A group of aspiring young education reformers got some straight talk last night from D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee about the challenges of trying to overhaul a troubled urban school district.
"Sometimes, being a leader sucks," Rhee told the Education Pioneers Fellows, 28 graduate students who are finishing up internships in DCPS and other regional school districts and nonprofits. She was recounting what she had told a gathering of principals earlier in the day about the constant criticism and second-guessing they will contend with in trying to give the District's schoolchildren the education they deserve.
Rhee, joined on stage at George Washington University's Marvin Center by Prince George's County Superintendent John E. Deasy, was also asked by moderator Jim Shelton of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation about the "distractions" that kept her from focusing on teaching and learning.
"I certainly think the media is a pain in the butt," she said.
Asked later if she thought if such a choice of words was good modeling for a schools chancellor, she said in an e-mail response that the question "lacks any relevance." She added: "I believe it's good modeling to be real. Direct, open, honest communication that people understand is important."
August 13, 2008; 11:54 AM ET
Categories: Bill Turque , Education
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