Michelle Rhee

  • Aired:  12/01/10
  •  | Views: 27,438

Michelle Rhee says the problem with America's public schools is that there is no organized interest group that represents children. (5:18)

FORMER CHANCELLOR OF THE D.C.

PUBLIC SCHOOLS.

SO MY SECURITY TEAM'S METAL

DETECTORS AND PATDOWNS WILL BE

FAMILIAR TO HER.

PLEASE WELCOME MICHELLE RHEE.

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE )

HEY, MS. RHEE, THANK YOU SO MUCH

FOR COMING ON.

NOW, YOUNG LADY, YOU'VE GOT

QUITE A STORIED HISTORY WHEN IT

COMES TO REFORMING EDUCATION.

YOU WERE, LET'S SEE, THIS IS A

PHOTO.

CAN I GET A SHOT OF THAT MAYBE

HERE ON TWO?

THAT'S YOU ON THE COVER OF

"TIME" MAGAZINE ABOUT TWO YEARS

AGO.

>> YEAH.

>> THIS TIME IT SAYS HOW TO FIX

AMERICA'S SCHOOLS.

OKAY.

YOU WERE THE KING OF REFORM

SCHOOL MOUNTAIN, AND NOW YOU

JUST LOST YOUR JOB AS THE HEAD

OF THE D.C. SCHOOLS.

>> I DID.

>> WHAT GIVES?

WHO DID YOU CROSS?

>> WELL, MY BOSS, ADRIAN FENTY,

WHO WAS THE MAYOR OF D.C., LOST

HIS ELECTION, SO THAT MEANS I

LOST MY JOB.

>> YOU LOST YOUR JOB AND NOW THE

KIDS GET LEFT BEHIND.

>> WELL, NO, HOPEFULLY THEY

DON'T.

>> Stephen: ARE YOU FAN OF ONO

CHILD LEFT BEHIND?

>> I ACTUALLY AM.

>> Stephen: THANK YOU FOR

SAYING GEORGE BUSH IS OUR

GREATEST PRESIDENT.

THAT'S KIND OF WHAT YOU'RE

SAYING BECAUSE THAT WAS HIS

THING.

>> IT WAS HIS THING.

I THINK YOU SHOULD GIVE CREDIT

WHERE CREDIT IS DUE.

THIS IS ONE AREA THAT PRESIDENT

BUSH ACTUALLY DID A VERY GOOD

JOB IN BECAUSE HE BROUGHT

ACCOUNTABILITY TO THE PUBLIC

SCHOOLS.

>> Stephen: NOW, AS AN

EDUCATOR OR AS SOMEONE REFORMING

EDUCATION, WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST

CHALLENGE YOU FACED?

>> I THINK THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE

WAS CHANGING THE CULTURE OF THE

SCHOOL DISTRICT.

I THINK THAT PEOPLE WERE NOT

USED TO BEING HELD RESPONSIBLE

FOR WHAT OUR JOBS WERE, WHICH

WAS EDUCATION.

>> Stephen: YOU TALKING

TEACHERS UNIONS?

>> I'M TALKING ABOUT THE

TEACHERS UNIONS.

>> Stephen: WE HAD A STRIKE

AROUND HERE.

I SENT OUT HOOLIGANS AND I BEAT

MY WRITERS UNTIL THEY CAME BACK

HERE AND STARTED THE

TIPPITY-TAPPITY AGAIN.

WHY DON'T YOU CRACK A FEW

SKULLS?

>> WELL, WE THOUGHT WE SHOULD

USE A CARROT INSTEAD OF A STICK,

SO WHAT WE WANTED TO DO IS

ACTUALLY SET UP A SYSTEM WHERE

WE COULD PAY THE BEST TEACHERS

SIX-FIGURE SALARIES AND PAY THEM

WHAT THEY DESERVE BUT ALSO

ENSURE THAT THEY WERE HELD

RESPONSIBLE FOR DOING A GOOD JOB

SO IF THEY WERE INEFACTTIVE WE

COULD QUICKLY REMOVE THEM FROM

THEIR DUTIES.

>> Stephen: LET ME TAKE YOU TO

TASK FOR A SECOND.

WHAT IS THE BIG DEAL ON

EDUCATION.

SELL ME ON EDUCATING CHILDREN.

WHY?

RIGHT?

BECAUSE WHY SHOULD I CARE, AN

LET ME PUT THIS DELICATELY, WHY

SHOULD I CARE ABOUT THE KIDS AT

GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER HIGH

SCHOOL WHEN MY KIDS ARE DOING

FINE AT ED BEGLEY, JR., PREP?

>> WELL, ACTUALLY, A LOT OF

PEOPLE THINK THEIR KIDS ARE

DOING WELL AT ED BEGLEY, JR.,

PREP.

>> Stephen: MY KIDS ARE THE

SMART KIDS.

MY CHILDREN ARE THE MOST

BRILLIANT, BEAUTIFUL, PERFECT

CHILDREN IN THE WORLD.

>> YOU MAY THINK, SO BUT WHAT

THE DATA SAYS IF YOU LOOK AT THE

TOP 5% OF AMERICAN STUDENTS,

THEY ARE ACTUALLY 25th OUT

OF 30 DEVELOPED NATIONS IN TERMS

OF THE GLOBAL TOP...

>> Stephen: BUT IF I REFUSE TO

LEARN MATH, I WON'T KNOW THAT.

>> BUT THEN YOU WON'T HAVE A JOB

EITHER.

>> Stephen: YOU WANT US TO BE

NUMBER ONE AGAIN?

>> YES.

>> Stephen: WHEN WERE WE

NUMBER ONE?

WERE WE EVER AHEAD OF GERMANY?

>> AMERICA WAS NUMBER ONE IN THE

1950s.

WE WERE NUMBER ONE IN GRADUATION

RATES.

WE WERE NUMBER ONE IN RATES OF

GOING TO COLLEGE AND OUR

PROFICIENCY RATES WERE A LOT

HIGHER THAN MOST DEVELOPED

NATIONS.

>> Stephen: WHAT HAS HAPPENED

TO OUR SCHOOLS THAT YOU ARE

TRYING TO REVERSE?

>> SO I THINK THAT WHAT HAPPENED

WAS WE HAVE A LOT OF SPECIAL

INTERESTS NOW WHO ARE DRIVING

THE AGENDA IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS.

YOU HAVE, YOU KNOW, TEXTBOOK

MANUFACTURERS, YOU HAVE TEACHERS

UNION, YOU HAVE FOOD SERVICE

PEOPLE, AND THE PROBLEM IS THAT

THERE IS NO ORGANIZED INTEREST

GROUP THAT REPRESENTS CHILDREN.

>> Stephen: WHAT ABOUT THE

KIDS?

DID YOU ASK THE KIDS HOW THEY

THINK THE SCHOOLS SHOULD BE

CHANGED?

DID YOU TRY 7-UP IN THE WATER

FOUNTAIN OR DOUGHNUT DAY IN

>> IT'S INTERESTING BECAUSE I

DID TALK TO THE KIDS ALL THE

TIME.

I ASKED THEM, IF I COULD DO ONE

THING THAT WOULD REALLY IMPROVE

YOUR EXPERIENCE IN SCHOOL, WHAT

WOULD IT BE.

AND THEY DIDN'T ASK FOR SPRITE

IN THE WATER FOUNTAIN, THEY

ASKED FOR GREAT TEACHERS.

THEY SAID, IF YOU BRING US GREAT

TEACHERS, THAT MAKES EVERYTHING

WORTHWHILE.

>> Stephen: NOW THAT YOU'RE NO

LONGER THE HEAD OF THE D.C.

PUBLIC SCHOOLS, WHAT IS NEXT FOR

YOU?

WHAT JOB WILL YOU BE FORCED OUT

OF NEXT?

LAFTD LAUGHTER

>> WELL, HOPEFULLY I WON'T BE

FORCED OUT OF ANY JOB, BUT I'M

TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT MAKES

SENSE IN TERMS OF A NEXT JOB.

>> Stephen: HAVE YOU EVER

THOUGHT OF BEING A

CORRESPONDENT.

>> WELL, I'D BE VERY INTERESTED

IN JOINING THE TEAM.

>> Stephen: DO YOU HAVE A

RESUME?

>> NEW YORK I DON'T.

>> Stephen: WELL, WE'LL NEED

TO SEE REFERENCES.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

MICHELLE RHEE, FORMER HEAD OF

THE D.C. P

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