Friday, April 24, 2009

Michelle Rhee, a woman of strength

We met Michelle Rhee, the Chancellor of Columbia School District in the first day of EFL Educators workshop.The first thing I noticed about her when she walked in the meeting room that she was a very strong woman. When she started talking about the schools at Washington DC she became a woman with a passion. She explained the system of education at US, what is difference between public schools and charter schools. We were informed by the Chancellor that Washington DC was considered a "high risk area" due to the high drop out from schools. She told us about her work in closing down schools which were not doing well and using the extra funds to increase the number of teachers in some schools. She told us that she is only concerned with fixing the schools and that she thinks if she can provide good teachers in good schools they will have better academic records. She said that every child have the right to be educated without regard to the color of skin. The following quotation I took from the official site of the District of Columbia Public Schools.

"Chancellor Michelle Rhee was appointed by Mayor Adrian Fenty June 12,
2007 She leads D.C. Public Schools, a district numbering 50,000
students and 144 schools.
In the Mayor’s search for a change agent for schools in the District,
experts in education recommended Ms. Rhee, who had already transformed
many urban public school systems through her work with The New Teacher
Project (TNTP). Results drive the Chancellor every day. Whether she is
developing effective measurements to track student achievement and
teacher quality; talking with principals and teachers in one-on-one
meetings; developing new measures to hold herself and staff accountable
for their roles in student achievement; traveling throughout the
community to engage parents and other stakeholders in our schools;
establishing partnerships with neighborhood organizations; meeting with
business leaders as she transforms a broken organizational structure into
one that works for students and families; or ensuring that needed
repairs are completed to create physical learning environments serve
students, Chancellor Rhee’s vision rests on results."

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