> The history of education reform is long and detailed. It is a > history of unrelieved failure. Precisely because this history is so > well known, when somebody comes along, like a Walter Annenberg, > Bill Gates, Eli Broad, or Michelle Rhee, and claims to want to > reform the existing public school system, I wonder what they are really after.
I am cynical but not that cynical. I think they all mean well but Michelle Rhee is the only one who knew anything about our system of education including its entrenched problems. The big bucks guys knew they knew nothing about the system except that it was highly dysfunctional especially in communities that need it most. What to do? Contact the "best" schools of education and hire the "best" education leaders. DOA.
By contrast, through Teach for America, Michelle Rhee learned firsthand about how effective bright, well-educated, youthfully energetic teachers can be after graduating magna cum laude from Cornell and knows what is possible however improbable effective implementation would be. http://www.studentsfirst.org/pages/about-michelle-rhee
I do think she believed the dramatic jump in standardized test scores at a few schools, but should've looked into it at once and never did. Moreover, she would do well to point out those problems at her Students First website but has not done so and. From all indications, however, the general increase was legitimate and meaningful. Very threatening to the powers-that-be.