District Mayor Adrian Fenty said Thursday morning that he is satisfied with the response of Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee to controversial comments she made to Fast Company magazine about the layoffs of 266 teachers last fall.
She was quoted in that publication as saying, “I got rid of teachers who had hit children, who had had sex with children…”
Rhee wrote a letter to D.C. Council Chair Vincent Gray in which she said she was referring to “a very small minority of the teachers” who were let go.
In fact, according to the Washington Post, only one teacher was suspended after charges that he had sex with a student, and six teachers were suspended for using corporal punishment.
The mayor told News4 Thursday morning during his weekly segment that “the noteworthy thing about most of this is what she has done for the first time in the city’s history, [and that is] to look at performance, at how people are doing in the classroom.”
In other District news, when asked about the recent deaths of Metro workers the mayor said he was “absolutely” concerned about the safety of the system. "We’ve got to get this under control,” he said.
“Everything, from the high profile deaths to the normal operations of the trains being on time and the elevators and the escalators, we do need an overhaul,” Fenty said.
And, despite the fact that President Obama did not mention congressional voting rights in the State of the Union address Wednesday night, Fenty said he’s pleased with the president’s commitment to the issue.
“Since he was a senator, a candidate for president, and as president, he supports our voting rights 100 percent,” Fenty said.