Michelle Rhee has decided on her next move. She has decided to start a non-proft grassroots organization that will work towards reforming the education system in this country in order to give access to a quality education for every American child, regardless of socio-economic position or race.
The Mission Statement
Our mission is to build a national movement to defend the interests of children in public education and pursue transformative reform, so that America has the best education system in the world.
America's schools are failing our kids. On this point, the data is clear. While some people blame the kids, or simply want to throw more money at the problem, we know that real change requires a better system — one that puts students' needs before those of special interests or wasteful bureaucracies.
To succeed in our mission, we're working with parents, teachers, administrators, and citizens across the country to ensure great teachers, access to great schools, and effective use of public dollars. Together, we'll demand that legislators, courts, district administrators, and school boards create and enforce policies that put students first. We'll make sure politicians and administrators recognize and reward excellent teachers, give novice teachers the training they need, and quickly improve or remove ineffective educators. We'll work to ensure that every family has a number of options for excellent schools to attend, so that getting into a great school becomes a matter of fact, not luck. And we'll make sure all Americans understand that our schools are not only an anchor for our communities, but an absolute gateway to our national prosperity and competitive standing in the world economy.
We Believe: Great teachers can make a tremendous difference for students of every background; all children deserve outstanding teachers.
Once inside the school, a great teacher is the single most important factor in a child's education. While there are many factors that influence a student's ability to learn, a great teacher can help any student overcome those barriers and realize their full potential. For this reason, we're doing everything we can to make sure teachers are supported and all schools are able to hire and retain the best teachers possible.
We Believe: Attending a great school should be a matter of fact, not luck; every family should be able to choose an excellent school.
In cities across America, parents are unable to enroll their kids in the best public schools — there just aren't enough seats. We're working to make sure all families have a range of high quality schools to choose from, because our kids shouldn't have to rely on a lottery or a certain Zip code to get a great education.
We Believe: Public dollars belong where they make the biggest difference—on effective instructional programs; we must fight ineffective practices and bureaucracy.
Schools need smart spending — not more money. Tax dollars should go toward programs that help our kids, ensure their long-term success, accurately evaluate teacher performance, and produce results — not layers or bureaucracy that only serve to protect the needs of special interests.
We Believe: Parent and family involvement is key to increased student achievement, but the entire community must be engaged in the effort to improve our schools.
Parental engagement is critical to ensuring student success, so we'll work to get all families more involved in their schools. But lasting reform requires that whole communities get involved in the fight for better schools. Without a widespread, concerted movement that engages all sectors of society, our country will continue to fall further and further behind the rest of the world.
If you agree with our mission, and want to help transform education in your community and throughout America, join us.
I don't think that Michelle Rhee is the end all of education reform, but she has passion and out of the box thinking, and it is a start.