Print Friendly and PDF

Michelle Rhee Tackling Education Reform Head On

“You cannot tell me that teachers don’t matter. They matter tremendously and we as a country need to think about what we can do to ensure there is a highly effective teacher in every classroom every day,” said Michelle Rhee during her morning keynote address.

Rhee, the founder and CEO of StudentsFirst and the former chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools, focused her address on three things she finds crucial to effective education reform: respect for and quality teachers, recapturing the American competitive spirit and the need to see education as a bipartisan issue. She noted that the current generation of children are the first generation who will be less educated than their parents in the history of the U.S.

She went on to embellish on her three working items, focusing on the importance of educating children for the jobs available in the country today and arming America’s youth to be competitive in the 21st century global marketplace. She emphasized the importance of quality teachers to a child’s ability to learn over his or her location and economic circumstance. She ended her remarks by saying that public education is supposed to be the great equalizer in this country and there needs to be a concerted effort to get back to the point where every child has the same shot at success.

Following her remarks, Rhee was joined on stage by WDET’s Craig Fahle for a question-and-answer session. This session was sponsored by PNC Bank.