Michelle Rhee, the former chancellor of Washington, DC public schools, is one of the most admired and reviled school reformers in America. For PBS NewsHour, Learning Matters was granted unprecedented access to Rhee during her tumultuous three-year tenure as she attempted to fix a broken school system. This hour-long Frontline documentary expands on this reporting with an examination of her legacy in Washington, DC, including her battles with the teachers’ union and her handling of a cheating scandal in the District.
The Education of Michelle Rhee is available freely as a streaming video - either above, or on the Frontline website.
John Merrow’s weekly blog provides behind-the-scenes info:
1/9/13: Meet Adell Cothorne
Adell Cothorne, the former DC principal who appears in our Frontline film, “The Education of Michelle Rhee,” was one of the few educators willing to speak on the record about the widespread erasures during Michelle Rhee’s tenure – and what she has to say is important.
1/15/13: The Missing Memo
This is the story of a missing memo, numerous attempts to unearth it using the Freedom of Information Act, confidential sources, apparently lost email, and new questions about Michelle Rhee’s decision not to investigate widespread erasures on an important standardized test during her first year in Washington, DC.
4/11/13: Michelle Rhee’s Reign of Error
With the indictment of former Atlanta School Superintendent Beverly A. Hall and 34 other public school employees in a massive cheating scandal, the time is right to re-examine other situations of possible illegal behavior by educators. Washington, DC, belongs at the top of that list.
1/4/13: WASHINGTON POST - ‘Frontline’ raises questions about test-score tampering under Rhee
1/7/13: THIS WEEK IN EDUCATION - Preview: New PBS Documentary Humanizes Rhee’s Tenure
1/8/13: THIS WEEK IN EDUCATION - Update: Behind Frontline’s Rhee Documentary
1/8/13: EWA: EDMEDIA COMMONS - Five Questions For … PBS NewsHour Correspondent John Merrow on Frontline’s New Michelle Rhee Documentary
1/8/13: WNYC: THE LEONARD LOPATE SHOW - John Merrow Guest Appearance
1/8/13: KPCC: TAKE TWO - John Merrow Guest Appearance
1/8/13: CNN: SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT - What’s Michelle Rhee’s legacy in D.C. schools?
1/8/13: GF BRADENBERG: I’m Rather Disappointed With the New Frontline Piece on Michelle Rhee
1/8/13: DIANE RAVITCH- My Commentary on the PBS Rhee Special
1/10/13: GOOD - Students Need More Than Michelle Rhee’s Education Reforms
1/10/13: SACRAMENTO BEE - Ginger Rutland: Michelle Rhee wasn’t perfect, but had the right focus on students as D.C. chancellor
1/11/13: PBS OMBUDSMAN - Michelle Rhee: Reformer, Zealot, Both or Something Else?
ARTICLES AND LINKS
USA Today Memos - These documents detail a back-and-forth between two D.C. education agencies regarding testing investigations, obtained through public-records requests, and correspondence between USA TODAY and D.C. Public Schools.
A History of Michelle Rhee, George Parker, and Teacher Unions This resource, originally produced for our PBS NewsHour series, provides an overview of Rhee’s negotiations with the DC Teacher Union.
MICHELLE RHEE IN WASHINGTON, DC
Learning Matters had unprecedented access during Michelle Rhee’s 3 years as Chancellor in Washington DC. During that time, we produced an award-winning series for PBS NewsHour to document her efforts, as well as supplemental podcasts.
Watch the full series below:
These podcast interviews provide a deeper look at some of the topics discussed on Frontline:
Extended interviews with Michelle Rhee:
At 37, young and in charge (10/9/07)
Rhee’s candid self-assessment (5/27/08)
Rhee looks back on her first year (7/22/08)
Rhee on two years worth of mistakes (8/17/09)
Extended interviews with Adrian Fenty:
Adrian Fenty’s take (2/26/08)
Further insight on DCPS teacher layoffs and IMPACT:
The 90 Day Plan (5/3/09)
Jason Kamras on IMPACT (11/17/09)
The Reduction in Force (11/17/09)
The IMPACT system, at work (9/9/10)
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