I am somewhat conflicted about Michelle Rhee. On the one hand, I really think that schools need to be radically reformed. I like how she didn't just go after teachers. She cut front office staff and she went after principals who stood in the way of progress. I like that a lot. I also support the idea that we should be paid based on effectiveness, so long as that can be measured in a fair way.
But here's the part that worries me -- this is from a Newsweek article from 2008. In it, there is talk of how Rhee believes that all teachers should be like KIPP teachers who work 7 to 7 and on Saturday (I don't know if that includes their prep and grading time... I sure hope so) and carry cell phones so kids can reach them at all times. Someone else (not Rhee, but the implication is that Rhee would agree) says:
"But what we need to do is change the idea that education is the only career that needs to be done for life. There are a lot of smart people who change careers every six or seven years, while education ends up with a bunch of people on the low end of the pile who don't want to compete in the job market."
I am not at all sure that I think teachers should work themselves to the bone for 6 or 7 years, burn out, and then quit. If that's her vision of where education needs to go, I am not for it.
So as I say, I'm conflicted. I would need to know whether that quote really summarizes her vision of what a teacher's life should be. If it is, I would not donate or support her.