Two Years of Michelle Rhee and More in 2010

All this week the PBS NewsHour is broadcasting slightly-edited chapters of our coverage of the troubled public schools in Washington DC.  Put another way, it’s a Michelle Rhee Film Festival.Michelle Rhee

We’ve been following the efforts of this dynamic young leader since she took office in June 2007.  When I read about her appointment that spring, I called her up, introduced myself, and invited her out to dinner. Our senior producer, Murrey Jacobson, joined us, and I made a pitch: “We’d like to chronicle your efforts on the NewsHour. What do you say?”

Her immediate reaction was notable for its candor: “I have to figure out whether it will help me do what I have to do, which is make things better for kids,” is what she said in roughly those words.  If it would help, she’d be on board. If not, forget it.

I don’t know if our coverage–11 segments and counting–has helped her, but I do know that the NewsHour audience has benefited from a rare inside look at how a big urban school district works–and how it resists change.  We’ve watched Michelle Rhee change as well.

Producers Cat McGrath and Jane Renaud and I will continue our reporting into the coming year.  Watch the full series online and I hope you’ll stay tuned for more in 2010.

One thought on “Two Years of Michelle Rhee and More in 2010

  1. High school drop outs? why? 68% of 4th graders in Detroit can’t subtract 406-248 regrouping subtractions.
    The same students 68% of them going to middle school. Surprise why they start failing? Blame the high school teachers how about the elementary teachers? It has to start at elementary basic math. PERIOD! Go to YOUTUBE …lionking4277 …. and watch this guy teach basic math (add/subtract/multiply/divide/fractions) the easiest way. If only every teacher(s) do what he does. 100% of his students should start adding;subtracting;multiplying;dividing;fractions. I believe their will be no child left behind. We expect them to solve higher math inspite students have no clue about basic elementary math. It’s like sending to a swimming competition with no skills; no practice and we expect them to win the tournament. The same thing with our elementary students going to middle school without basic math. check it out …lionking4277….. and see what I mean…


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