that she would remove the well-liked Principal Patrick Pope from his post to be correct. The Washington Post‘s Bill Turque reported that before a roomful of incensed parents, Rhee announced that Pope would be leaving after this school year to plan a new magnet middle school for the arts.
Parents were outraged, Turque said, and for two hours, accused Rhee of trying to make the school more attractive to families of children at local, white “feeder schools,” which she has held meetings with over the past two years, at the expense of the school’s fine arts reputation.
On Monday, Jonetta Rose Barras seconded the accusations in her Examiner column:
“The recession, a new building and an education reform movement have merged to renew interest in Hardy among white residents. That’s a good thing. Problem is, they favor a traditional academic program and a principal who advocates that model. Hardy and Pope don’t fit that bill.”
Georgetown Metropolitan writes that after Rhee left, the Councilmember from Ward 7 Yvette Alexander told the audience gathered in the school cafeteria, “We’ve got to get rid of Fenty. And Rhee. And you can quote me on that!”
“Pope will be replaced this summer by Dana L. Nerenberg, principal of nearby Hyde-Addison Elementary, who will run both schools as a unified pre-kindergarten through eighth grade program,” Turque wrote.
He gave a speech thanking the audience for their encouragement without saying whether or not he had been forced out.
Photo taken from Flickr user David Clow – Maryland under a Creative Commons license.