After my boss, Washington, D.C., mayor Adrian Fenty, lost his primary in September, I was stunned. I had never imagined he wouldn’t win the contest, given the progress that was visible throughout the city–the new recreation centers, the turnaround of once struggling neighborhoods, and, yes, the improvements in the schools. Three and a half years ago, when I first met with Fenty about becoming chancellor of the D.C. public-school system, I had warned him that he wouldn’t want to hire me. If we did the job right for the city’s children, I told him, it would upset the status quo–I was sure I would be a political problem. But Fenty was adamant. He said he would back me–and my changes–100 percent. He never wavered, and I convinced myself the public would see the progress and want it to continue. But now I have no doubt this cost him the election.