October 13, 2010
Statement by Randi Weingarten, President,
American Federation of Teachers,
on Resignation of D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee and Selection of Kaya Henderson as Interim Chancellor
WASHINGTON—Although we had legitimate differences about how to do it, Michelle Rhee and the AFT never disagreed on whether the District of Columbia’s public schools were in need of reform. Despite our differences, there is no questioning her commitment to the goal of improving education in Washington, D.C. We wish her success in her future pursuits.
We have worked closely with D.C.’s newly appointed interim chancellor, Kaya Henderson, and have found her approach to school reform to be constructive and open. During the tough negotiations between the Washington Teachers’ Union and the District of Columbia Public Schools, Henderson showed that she believes in collaboration as the path to creating excellent schools for all children in the district. She also shares our commitment to strong early childhood education programs, which was clear when she participated in an AFT-sponsored visit to a DCPS prekindergarten center last year.
There is no turning back on education reform in Washington, D.C. We are confident Henderson will continue to share our commitment to moving forward.
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The AFT represents 1.5 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.