Is Fenty Courting New Schools Chief?
As Mayor Adrian Fenty testified before the council about details of his school governance restructuring proposal Thursday, he couldn't help refering repeatedly to Miami schools chief Rudolph F. "Rudy" Crew. It's no secret Fenty has long been an admirer of Crew, who had been the District's top choice for school superintendent in 2004 before pulling out of the running to take the Miami job.
Fenty first visited Crew in Miami last Memorial Day weekend, asking Crew why he didn't take the D.C. job and seeking his advice to help inform his own school improvement platform. Crew, who reportedly turned down the D.C. superintendent job in part because he did not like the city's multi-headed school governance system, told Fenty that no superintendent could succeed until the Board of Education was sidelined.
Although Fenty never proposed a mayoral takeover of the D.C. system during the campaign, he admits now to quietly formulating his plan during the Miami trip and a similar one to New York City, where he met Mayor Michael Bloomberg and school Chancellor Joel Klein.
Fenty believes Crew has moved much more quickly than D.C. school Superintendent Clifford B. Janey to enact reform plans. Even though Crew operates under a traditional school board, Fenty said the board and mayor in Miami are so weak that Crew essentially has consolidated all authority and is able to do what he wants. Fenty called on Crew again last month and set up a visit for council Chairman Vincent Gray with Crew as well.
At Thursday's hearing, Carol Schwartz (R-At Large), who opposes Fenty's plan, demanded to know whether Fenty intends to replace Janey with Crew.
"Are we going through all this because you do not want the superintendent any more?" Schwartz asked. "Is it going to be Rudy Crew? Are we going to recruit Rudy Crew?"
Fenty declined to address Janey's future, saying he will not make any decisions until he wins control.
"I don't manage like that," Fenty said. "That would be like taking the city council for granted. I will not make that decision until you give me the power to do so."
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Posted by: oknow101 | January 19, 2007 04:11 PM
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