Advancing a Free Society

Holes in the case against Michelle Rhee

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

With states from New Jersey to Indiana searching for ways to modify teacher compensation and teacher tenure laws, the pioneering work byMichelle Rhee, former chancellor of schools for the District of Columbia, has come under increasing scrutiny.

Not only have newspapers claimed cheating at a few specific schools in the District, but two separate studies have sought recently to cast doubt on the distinctiveness of the gains achieved by D.C. students during Ms. Rhee’s tenure in office - one by Alan Ginsburg, a former director of policy and program studies at the Department of Education, the other by a committee constituted by the National Research Council (NRC).

According to Mr. Ginsburg, Ms. Rhee was no more effective than her predecessors. Not surprisingly, his argument has been picked up quickly by American Federation of Teachers President Randy Weingarten, who asserts in a Wall Street Journal interview that Ms. Rhee “had a record that is actually no better than the previous two chancellors.” The NRC committee says gains in the District were no greater than those in 10 other big-city school districts for which comparable information is available.

Where’s the evidence that Ms. Rhee was no better than her predecessors? And that other cities are doing just as well?

Continue reading Paul Peterson in The Washington Times

(photo credit: mar is sea Y)