Michelle Rhee, the education firebrand/lightning rod who is the former chancellor of Washington, D.C. public schools, sat down for an interview with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show last night.
Rhee founded education advocacy group StudentsFirst. Rhee has advised Florida Gov. Rick Scott. She is known for vociferously challenging teacher’s unions and promoting policies
Stewart particularly questioned Rhee about her treatment of teachers and the effect on professional morale. Stewart also asked if it was fair to minimize the effect of poverty and upbringing on student achievement, as Rhee’s brand of “no excuses” school policies often do.
The wave of new education policies, Stewart said, have left teachers feeling like a football team forced to adjust each time a new offensive is brought in.
Florida recently earned a B- on a StudentsFirst report card grading state education policy, the second-highest grade in the nation. StudentsFirst has an active Florida chapter and worked unsuccessfully last year on behalf of the so-called “parent trigger” law.
Stewart gave Rhee the extended interview treatment, broadcasting a portion of the sit down and then posting the full interrogation online.
We’ve also collected a few reactions from the Twitter hive mind as the show aired last night.