This review of Richard Whitmire’s biography of Michelle Rhee, The Bee Eater, was in Slate a few weeks ago. It’s an interesting read. To wit:
Rhee’s message about education reform is very seductive because it’s simple and optimistic. Childhood poverty and economic school segregation, in Rhee’s world, are just “excuses” for teacher failure. If we could just get the unions to agree to stop protecting bad teachers and allow great teachers to be paid more, she says, we could make all the difference in education. The narrative is attractive because it indeed would be wonderful if poverty and segregation didn’t matter, and if heroic teachers could consistently overcome the odds for students whom everyone agrees deserve a better shot in life.
The fact that Rhee is a hard-working Ivy League graduate makes the elite press respect her as one of their own. And Rhee’s flair for the dramatic makes her irresistible…
Most education researchers, though, recognize that Rhee’s simple vision of heroic teachers saving American education is a fantasy, and that her dramatic, often authoritarian, style is ill-suited for education.
Read the rest HERE.