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DCUM Weblog

Popular Wilson High Teacher Forced Out

by Jeff Steele last modified Jun 05, 2016 08:15 AM

A DCUM Poster calls Reiner one of Wilson's "all-time brightest lights" who "inspired the hearts and illuminated the minds of Washington, D.C.'s children".

This morning Harry Jaffe reported in the Washington Examiner that Joe Riener has been forced out as a teacher at Washington, DC's Wilson Senior High. Jaffe attributes this to flaws in DCPS Chancellor Michelle Rhee's IMPACT evaluation system. An anonymous DCUM Forums participant lamented the move in a very eloquent post. With permission of the author, that post is being republished here.

Oh no, this can't be!?!?

Mr. Riener is an outstanding teacher and his commitment to Wilson High School is unsurpassed.

During these past fifteen years, Mr. Riener has taught hundreds, perhaps thousands of students college level/quality writing skills. The vast majority of students who have graduated from Wilson during these years with the skills required to be successful in college have been taught by Mr. Riener. On an academic level the loss of Mr. Riener is a great tragedy for Wilson.


Diaper Need Revealed in New Study

by Jessica last modified Dec 13, 2011 07:51 PM

Can you imagine having to choose between feeding your child and changing her diaper? In the United States, one in three mothers have had to make that choice.

In the United States, 1 in 3 mothers have had to cut back on food in order to provide diapers for their children, according to a new study.

The study was conducted among a nationally representative sample of mothers with babies 0-4 years old in diapers in the United States and Canada (1,513 mothers in the U.S. and 1,008 mothers in Canada).  The Every Little Bottom  study was conducted by Abt SRBI Inc. and commissioned by Kimberly-Clark and Huggies diapers. Study findings included:

  • 1 in 3 mothers in the U.S and 1 in 5 mothers in Canada have had to cut back on household necessities such as groceries, heat and electricity, or miss bill payments, in order to to provide diapers for their babies.


Evaluating the Mercedes-Benz C300 Sports Sedan

by Jeff Steele last modified Mar 21, 2011 07:04 AM

It's an above average car, but a first-rate phone booth.

When I get the chance, I like to review cars with an eye toward their suitability for families. Rather than go for the obvious SUV and minivan contenders, I tend toward sportier, city-friendly vehicles. I may be one of the few people to seriously argue that a MINI Cooper is a fine family car for those in urban environments. With that potentially grain-of-salt-inducing caveat, I'm taking a look at a somewhat larger vehicle. I recently spent some time with a 2010 Mercedes-Benz C300 Sport Sedan. It's a good, but not exactly great car.

From the outside, the C300 has many of the classic M-B lines that one would expect. The design works for me. The interior is much the same. The quality of the materials seems good, layout is fine. But, nothing leaps out to set the car apart from from the herd.


Inside a Nanny Scam

by Jeff Steele last modified Jul 04, 2012 09:00 AM

My secret life as a nanny applicant

Recently I noticed an advertisement for a nanny position that seemed a little odd. The ad purported to be from an individual named Mary Lee of London, England. The requirements were fairly simple: basic English skills and knowledge of Asian affairs. The proposed salary was £850 per week, or nearly $1,300. A very attractive offer indeed.

That this was a scam was immediately clear. It is unlikely that anyone needing a nanny in London would advertise in Washington, DC. But, if they did, the requirements would be much more stringent than those listed. However, the most obvious clue was that the message was posted from an IP address, not in London, but in Nigeria. So, having uncovered this obvious scam, I did the only rational thing someone in my position would do. I applied for the job.


Nannies Gone Wild

by Jeff Steele last modified Oct 28, 2011 06:27 AM

A Misguided Attempt to Stand up for Nannies' Rights or an Unacceptable Disruption of the DCUM Forums?

Starting a couple of weeks ago, I began receiving complaints from parents who had posted nanny search advertisements in the DCUM nanny search forums. The posters were upset about the responses they had received to their messages. In almost every case, the response in question amounted to little more than an attack on the prospective employer. In the following days, it became clear that these parents were the target of a semi-organized effort to combat what some posters saw as unfair treatment of nannies.

When the phenomenon of attacking nanny search posters first came to my attention, the posts were somewhat on the primitive side and didn't suggest much of a political agenda. Here is one example:

"I am not interested in this position,because mom home does not ned a nanny.


South Mountain Creamery Delivers the Goods

by Jeff Steele last modified Apr 13, 2017 07:56 AM

I had thought that the milkman was a relic of the past. But, South Mountain Creamery shows that home milk delivery is alive and well.

As parents, I think we often compare the lives our children are living to the lives we had as children. Growing up, we were limited to three broadcast television channels. My kids, in contrast, can choose from over 200 channels. While I was in high school before I ever touched a computer, my five year old is already computer literate, able to enter his username and password, surf the web (parentally-controlled websites only), and play games without assistance. Also back in my childhood, milk was delivered to our doorstep by a milkman. Thanks to South Mountain Creamery, for the past year this has been one thing my kids' childhood has had in common with mine. These days, our milk is delivered to our doorstep, if not by a milkman, by the South Mountain Creamery delivery person.


The Sock Puppets Amongst Us

by Jeff Steele last modified Apr 02, 2021 02:11 PM

As I've said before, I am a big fan of the saying, "On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog". That expression is once again proven by an erstwhile poster in the DCUM forums.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be another person, to take on another identity, if only for a few hours? Thanks to the anonymous posting allowed in the DC Urban Moms and Dads forums, you can. Come follow along as we explore the recent adventures of one identity-shifting DCUM poster.

First we have the skanky single mom: "I recently started a new relationship - about 6 weeks ago and things have progressed nicely. My BF has stayed over about 3 or 4 times without the children seeing him ( I have three kids from a previous marriage)..." It's almost like it's sexual fantasy night and the cheerleader outfit is in the wash. Just to prove that this poster really wants someone to talk dirty to her (or him), the same poster replied just seven short minutes later to say "how about NOT letting random men spend the night at your house???" So, fire lit, gasoline applied, the sock puppet's work is done. But, not completely.


Hybrid Mom: work, kids, love ... and self-loathing

by Jessica last modified Mar 21, 2011 07:11 AM

You either have a briefcase and breast pump, or jelly-stained jeans and a knack for making cupcakes...right? As. If. Enter the Hybrid Mom.

In the waiting room of my OB/Gyn's office, you have the choice between two piles of tattered magazines:  Working Mother or Martha Stewart Living.

I guess the message is if you're involved in babies emerging from your body, you fall into one mother camp or another.  You either have a briefcase and a breast pump, or jelly-stained jeans and a passion for decoupage.  Either read about flattering suits that travel well or how to transport 75 cupcakes while preserving their perfectly piped icing. 

It's enough to make a girl reach for the chlamydia brochure. 

Because many of us mothers don't know where we fit in - we're double agents.  Thanks to the wonderful world of telecommuting, many mothers can now call themselves Hybrid Moms (a term so handy that it serves as the name of a new magazine).  Hybrid mothers both work and care for their children during some part of the traditional work day. 


The Holiday Card

by SarahPekkanen last modified Jul 21, 2018 07:40 AM

The dreaded holiday card photo... This column originally appeared in Bethesda Magazine

A holiday card is never just a holiday card, especially for those of us who send them out with the hastily scrawled greeting, “Oh dear God, is it February already?”

 No, the holiday cards that have been dropping into all of our mailboxes are much more than simple, heartfelt exchanges of good cheer. They’re commentaries on our families, secret glimpses into our private lives, and portals into our parenting styles.  Not to put any pressure on the cards that you would’ve already bought and stamped and addressed for 2011, if only you were as organized as all of your neighbors and friends.

 There are certain rules for holiday cards, things to be conveyed in a charming but unmistakably clear way. First off is that your kids, like those who inhabit Lake Wobegon, are all above average. The best way to showcase this without resorting to stealing the report card of the genius in their class and “accidentally” Xeroxing it into your cards, is to include a photo of your child holding aloft a chess trophy while his sibling modestly polishes his Student of the Year medal. If one of them happened to save a cat from a burning building and the Associated Press captured the moment, you could include that snapshot, too.


Rhee Conducted "Damage Control" in Response to Allegations of Fiance's Sexual Misconduct

by Jeff Steele last modified Apr 18, 2018 07:11 AM

When informed that her now fiance Kevin Johnson had been accused of inappropriate sexual conduct, Rhee promised to make it "her number one priority" and to "take care of the situation". She then met with a federal inspector general, calling Johnson "a good guy".

A disagreement between Republican legislators and President Obama over the firing of a federal inspector general has ensnared DC Public Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee. According to a report issued by Senator Charles Grassley and Representative Darrell Issa, Rhee conducted "damage control" concerning charges that her now fiance Kevin Johnson had engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct with AmeriCorps volunteers. In addition, when Rhee learned of one allegation, she said she would make it her number one priority and take care of the situation.

The volunteers' charges were included in a criminal referral by Corporation for National & Community Service IG Gerald Walpin, but ultimately dropped as part of a deal between Johnson and the United States Attorney. Walpin was subsequently fired by Obama, an act that Republicans have charged was a political favor to Johnson.