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On Oprah's List of Power Players: Michelle Rhee


by guest blogger Lesli A. Maxwell

She's been on the cover of Time. She's been the subject of an ongoing PBS series on leadership. She's been hailed as a visionary leader on the editorial pages of The Washington Post and invited everywhere to talk about her plans for dramatic change in Washington's public schools. So it was probably just a matter of time until Michelle Rhee, the chancellor of the District of Columbia public schools, caught the attention of Oprah, who has just published her first-ever "Power List."

Rhee, who has now been at the helm of the D.C. schools for two years, is called a "remarkable visionary" in the O magazine Power List and is described as one of Washington's most controversial but effective leaders. The write-up on Rhee duly notes the achievement gains that have happened on her watch, pointing out that "within her first year, the number of schools with proficiency rates below 20 percent dropped by almost half." Of course, it's debatable how much credit she ought to get for that first year of gains.

Now that Rhee has reached the pop culture pinnacle--Oprah is, after all, a king, err, queenmaker--will she finally be able to cut a deal with the Washington Teachers' Union on a contract that she has pledged could be revolutionary?


Or maybe this will mean Rhee is not long for DCPS?

Thanks for the mention, Lesli. For you and anyone else interested in following the whole PBS series on Rhee, you should go to the new site with videos and playlist: http://bit.ly/1dW0q.

Sorry but Oprah got this all wrong. I guess that makes her human. Oprah's love for people would be better served as a humanitarian for Obama's health care initiative. She endorsed him now back him. Obama is the oak Rhee is a twig. Get back with the heavyweights.

Oprah, a wonderful person, has accumulated a gazillion dollars by making people happy. But she would do well to distance herself from politicians like Obama. You see, Oprah's fans bestow fame and fortune on her voluntarily. With Presidents, it is all about forcibly extracting money and labor from the politically weak.

Oprah funds interesting and heartwarming charities - though I will have to forgive her for backing a mediocre book or two. In contrast, Obama and his regime use the money to fund murderous exploits overseas and keep the banking and military industrial complexes running smoothly.

Per candycane1's comment, there is NOTHING more important than education in this country- how in the world do you think America will continue to be a competitive global force as well as a self-sufficient domestic vehicle in all "heavyweight" issues without it? Michelle Rhee has put forth an immeasurable amount of effort and passion and it is paying off. Perhaps you ought to study some of the statistics of the achievement gap in this country before dismissing what is an equal, if not more important, right for every American citizen.

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