"The main issues about Impact concern basic public trust and unintended consequences. Impact is seen by many teachers as a sorting and terminating tool," co-chairmen Katherine Bradley and Michael Lomax wrote in a draft of the transition report. Heading a team of 30 educators, parents, students and activists, Bradley and Lomax recommended bringing in outside experts to revise Impact to emphasize teacher development. They also want to build a "360-degree review process" to gather input from teachers and principals who use Impact.
Bradley is the president of CityBridge Foundation, a nonprofit assisting District students since 2007, while Lomax helms the United Negro College Fund.
The report follows 15 meetings and a Jan. 25 feedback session with the Washington Teachers' Union. Union President Nathan Saunders said the union is crafting its own report, which Gray's transition team will include in its final draft.
"The sentiment across the city with regard to Impact is universal at this point; there are significant modifications that must take place," Saunders said.
Gray confirmed he is working closely with Saunders to finalize a 16-person panel to recommend a long-term chancellor, which he appointed Bradley and Lomax to lead.
Gray asserted that Henderson wants the permanent position -- something she has never said since taking the reins from Michelle Rhee. "Did she tell me that? Yeah," Gray said. "She's certainly given me every indication that she wants to be here. She's worked extremely hard to be here, also."
Henderson did not reply to an e-mail seeking comment.
As Rhee's deputy, Henderson created and has staunchly defended Impact. "People who have for 20 or 30 years been evaluated on a very soft, very random checklist of qualities have to work very, very differently now. And when you mess with how people do things, you get pushback. We're not afraid of the pushback," she has said.
Local political analyst Chuck Thies expressed doubt that Bradley and Lomax would steer a panel toward Henderson after critiquing her brainchild.
"I don't know if it could," Thies said. "It stands to reason that the search for the chancellor will be seen through the same lens; this is not just a process of Henderson being rubber-stamped as permanent chancellor."