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Opinion: The impact of Michelle Rhee’s ‘culture of urgency’


It is an almost universal tribute offered about Michelle Rhee’s 3 1/2 -year tenure of the Washington D.C. school district—that if she accomplished one thing, it was to instill a sense of urgency in the city about the need to fix broken schools that had failed children for decades, says Washington Post columnist Valerie Strauss. Actually, it was Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, who hired Rhee and gave her carte blanche, who made school reform the city’s top priority. Rhee got all the attention because Fenty wanted it that way. And because he did, she rushed to move the needle by implementing half-finished and poorly thought-out initiatives. Her speed helped fuel the sense that she was more committed to change than everybody else—which wasn’t true then and isn’t now…

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