Rhee joins Florida governor-elect's transition team
Former Washington D.C. Schools chancellor Michelle Rhee is turning her attention to Florida, where Gov.-elect Rick Scott, a Republican, just hired her as a key member of his education transition team.
A release by Scott’s office singles out Rhee as one of 18 members of the transition team, which is charged with helping him “find innovative ways to create a new education system for a new economy.”
Rhee has received a number of job offers since she left her job as D.C. schools chancellor in October after her patron, Mayor Adrian Fenty, was defeated in a Democratic election marked by charges that Fenty and Rhee were arrogant and failed to communicate with the public about their agenda. The victor, D.C. Council Chairman Vincent Gray, was not a fan of Rhee’s brusque leadership style, and the two had a tense relationship.
The extent of Rhee's responsibilities in her new role weren't immediately clear, nor was it clear how often she would have to be in Florida for the job.
Scott was interested in bringing Rhee into his education circle as soon as he was elected last month, sources in Florida said. She has been a prominent national advocate for the school reform agenda supported by President Obama, which involves closing failing schools, linking teacher pay to student standardized test scores and other measures.
Florida education activists have been speculating on a possible scenario in which Rhee could live in Tallahassee as state commissioner for a few years, with the hope that Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor and the brother of ex-president George W. Bush, runs for president in 2012 and wins.
Bush has said he doesn’t plan to run but he wouldn’t be the first politician to say that and change his/her mind.
Bush, though no longer governor, remains politically powerful in Florida and has a national impact in education issues through his Foundation for Excellence in Education. Just this week, he hosted a two-day school reform seminar in the District that attracted big names in the reform world, though Rhee was not one of them.
Bush and Rhee’s fiancee, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, have worked together on a number of education initiatives. And Bush and Rhee agree on many of the key tenets of today’s “reform”: charter schools and standardized tests. The two recently appeared together as members of a panel on education reform at the Harvard University’s Institute of Politics.
Follow my blog every day by bookmarking washingtonpost.com/answersheet. And for admissions advice, college news and links to campus papers, please check out our Higher Education page at washingtonpost.com/higher-ed Bookmark it!
| December 2, 2010; 5:43 PM ET
Tags: florida, michelle rhee, rhee and florida, rhee going to florida, rick scott, scott hires rhee
Save & Share: Previous: A system to tell how your kid is doing in school
Next: Time to pay attention to a reform that works
Posted by: inickdc | December 2, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: murphinfla | December 2, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: edlharris | December 2, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: teacher39years | December 2, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: mcstowy | December 2, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: edlharris | December 2, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: efavorite | December 2, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: phoss1 | December 3, 2010 7:18 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: ProfessorWrightBSU | December 3, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: dcparent | December 3, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: educationlover54 | December 3, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: educationlover54 | December 3, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: ProfessorWrightBSU | December 3, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: CharlesBramlet | December 3, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: SidelinesObservant | December 3, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: mcstowy | December 3, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: OlSloaner | December 3, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.