Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Michelle Rhee likely to have pick of top education jobs, but would she want one?

A Wash Post article that speculates on Michelle Rhee's next step, which quotes Joe Williams:

"People who know how this stuff works, I mean the really ugly stuff that no one likes to talk about, make for very powerful advocates for reform," said Joe Williams, executive director of Democrats for Education Reform, a group that backs sweeping changes in public education.

…But Rhee has said repeatedly that she is not a career superintendent and that the District will be her first and last job running a school system. Some have a difficult time seeing her in a cabinet job - the subject of speculation by education bloggers. Political agility and a penchant for team play, both musts for such jobs, are not necessarily the outspoken Rhee's strengths.

"That's not her. She doesn't like to be political in that sense," said Michael Petrilli, a former education department official and executive vice president of the Thomas Fordham Institute, an education think tank. "Arne Duncan is pretty good because he is charming and doesn't mind going to Capitol Hill and being deferential and all of that."

Others expect her to return to the nonprofit world, where she found and ran the New Teacher Project, a teacher recruitment firm. If Rhee is not eager to immediately launch into something new, she's certain to command generous fees on the lecture circuit, recounting her reform battles in Washington.

Kate Walsh, president of the National Council on Teacher Quality, which advocates for changes in teacher education, recruitment and development, said she could see Rhee running her own turnaround operation, coming into troubled schools as an outside contractor and remaking them.

"She's very much an entrepreneur," Walsh said. "She runs things. She's not going to be a cog."


Michelle Rhee likely to have pick of top education jobs, but would she want one?

By Bill Turque
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, October 7, 2010; 3:31 PM


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