Jacob J. Walker's Blog

Scholarly Thoughts, Research, and Journalism for Informal Peer Review

Some More Thoughts about StudentsFirst and Michelle Rhee

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It is very clear that in the field of education, Michelle Rhee is a controversial figure.  She gained prominence as the chancellor of the Washington, D.C. public schools, in which she was featured in the documentary Waiting for Superman.  More recently she started the organization Students First, which is located in Sacramento and which I wrote a little about previously.

I think some people took my previous post to mean that I support everything that is happening with the privatization of education.  This was brought home to me, when at the public hearing about Highlands Community Charter School, I was asked privately by Kristin Finney, President of Twin Rivers United Educators,  about what I thought about Michelle Rhee. (She had read my previous blog post)

To have the record clear: I think it is wise to listen to all sides of a debate that may have validity in their thinking.  This is why I also have been listening to Diane Ravitch, and found her recent interview on Moyers and Company, to be very interesting, and to contain a lot of food for thought.

So where do I fall on the debate of public vs. private education?  I am open to considering both sides arguments, as I am not convinced of either yet.  But, pure corporatization of  schools worries me.  Yet I don’t think this means we should throw out the baby with the bathwater, about what is good about alternative methods of education that have less bureaucracy involved, at least in the areas where bureaucracy doesn’t ultimately help.

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Written by Jacob Walker

April 19th, 2014 at 11:59 am

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