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November 21st, 2012
Exclusive: Michelle Rhee takes aim at teacher tenure
When Michelle Rhee was the chancellor of Washington, D.C. public schools in 2008, she was convinced that tenure was hurting her students, Takepart.com reports. Back then, she told The New York Times: “Tenure is the holy grail of teacher unions but has no educational value for kids; it only benefits adults. If we can put veteran teachers who have tenure in a position where they don’t have it, that would help us to radically increase our teacher quality. And maybe other districts would try it, too.”
In lieu of tenure, Rhee offered Washington teachers the option of tremendous raises. The teachers and their union, however, heartily rejected her proposal. But Rhee has not given up. Today, as the founder and CEO of StudentsFirst, a grassroots organization that fights for public school reform, Rhee is still fighting what she believes is an archaic system.
In an exclusive interview, Rhee discusses why she believes tenure needs to be drastically reformed—if not abolished altogether…