Tonight at a meeting for the Hardy PTA, Chancellor Michelle Rhee announced that Patrick Pope would leave his position as principal of Hardy Middle School and become the principal of a new arts and music magnet middle school. Dana Nerenberg, principal of Hyde-Addison, will become principal of both Hyde-Addison and Hardy.
The announcement was not taken well by the Hardy PTA. With Mr. Pope sitting silently in the audience, speaker after speaker criticized Chancellor Rhee for the content and process of the decision. GM will write up a fuller account of this, but for the curious, here is a recording of the bulk of Chancellor Rhee’s Q&A session (GM’s batteries died after 80 minutes or so):
What was not caught on the tape was what happened after Rhee left. Mr. Pope gave a heart felt speech of thanks and encouragement to the audience (he did not, however, discuss the plans for the new magnet school or whether he was in fact forced out; but in not addressing those issues he appeared to be confirming the PTA’s suspicions that he was forced out and that he was not entirely excited about starting over at a new school). After Pope spoke, Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander gave a rousing speech in support of the PTA and Mr. Pope. Big quote: “We’ve got to get rid of Fenty. And Rhee. And you can quote me on that!”