Tuesday, September 09, 2008

A Can-Do Attitude From Michelle Rhee

Here's more on why I have a professional crush on this lady. I might have to create a new post label just for her.

Rhee closed 23 schools in her first year as the head of the District of Columbia's public schools, fired 36 principals and cut 15 percent -- about 121 jobs -- from the central office staff. And she's making no apologies.

"I think it's that sense of urgency that has been lacking for far too long in our public schools," Rhee told CNN as she began her second year on the job in late August.

"We are always going to put the best interests of kids above the rights, privileges and priorities of adults"....

Her plan is ambitious: To completely transform the District's system within eight years for its 50,000 children. The plan focuses on top-down accountability, quantitative results like standardized test scores and, ultimately, working to close what she describes as "the achievement gap between wealthy white kids and poor minority kids."

"I think it's absolutely possible within an eight-year period," she said.

If anyone can do it, Rhee can.

1 comment:

mazenko said...

Darren,

Thanks for posting about this women and making more people aware that something can be done. I am so tired of people outside of education arguing that unions are standing in the way of fixing education. I've always argued that any school administrator and school district that is determined to clean house can do so.

You might also take note of what happened in North High School last year in Denver when the entire staff received pink slips. The admin. simply hired back those it wanted to keep and got rid of the dead weight. As it turned out, probably 2/3 to 3/4 of the teachers - tenured and union - were shown the door.

It's always been doable. Yet few have had the will. Kudos for Michelle Rhee.