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“Fighting To Put Students First” With Michelle Rhee

Michelle Rhee
Flickr photo/The National Academy Of Sciences

As the chancellor of Washington, DC, public schools in 2007, implemented a variety of changes that made her a controversial figure in the education reform movement.When she took the job, it was the lowest performing school system in the country. For a 9th grader entering high school, Rhee says, the probability of graduating from college was 9 percent.

Rhee tried to offer teacher compensation based on student achievement and put an end to teacher tenure, a plan that drew ire from unions.

 In 2010, Rhee resigned and later that year, she founded StudentsFirst, a nonprofit that works on education reform issues, including ending teacher tenure.

Rhee spoke about education at Seattle’s Town Hall on February 19, 2013. The talk was moderated by Blair Taylor, chief community officer of Starbucks.