## All together now, kids, bang your head on your desks!

Michelle Rhee has resigned as chancellor of the Washington DC schools.

When she came in, she found a completely disfunctional system, where they didn't even know how the payroll system worked, who was getting checks, or why. She found a system deeply sclerotic and profligate. D.C. claims to spend more than $14,000 per student, but a recent study which took into account all funding methods for schools, put that number much higher: over$28,000.

It is quite clear that that torrent of money is doing very little to improve the education of DC's kids.

In came Rhee. She demanded concessions from the unions and managed to fire a couple of hundred poor-performing teachers. Her reforms were a tiny first step towards what DC needed, and she got results. The DC schools were starting to turn around.

As you can imagine, the union's fury knew no bounds, and in heavily-democratic and union-friendly DC, that mattered. The Democratic mayoral primary election was all about Michelle Rhee. One candidate was the guy who appointed her; he stood by her and defended the reforms. The other candidate sided with the unions and opposed her reforms. The union-backed candidate won. (On the Republican side, no one ever seems much point in running anyone to oppose the Democrats, so no one was on the ballot. However, Rhee's patron, Adrian Fenty got over 800 Republican write-ins on the same day--in my mind, proving which party really stands with the kids and which doesn't. He said he was a Democrat, and so declined the Republican nomination.)

So, Rhee saw the rude graffiti on the wall and turned in her ruler.

The students of D.C. just lost their best friend and their best advocate. In addition, school reforms in D.C. will now be set back a decade or more.

But the union is happy.