D.C. Teachers Protest At School Vouchers Conference | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

D.C. Teachers Protest At School Vouchers Conference

Play associated audio
Teachers protest outside a school vouchers conference Monday, where former Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee will speak Tuesday.
Matt Laslo
Teachers protest outside a school vouchers conference Monday, where former Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee will speak Tuesday.

She's no longer employed by the city, but mention Rhee's name and it elicits polar opposite responses, and the vast majority of the crowd Monday isn't happy with her tenure.

While chancellor, Rhee closed schools, renegotiated compensation packages with the teachers union and fired hundreds of teachers. Rhee also supports voucher programs.

Nathan Saunders, the head of the Washington Teachers' Union, says Rhee's tough stance with unions is spreading across the United States.

"She certainly did bring a new furor to the movement," Saunders says.

Test scores increased under Rhee, but an investigation has raised questions about whether officials tampered with those tests.

"What were concerned about is that there are a lot of voucher programs around the country, and those voucher programs have not been proven to be true," says Michael Morrill, with the Pennsylvania group Keystone Progress.

A very small group of voucher supporters stopped by too. Brendan Steinhauser, of the conservative group Freedom Works, says vouchers are one of many educational reforms that should be on the table.

"It's important because I think it injects competition into the school system," Steinhauser says.

Rhee is slated to speak at the conference Tuesday morning.


Beyond The Bestsellers: Nancy Pearl Recommends 'Under The Radar' Reads

NPR's go-to books guru has sent host Steve Inskeep a stack of books — titles she thinks deserve more attention than they've been getting. Here are her fiction picks, to kick off your summer reading.

Census Reveals Universe Of Marine Microbes At Bottom Of The Food Chain

The ocean's tiniest inhabitants — including bacteria, plankton, krill — are food for most everything that swims or floats. Now, scientists have completed a count of this vast and diverse hidden world.

Congressional Stalemate Threatens To Kill Phone Data Program

Congress continues to debate the USA Patriot Act. A key provision allowing the bulk collection of Americans' phone records expires at the end of the month.

Mechanical Turk Workers: Secret Cogs In The Internet Marketplace

There are hundreds of thousands of people doing stuff to your Internet experience that you may think is the work of an algorithm. They're working from home doing tiny tasks computers can't quite do.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.