Transforming the System: An Interview with Michelle Rhee with Eli Broad.
Eli Broad is founder of the Broad Foundations and a renowned business leader who built two Fortune 500 companies, SunAmerica and KB Home, from the ground up. Today, he and his wife, Edythe, are devoted to philanthropy through foundations, which they established to advance entrepreneurship for the public good in education, science, and the arts. The primary work of The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation is to dramatically improve urban K-12 public education through better governance, management, labor relations, and competition. In an unprecedented partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, and the Whitehead Institute, the Broads created The Eli and Edythe Broad Institute for biomedical research. Its aim is to realize the promise of the human genome to revolutionize clinical medicine and to make knowledge freely available to scientists worldwide. The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation and The Broad Art Foundation have assets of $2.4 billion.
Michelle Rhee served as chancellor of the DC public schools from 2007 to 2010. She is also the founder of The New Teacher Project, a nationally recognized leader in developing innovative solutions to the challenges of hiring new teachers.
As president and CEO of TNTP, Rhee partnered with school districts, state education agencies, nonprofit organizations, and unions to transform the way difficult-to-staff schools recruit, select, and train highly qualified teachers.
Her work resulted in widespread reform in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Miami, New York, Oakland, and Philadelphia. Rhee's commitment to excellence in education began in a Baltimore classroom as a Teach-for-America teacher. Rhee currently serves on the advisory boards for the National Council on Teacher Quality, the National Center for Alternative Certification, and Project REACH of the University of Phoenix's School of Education.
People cannot always blame the "Teachers" - there are just some students that are not as studious as others. It's not difficult to imagine a kid not wanting to do their homework. When these kids get a bad grade, it's not fair to blame the teacher. Where did we get the idea that kids are never at fault for their own education? Next, we should take a look at the Parents, and their role in education. Most just drop their kids off and that's the extent of their responsibility - they pass the "buck". Sure, there are bad teachers, but it's not their brunt to bare 100% for your kids education.
I've been following Michelle Rhee in the media since she took over the DC school system and am amazed by her courage. Our educational system has been designed to favor the adults who work in them and not for the children. We need someone to stand up for the students and make teachers and administrators accountable for how effectively children progress through the formative learning years. I have zero-tolerance for educators/administrators who waste amazing amounts of tax money and still complain about how little they have. I've seen plenty of schools in developing nations with a fraction of the money American schools have but are able to teach kids with these meager resources.
The comments so far seem to reflect on what she says rather than what she does. Corporate school reform is a bi-partisan affair and seeks to impose a corporate management model onto public education. As a way to break unions, they want the teachers to compete for rewards, rather than treat them decently. As a way to profit from it, they build brand-new private buildings with public money.
The orthodoxy that rigorous, standardized testing measures learning has got to be challenged. Instead it is being strengthened. One of the only good things about No Child Left Behind was that it wasn't fully funded. All these so-called "reformers" want to shift public money into private hands, but always say that 'throwing money' at the problem won't help, at least not if that money is used by students and teachers to actually result in learning.
Teaching to the test takes times away from actual learning and gives more and more credence to culturally biased tests and ties everyone's fate to the results of these absurd numbers that mean nothing except how good people are at doing those tests. Here's an idea - try throwing money at the problem, like rebuilding schools, making sure music and art are part of education, that hungry children can learn, that there are after-school programs. If kids need books, computers and lunches, buy them. Rather than making stressed out teachers into scavengers for money, pay public school teachers a decent wage and people will be attracted to doing something that all our futures depend on.
Just like Arne Duncan talking on The Colbert Report, this personal responsibility crap has got to go. What about social responsibility? If corporate reformers like Rhee succeed, the notion of public schools will continue to disappear and with it anything for the public good. The notion of "public" is at stake and we have to fight to stop these corporate robots from spewing their meaningless buzz words and look at what they actually do - which is shut down schools and punish students and teachers.
I am thrilled to see an educator who believes in and demands personal responsibility from their teachers and presumably their students. One cannot help but imagine a future where the students who have had the privilege of such an educator will grow into an adulthood where the idea of personal responsibility infuses their lives.
Thank you Chancellor Rhee.
Teachers pay should reflect his/her effectiveness; that's just common sense.
I like Michelle Rhee, and most of the policy changes she initiated, but, as she admits, most of the credit here goes to the mayor. The power to actually confront the teachers union was the key factor in this case.
Excellent interview. It's great to see someone like Michelle Rhee stand up for students and good teachers. It's reassuring to think that this system could spread across U.S. public schools, and reward the few great teachers I had while growing up.