Thanks to Michelle Rhee for visiting Breakthrough Schools
Michelle Rhee recently visited Breakthrough Schools! Read below for a great Q&A.
Former Washington DC schools chancellor Michelle Rhee was in Cleveland Thursday to discuss education reform and her new organization, StudentsFirst.
Rhee and her controversial theories were portrayed in the documentary, “Waiting for Superman.” She supports merit-based pay for teachers, the end of the tenure system, and data-driven education reform.
Yesterday, we asked for your questions for Rhee if you had the chance to talk to her.
We caught up with her today as she toured the Entrepreneurship Preparatory School, one of the Breakthrough Charter Schools in Cleveland.
- Michelle Rhee Talk Ohio Education RefromA Democrat, Rhee supports many education reforms that in Ohio have become known as Republican initiatives.Download
Q: The first question I want to ask you is what do you hope to achieve through StudentsFirst here in Ohio?
A: What we’re hoping to do in every state is to compel citizens to really get engaged and involved in this effort, to start paying attention to the kinds of laws that the legislators are passing, the kinds of policies that school boards and superintendents are putting in place to make sure that all of those things are focused on children, not on adults.
Q: Do you think your reform efforts will be successful here in Ohio, where in November we saw a pretty resounding defeat of Issue 2 by voters?
A: Unfortunately, what happened with the collective bargaining piece is that a lot of different things got mixed in together and I don’t think the defeat of SB 5 at all represents people’s desire to maintain the status quo in education reform. I think quite to the contrary, if you look at polling in the state it does show that an overwhelming percentage of Ohioans really do want to see change in the public schools. They know that reform is necessary and they’re ready to take that on.
Q: What are your thoughts on Gov. John Kasich; do you think you have his support in these efforts?
A: It’s very interesting. John Kasich is a Republican, I’m a Democrat, so we certainly don’t agree on all issues. But as it pertains to education and education reform, I have found Gov. Kasich to be a very, very strong proponent of reform.
Q: It seems that some of the things that you stand for (like tying performance to teacher pay and opposing last-hired, first-fired) have really come to be synonymous with the Republican Party’s reform efforts and anti-union, anti-liberal (agenda) in Ohio. How did that develop in your own personal belief system?