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It would be tough to find a more polarizing figure in the education reform debate than Michelle Rhee, former chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools, who is the focus of a new Frontline documentary debuting Tuesday on PBS. "The Education of Michelle Rhee" represents a five-year effort by veteran education journalist John Merrow ( Newshour , Learning Matters ) to understand the impact of Rhee’s tumultuous tenure in D.C. He also sheds new light on allegations that dramatic surges in student test scores were the result of adult manipulation of the answer sheets, rather than genuine learning gains. [See EWA's Story Starters on Teachers and Standards and Testing .]
For the new Frontline documentary, veteran education journalist John Merrow ( Learning Matters ) was granted unprecedented access to Michelle Rhee during her turbulent three-year tenure as chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools. “The Education of Michelle Rhee” airs Tuesday on PBS, following her as she implemented sweeping changes, closed schools and fired staff. (Amid accusations that student test score gains were tainted and complaints about her heavy-handed management style, Rhee resigned her post in 2010 and has since launched the StudentsFirst advocacy organization.) Merrow spoke with EWA. 1. For an urban superintendent facing the kinds of challenges Michelle Rhee was facing during her tenure, and given the extraordinary reforms she was attempting to implement, was it better to be feared than to be loved?
If you've read the Radical for any length of time, you'll know that I pretty much despise the carrot-and-stick approach to managing teachers and students that seems to be all the rage in education right now (see here , here and here ). What's completely wild is that many of the top organizational thinkers who are working largely in fields beyond education -- including Authorspeak Keynote presenter Daniel Pink -- agree that incentive programs almost NEVER work . Download Slide_ThePerfectCarrot Chip and Dan Heath -- authors of a TON of great reads including The Myth of the Garage , a completely free Corwin eBook -- are no less critical of our fascination with incentive programs than Pink. In Myth of the Garage, they compare incentive programs to the popular urban legend of a Darwin Award winner who strapped a rocket engine to his Chevy Impala looking for the ultimate joy ride only to end up "as a human flapjack" on the side of a lonely Arizona mountain. The Heaths write:
Published Online: December 5, 2011 Commentary By Jonathan Keiler Premium article access courtesy of Edweek.org. The recent spate of cheating scandals in cities like Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington presents an interesting conundrum.
Published Online: December 20, 2011 First Person By Charles Laurent Premium article access courtesy of TeacherMagazine.org. Some days when I drive into school in the mornings I go a different way.