Michelle Rhee is the reforming Chancellor of D.C. public schools, and very much the star of the important new documentary Waiting for Superman.
Because she is doing what is necessary to save kids and the schools they attend –including firing incompetent teachers and bureaucrats– Rhee is the subject of an attempted purge which her enemies are bringing to bear through the new mayor-elect in D.C.
Every advocate for education reform int he country, and especially every citizen alarmed by the power of the teachers’ unions and their crusade against meaningful reforms in public education, should be urging the mayor-elect to retain Rhee and should be urging Congressmen and Senators to intervene to keep Rhee in her job and reform moving forward.
If you want to see why Rhee is drawing fire, see the movie when it comes out.
UPDATE: Just interviewed Jay Mathews of the Washington Post, author of the finest book on education reform in the past decade, Work Hard, Be Nice:How Two Inspired Teachers Created the Most Promising Schools in America. Jay relays that he cannot imagine Rhee staying on under the new mayor. She ought to fight to stay as long as possible, in other words, she ought to “go Alamo,” thus bringing attention to what she has done and why the teacher union in D.C, has spent so much time and effort to purge her. The movie’s release will indeed make her the most famous superintendent in America, but if she can use this reprehensible action by the D.C. union as a teaching moment, the power of the film will be greatly magnified.
I have been suggesting on air today that Tea Party activists consider organizing a meeting around the release of the movie and inviting the local press along.
If you want to get smart on school reform generally, and charter schools within public education specifically, read Work Hard Be Nice.