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The Answer Sheet: Rhee, Ackerman and ‘cultural competence’ in urban reform |

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‎”Rhee, Ackerman and ‘cultural competence’ in urban reform”…Philadelphia parent activist Helen Gym wrote this excellent post that was picked up by Valerie Strauss for her column in the Washington Post.

“I don’t think she was culturally competent for the community she was trying to help,” Ackerman says, though she does support some of Rhee’s reform. “And I don’t think she took time to listen.” Ackerman adds that Rhee’s mistake was that she thought she could “tell somebody she knew what was good for them when she hadn’t walked in their shoes.”

Failure of “cultural competence” as applied to Rhee, who is Korean American, is thinly veiled code for perceived race/racism. While it might be easy for some to jump to Rhee’s defense or decry Ackerman for her own insensitivity, one has to wonder: What big city superintendent these days is culturally competent? Go to the original…


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