Daily VideoMay 6, 2009
D.C. School Reformer Rhee Remakes Public Image
In less then two years D.C. Public School Chancellor, Michelle Rhee, has closed 23 under-enrolled schools, fired more than 15 percent of her central office staff, replaced over 30 percent of the city’s principals, and gotten a lot of national media attention.
The dynamic Chancellor Rhee has her cheerleaders and her critics.
After a 17 month lobby for a controversial new teacher’s contract that would allow teachers to make much more money in exchange for tenure flopped, she has tried to remake her image reaching out to teachers in a listening tour and holding small meetings after school.
Recently, both the chancellor and the teachers union agreed to work with a mediator, former Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke, to try to resolve the dispute and create a new national model of school reform.
“We can actually begin to shift the dynamic in the city and eventually in the country of who should go into teaching.” Michelle Rhee, Chancellor, Washington, D.C., Public School System
“It created a culture of low morale, one that was lowest that I’ve seen since I’ve been in D.C. public schools, and I’ve been here for 25 years.” George Parker, President, Washington Teachers’ Union
“These schools are dysfunctional. The current dialogue that’s going on or the current discourse, rather, about education is being monopolized by people who are showcasing.” Randy Brown, teacher
Warm Up Questions
1. Who is in charge of your school? Who is in charge of all the schools in your community?
2. Why do people become teachers?
1. What is tenure? Do you think teachers should have it? Why or why not?
2. Who do you think should make the decisions about teachers pay? The chancellor? The principal? Teachers? Students and parents?
3. What do you think of Chancellor Rhee? How does she strike you in this report?
4. Do you think you would want to work for Chancellor Rhee? Why or why not?
5. Why do you think Chancellor Rhee has gotten so much national media attention? Do you think it is good or bad?
Tooltip of related stories
Tooltip of more video block
Submit Your Student Voice
In Monday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing, Democrats summed up their case for impeachment of President Trump. Continue reading
Use this NewsHour lesson plan to find out the latest on the impeachment hearings of President Donald Trump. Continue reading
In this NewsHour lesson plan, hear from witnesses from Day 4 and 5 of the impeachment hearings: Gordon Sondland, Fiona Hill and David Holmes. Continue reading
This Thanksgiving, teach students the importance of storytelling, and most of all, listening. Based on StoryCorp’s The Great Thanksgiving Listen, students will record an interview with an elder relative, hone interview and listening skills and become part of America’s great oral history project. Continue reading
In this lesson plan, students will watch and discuss three short STEM videos produced by NewsHour’s teen reporters. Continue reading