Armed with the support of more than half of the D.C. City Council, acting Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson is poised for confirmation that will reportedly take place sometime during the week of June 20.
The 13-member Council began hearing testimony on June 16 from residents and groups that included the Washington Teachers Union (WTU) – which had a contentious relationship with Henderson’s predecessor, Michelle Rhee.
However, WTU President Nathan Saunders said the union’s relationship with Henderson was on course and that it has had no qualms with Mayor Vincent Gray having selected her as the next chancellor.
"The mayor’s choice has no sworn enemies in the union," Saunders said of Henderson, 41, a native of Mt. Vernon, NY.
But Henderson, who has some 13 years experience working in the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) system, has for instance, had to deal with criticism over IMPACT – the new teacher evaluation system she helped Rhee to craft.
Nevertheless, she has been determined to forge her own agenda. During a break in testimony, Henderson was approached by reporters who began to query her on her tenure under Rhee.
"First of all, my name is Kaya Henderson,"she responded. "I don’t want to talk about it – I will be about it."
Will Kaya Henderson be able to transform DCPS into a model district for other systems in the region?
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