Questions fluttered around the web trying to guess Michelle Rhee’s next move after she resigned as the Superintendent of DC Public Schools. She even stated in Waiting for Superman that DC would be her one and only attempt at Superintendency, but the rumors still persisted:
Newsweek. What’s Rhee’s Next Assignment? 10.16.2010:
“Rhee’s pending marriage to Sacramento, Calif., Mayor Kevin Johnson would seem to make a move to the West Coast the most likely. But there has been a lot of speculation about whether Rhee is interested in taking over the deeply troubled Newark, N.J., school system. The mayor of Newark, Cory Booker, is an old friend; the Republican governor, Chris Christie, has been a public booster; and the current Newark superintendent is leaving. A recent $100 million gift from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg could fund a dramatic overhaul.”
Even Oprah got in on the hype:
NJ.com. Oprah Winfrey backs D.C. schools chief as next Newark superintendent. 9.24.2010:
“Winfrey, who has called Rhee a “warrior woman,” made the recommendation on her show airing today. Other New Jersey education advocates have suggested the same move.”
But, alas, Rhee surprised everyone when she announced started her own organization called Students First, “a movement to transform public education.”
Now that she has had first hand experience trying to change a school system from the inside and coming up against trouble with teacher unions and administrations, she is taking a new approach, like Schools That Can, in the form of a nonprofit.
We wish Rhee the best of luck in her new endeavor as the nation is beginning to understand that no child should have to wait for the failing system to change. It’s no secret how to run a great school, we have 65 doing it right now across the US in low income communities, and it’s wonderful to have such a heavy hitter join the fight.