Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Michelle Rhee, the tenacious chancellor of the DC public school system, is reported to announce her resignation today. Rhee is at the frontier of public school reform. As such, she has made many enemies; especially of the teachers unions.
Rhee was featured in the documentary "Waiting for Superman" a scathing and honest look at the crisis that our public school system is in. DC has one of the worst public school systems in the country. By no means is it due to a lack of funds; as they spend more per student than any other school system in the country. Which by the way, mainly comes from federal funding to the tune of almost $30,000 per student.
Rhee has stood up to the unions, which has been the cause of her downfall. Soon to be former Mayor Fenty hired her three years ago and the when the re-election battle began, the unions went into overdrive to get him out of office.
Rhee has also closed schools that were failing and didn't have enough students to justify the costs of keeping them open. She realized that the funds would be better utilized if they went more directly to the classrooms and the students. Under Rhee, the test scores and achievement levels have increased, yet the teacher unions saw fit to spend more than $1 million to help elect Grey. They went into overdrive to convince the residents of DC that Rhee was not the answer to school system that is keeping many of the poor residents in DC in poverty.
DC has lost big today and it is a shame. But, I have to believe that someone that is as committed to improving failing school systems as she is, will be a great pick up for another school system. I am hoping that she can go and work in Newark. The gift of $100 million and both a mayor and governor who are both willing to stand up to the unions will have her back and give the residents of that city a chance to get a good education that will help lift their families out of the generational poverty that they have had the sad luck to find themselves in.
Rhee has the ability and desire to present a road map for other school systems to follow. We cannot be competitive on the world stage if we can't even educate our children. It is time to think outside of the box and break the failing mold that we have created for ourselves. The federal government spends almost $70 billion on the department of education. For that not one single child is educated. That money would be better spent by individual school systems that understand the needs of their own community.
Michelle Rhee did indeed step down today. It doesn't look like she has decided where she is going to end up, and says she wants to try and work in the private sector.
Look carefully at the improvement that they call modest!!! Shameful