Michelle Rhee, on NBC-TV’s Meet The Press program today showed a hilarious Olympics-themed 30-second ad for her StudentsFirst (“a movement to transform public education”) organization. StudentsFirst advocates education reform, including the ending of teacher tenure.
I had no idea who Ms. Rhee was, before today. Thanks to Google, I learned that she was chancellor of Washington DC’s school system from 2007 to 2010. According to her entry in Wikipedia,
Rhee inherited a troubled system; there had been six school chiefs in the previous 10 years, students historically had below-average scores on standardized tests, and according to Rhee, only 8% of eighth graders were at grade level in mathematics. The D.C. schools were performing poorly despite having the advantage of the third highest spending per student in the US.
That last sentence confirms my contention that just throwing money at our broken education system won’t fix it. As a nation, we spend more money per student than any other country — and on math and science tests, our students score lower than most of them.