Across education circles and news media yesterday all everyone talked about and is still talking about is Michelle Rhee’s new venture. I have to laud one of my collegues for guessing the former D.C. schools chief would ultimately end up at a national organization. Though, I’d suspected much the same move, as her now oversized persona would be too small to fit comfortably in another school district and heading to Florida to become state commissioner, as been rumored, would hardly be smart given her engagement to former professional basketball player and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson.
I’m slightly surprised, however, that she has chosen to wade into the one area she seemed so dismissive of: politics. Because even though Students First aims to continue education reform by tackling issues like teacher recruitment, merit pay, and school choice, Rhee makes no bones that her new organization will put its clout and money behind candidates vying for large and small offices that support her ideas. Fascinating. So, Rhee now heads a lobbying group. How ironic. And unfortunate.
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