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Transforming the System: An Interview with Michelle Rhee

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Aspen Ideas Festival 2009

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Previous FORAtv comments:
studentno9 Avatar
Posted: 02.25.11, 12:49 AM
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.
aredee Avatar
Posted: 10.22.09, 08:39 PM
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.
quartknee Avatar
Posted: 10.19.09, 10:37 AM
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.
Penguin98 Avatar
Posted: 08.22.09, 01:35 PM
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.
Social Avatar
Posted: 08.16.09, 05:36 PM
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.
Sejong Avatar
Posted: 08.16.09, 01:45 PM
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.