What's next for Michelle Rhee? The combative Washington, D.C., schools chancellor resigned last week following September's primary defeat of her boss, Mayor Adrian Fenty. "Not being in this role is heartbreaking," she said. But, she tells NEWSWEEK, "everyone in the city needs to embrace reform, and that couldn't happen while I am in the picture." This does not mean, however, that she's done working on the issue.
It's the watchword of the Obama administration's multibillion-dollar push for education reform. But "accountability," the practice of tracking school performance, isn't always a force for good. It has been linked to a host of unsavory behaviors, including cheating on official exams and suspending poor students on test day. Now, according to a new study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, there's an additional concern: teachers quitting.
American schoolkids attend school for fewer days than children in other educationally advanced countries, a situation President Obama said Monday needs to change. "I think we should have a longer school year," Obama said in response to a question from the "Today" show's Matt Lauer during a White House interview that kicked off the network's weeklong "Education Nation" focus on American schools.
While celebrations occurred in Massachusetts, New York, Hawaii, Florida, Rhode Island, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Georgia, North Carolina, and Ohio after the 10 were named winners of round two of the administration's national education-reform competition, controversy was mounting over some of the more surprising winners and losers.
If you think about the cities best known for education reform, a few always come to mind: New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Washington, D.C. But sometimes reputations outlast reality, and stars in the making don't get the recognition they deserve.