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    Transforming the System: An Interview with Michelle Rhee Aspen Institute

    An Aspen Institute Interview of Michelle Rhee and Eli Broad

    Comments by Susan Ohanian

    Note the glee with which Rhee speaks of firing teachers--and Eli Broad's wide grin.

    But real issues are brought up and no one can pretend that the D. C. schools don't have a history of corruption and incompetence. It would be easier to be on her side if she didn't grin so much every time she mentions firing teachers.

    Watch this video interview and you will see what a force Michelle Rhee is to be reckoned with. She has a message with a lot of appeal. And of course there were no real tough questions. Consider the audience.

    And watch how she judges teachers: "After two years, when we have good data."

    And she gets her "good data" from the same place Arne Duncan gets his--from lousy standardized test scores.

    Here is the official bio on this pair supplied by the Aspen Institute:

    Eli Broad - Eli Broad is well known for his philanthropy and extensive art collection. A strong advocate of the city, he is actively involved in the on-going projects to revitalize downtown Los Angeles, and is an ardent supporter of efforts to raise the city's cultural profile.

    Broad made his initial fortune in real estate at his company Kaufman & Broad (now KB Home). He is also a founder of the financial giant SunAmerica. He was CEO of SunAmerica, now a subsidiary of the American International Group, until the year 2000. With an estimated net worth of around $5.8 billion, he is ranked by Forbes as the 42nd-richest person in America.

    Michelle Rhee - Michelle Rhee is chancellor of DC Public Schools, a district with 50,000 students and 144 schools. She is also the founder of The New Teacher Project, a nationally recognized leader in developing innovative solutions to the challenges of hiring new teachers.

    As president and CEO of TNTP, Rhee partnered with school districts, state education agencies, nonprofit organizations, and unions to transform the way difficult-to-staff schools recruit, select, and train highly qualified teachers.

    Her work resulted in widespread reform in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Miami, New York, Oakland, and Philadelphia. Rhee's commitment to excellence in education began in a Baltimore classroom as a Teach-for-America teacher. Rhee currently serves on the advisory boards for the National Council on Teacher Quality, the National Center for Alternative Certification, and Project REACH of the University of Phoenix's School of Education.

    — Michelle Rhee and Eli Broad
    Aspen Institute Interview


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