Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Michelle Rhee: ‘It’s going to be really hard going forward’ with school reform in the Trump era - The Washington Post

Michelle Rhee: ‘It’s going to be really hard going forward’ with school reform in the Trump era - The Washington Post:

Michelle Rhee: ‘It’s going to be really hard going forward’ with school reform in the Trump era


What does Michelle Rhee think today about the corporate school reform movement that she helped pioneer a decade ago?
Here’s a pointed interview with her, by Jennifer Berkshire and Jack Schneider, in which she discusses some of the reforms she pushed, declares her support for protecting transgender youth in schools, and offers what she thinks is ahead for education in the era of President Trump.
Did she admit that evaluating teachers on the basis of student standardized test scores was a bad idea or that her policies hurt the teaching profession? Read on.
Rhee, for anybody who has paid no attention to education reform for the last decade, became a star reformer when she was tapped as commissioner of education in Washington in 2007, and then, after quitting in 2010, starting an advocacy group called StudentsFirst.
A Democrat, she embraced causes that at the time were more commonly associated with Republicans, such as charter schools and vouchers, and she instituted an evaluation system in traditional public schools in the District that depended largely on standardized test scores. The evaluation system included every adult in the school building, including custodians, whose job performance was also based in part — 5 percent — on standardized test scores under Rhee. She also created a merit pay system with money she secured from private philanthropists.
Rhee displayed her in-your-face brand of school reform early in her tenure as head of D.C. schools, posing on the cover of Time magazine in 2008 with a broom, suggesting that she was planning to do wholesale reform, including firing a lot of teachers and principals, which she in fact did, including firing employees while cameras were rolling for a public television documentary.
After quitting in 2010, when her patron, then D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, lost in a Democratic primary, she founded in 2011 StudentsFirst, which gave her a platform to promote corporate reform around the country. She stepped down from chief of StudentsFirst in 2014 and said she Michelle Rhee: ‘It’s going to be really hard going forward’ with school reform in the Trump era - The Washington Post:

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