The big talk in our English Department today was of the Time magazine cover story about Michelle Rhee. Some strong language was aimed at her. She's a former Baltimore City school teacher; did you know that? I didn't.
I do not know how I feel about it all. Another thing I need to sleep on. I didn't much like the bias of the article or some of Rhee's language (wow, she really just seems like an unpleasant person based on the article), but I agree with the sentiment that bad teachers exist and it's important to get rid of them. But who is the judge of bad teachers? I've not yet heard a satisfying answer, and there are a lot I-can't-expand-on-a-public-blog reasons for my worries in this area.
That being said, this summer I got to know Peggy O'Brien a little bit, and gained a lot of respect for her. She started the Teaching Shakespeare Institute, for example. Meeting her, it was clear she has a huge passion for teaching and learning, especially city kids. She one of Michelle Rhee's chief officers, and, well, I trust her a great deal.
So... I'm not sure. I'll be watching Washington DC very closely in the next couple of years. So will Baltimore. The post-it on the Time article, written in the familiar English-teacher hand of a veteran colleague, was, "Is this a sign of things to come?". Indeed, it might be.
P.S. - It's too bad you all aren't my facebook friend. You would be able to see the awesome pic I just posted of me dressed as Odysseus for Greek Theme Day last Wednesday.
2 years ago