After an arduous process, it finally happened: Washington, D.C., Mayor Adrian Fenty took control of the city's schools. And his first act was ousting Superintendent Clifford Janey and appointing Michelle Rhee, founder of the New Teacher Project. In a symbolic act of renaming, Rhee will become the District's first "Schools Chancellor." Her lack of conventional experience has already come under fire from the usual suspects, though; Lee Glazer, founder of the demagogic Save Our Schools coalition, called Rhee a "nobody." (That just goes to show how out of touch Glazer is.) But in her previous job, Rhee worked extensively with large, urban districts (and their hulking bureaucracies) while still remaining outside of them. Such experience may actually help her come up with new and innovative solutions D.C. Public Schools desperately need. Of course, she faces a Herculean task that might very well be impossible--she is but one person against a backward system. For now, though, a tip of the fedora to Fenty for making such an inspired and politically-gutsy choice.
"Fenty to Oust Janey Today," by David Nakamura, Washington Post, June 12, 2007