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Documentary Raises Questions About Rhee's Performance

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By Matt Laslo

A documentary on education reform playing in select area theaters is stirring debate about the future of D.C. school's chancellor Michelle Rhee.

"Waiting for Superman" presents a bleak overview of public schools in the U.S. Part of it focuses on the District's schools. James Radford caught the film on Sunday.

"Sobering. That's bad. I had no idea it was that bad," says Radford.

While highlighting statistics on the area, like the fact that D.C. has the lowest proficiency rate for reading nationwide, some say the film also paints School Chancellor Rhee as some what of a hero figure for her fights with the teacher's union. Area resident Ann Anderson says the film may give Rhee a little too much credit.

"I see where she is coming from, and I see the need to cut through the red tape. But because I'm an educator I also see that other side," says Anderson. "You have to have a fair system and I'm not sure that they've figured out how to make it fair, that when you're getting rid of people you really are getting rid of the people that need to be gotten rid of."

With Mayor Adrian Fenty's primary loss, Rhee's future is now in doubt. Critics of Rhee say the film unfairly portrays her controversial battle with the District's teachers union.

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