Rhee Joins Influential New Board
D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee has joined the newly formed advisory board of the Broad Center for the Management of School Systems, a non-profit that trains new urban school leaders. D.C. State Schools Superintendent Deborah Gist is a recent graduate of one of its programs, The Broad Superintendents Academy.
Today's announcement is noteworthy because the center is a spin-off of the Eli & Edythe Broad Foundation, one of the philanthropic organizations that may be poised to fund the package of raises and performance bonuses Rhee has proposed to the Washington Teachers' Union.
Broad, a Los Angeles housing and insurance billionaire, has been a sharp critic of how public school systems are managed. Under Rhee's proposal, the biggest paydays would go to teachers willing to give up their tenure for a year, making them "at will" employees eligible to be fired without appeal. Sources say Broad is one of the foundations Rhee has mentioned in private meetings.
Spokeswoman Erica Lepping said Rhee's seat on the center's board will not affect any funding decisions by the foundation. "The two are not connected," she said. "We're thrilled to have her participation."
The center has been managed by a staff for several years but the board was added to give it better "strategic direction," Lepping said. The new panel is a powerful cross section of public and private players in education reform. It will be chaired by New York City schools Chancellor Joel Klein, a mentor of Rhee's. Other members include Philadelphia schools superintendent and former DCPS chief Arlene Ackerman, former Education Secretary Margaret Spellings, Teach for America founder and chief executive officer Wendy Kopp and Carlyle Group senior advisor and former IBM chairman Louis Gerstner, Jr.
Lepping said the board, which will be compensated only for travel and expenses, will meet twice a year, on the east coast.
March 19, 2009; 7:00 PM ET
Categories: Bill Turque , Education
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