WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Rhee's Appearance At Vouchers Conference Brings Up Old Grievances

Play associated audio
Some members of D.C.'s teachers union protested a conference featuring former D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee Monday. That same day, hundreds of teachers were notified that their positions would be eliminated by the end of the school year.
Matt Laslo
Some members of D.C.'s teachers union protested a conference featuring former D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee Monday. That same day, hundreds of teachers were notified that their positions would be eliminated by the end of the school year.

While protesters carry signs with messages against school vouchers, it's clear the large crowd outside the Washington Marriott Monday wasn't happy with many aspects of Rhee's tenure in D.C. Besides supporting school vouchers, she renegotiated teacher's contracts and fired hundreds of teachers.

Her legacy continues even after her departure last year; DCPS will cut 600 teacher and employee positions this year, and those laid off will be evaluated for new positions based on merit evaluations, rather than seniority -- something Rhee insisted upon in the new contract.

Her critics, like former teacher and blogger Guy Brandenburg, say Rhee's legacy only added to the nationwide debate over unions and vouchers now being waged in places like Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

"I definitely do think it has spread nationally now because of her impact," he says.

Nathan Saunders, the head of the Washington Teacher's Union, says officials across the U.S. are using budget shortfalls to attack unions like his.

"It's a lot less about the unions not doing good work and not being good for the cities and the children they serve, more about the costs they're paying for good services," Saunders says.

Supporters of vouchers say the programs are all about leveling the playing field for some underprivileged students while also injecting more competition into the educational system. Rhee is scheduled to address the conference on vouchers this morning.

NPR

Hieronymus Bosch Died 500 Years Ago, But His Art Will Still Creep You Out

Known by some as "the Devil's painter," Bosch depicted imaginary animals and souls being violently tortured. At least one critic believes he's the father of modern art.
NPR

With A Zap, Scientists Create Low-Fat Chocolate

Scientists say they've figured out how to reduce the fat in milk chocolate by running it through an electric field. The result is healthier, but is it tastier?
NPR

1976: The Last Time Republicans Duked It Out To The Last, Heated Minute

In this encore presentation of For the Record, NPR's Rachel Martin looks at the last contested convention: the 1976 GOP meeting in Kansas City. Ronald Reagan nearly denied Gerald Ford the nomination.
NPR

President Obama Acknowledges 'Brexit' To Silicon Valley Crowd

President Obama delivered a speech Friday at Stanford University, and remarked on the Brexit vote in front of a crowd of young, tech-forward, pro-globalization attendees from 170 countries.

Leave a Comment

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