Michelle Rhee: Education Reform Ingénue

Michelle Rhee is the former chancellor of the Washington DC Public Schools. She was considered by many to be one of the leaders in education reform working with Democratic Mayor Adrian Fenty, before left wing extremists through Fenty under the bus and went with the candidate hand picked by the teachers unions. Rhee was suddenly unemployed.

Rhee for her part is such an extremist; she thinks the President should keep all the top teachers (while removing the bottom ones).

So what next? Was she going to take her talents to South Beach? Personally, I was hoping to see her become superintendent of New Jersey schools. Rhee working with Chris Christie and Cory Booker would have created a triple threat of awesome. Instead, she opted to start her own organization, aptly called “Students First” and is starting to get back in the mix

Michelle Rhee, who gained national attention as the chancellor of schools in Washington, D.C., called Monday for giving students government-funded vouchers to attend private schools, rating principals based on student achievement and getting rid of teacher tenure.

The release of the blueprint was the first formal action of Ms. Rhee’s new advocacy group, StudentsFirst, which she launched in December, after leaving her job heading D.C. schools in October. Ms. Rhee said she was in discussions with the governors of Florida, New Mexico, New Jersey, Tennessee, Nevada and Indiana to adopt part, if not all, of the agenda. In an interview Monday, Ms. Rhee said she recognized her platform would be controversial and tough to implement but that her group could help push through the changes…

“A lot of the reason I started the group is so we can provide the cover a courageous political leader needs to push this agenda,” she said. “In these incredibly tough budget times, when school districts will take a big hit, we have an opportunity to rethink public education and put students first.”

Already she’s starting to piss of the teachers unions (as per the WSJ), so whatever she is doing so far it much be working.


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