photo by Darrow Montgomery

Somebody’s gotta win.

Remember when Michelle Rhee pronounced the vote against her boss as “devastating for the children of D.C.,” the cockiest  utterance from a D.C. public official since Marion Barry‘s “Get over it!”? (Yeah, Rhee is a public official. I just looked it up.)

Well, it’s real tough to view Rhee’s leaving, if that’s what she’s promising us, as much of a loss when looking at tonight’s football matchup of Coolidge and Anacostia. The athletic programs at both schools are a mess—neither team has won a game yet, for starters—and their problems are symptomatic of larger ills within DCPS athletics that Rhee, megalomania notwithstanding, has done nothing to cure.

Coolidge, a regular Turkey Bowl contender in recent years, goes into the game 0-5, and has been outscored 125-37. The team is now in the hands of first-year head coach Natalie Randolph, who, much like Rhee, didn’t have a fit resume when she was handed the job but looks good on a magazine cover. Coolidge, as a school, isn’t really even run by DCPS any more. Rhee turned the school over to Friends of Bedford, some New York-based education reform clique, and they hired Randolph. It’s not Randolph’s fault she was hired, and Rhee could learn a lot by watching Randolph, who has been humble and hardworking as her squad’s taken its lumps.

Anacostia, meanwhile, isn’t really even run by DCPS any more, either. Rhee turned its management over to a charter school, Friendship Public Charter School. Anacostia, which had the best football program in the city 20 years ago, is 0-4 and has been outscored 130-12. Anacostia didn’t even field a team at the beginning of the 2010 season. The Indians were forced to forfeit their opening game with Gonzaga because there weren’t enough kids on the roster.

That’s a pretty good indicator of the competence of the Friendship administrators Rhee gave the school to. Nicely done!

The athletic problems at these schools, and all of Rhee’s DCIAA high schools, run way beyond the football field. Both Coolidge and Anacostia, like all of Rhee’s schools not named Wilson, treat girl athletes like they don’t exist. For all the years she’s held the title chancellor—somehow, even her title is obnoxious—the utter absence of girls’ sports teams is on Rhee, too.

What’s devastating, again?