Ok, now I really don’t get it. Maybe it’s me, but I would have thought that Kaya Henderson was long ago confirmed as the D.C.Public Schools Chancellor. Had I known that public hearings on her confirmation were taking place today, I would have requested a spot on the agenda. Her confirmation is long past the due date.
Her predecessor, Michelle Rhee, quit abruptly last October. Dr. Henderson has been “acting” ever since. Granted, Mayor Gray wants to follow the rules and he is cautious. But seriously, folks, why is DC dragging this out when we need a stable school leader so very much?
Montgomery County Superintendent Jerry Weast resigned in May and his permanent predecessor was confirmed a month later. No slight to Joshua Starr, but why does he get a quick pass while Dr. Henderson gets hung out to dry?
No such deliberative speed was used when Mayor Adrian Fenty sprung the overnight surprise of Rhee’s appointment on DC in 2008. While Mayor Gray may well be trying to prove that he’s not the petty tyrant that Fenty appeared to be, in fact, the delay on Henderson’s permanent appointment certainly seems too equivocal for the huge responsibilities she is undertaking.
I know Kaya Henderson casually. She worked with Trinity when she was with Teach for America. I have admired her work with that organization as well as with DCPS. She is committed to this community. She has a profound grasp of the local educational challenges. She is also a leader who knows that teachers and parents must be at the table for this to work.
It’s high time for DC to confirm a new chancellor. It’s time for Chancellor Henderson.