Megan Lilly's Essay Submission
Listen up, America: Michelle Rhee
Is Michelle Rhee the most hated woman in education? Many would adamantly support this statement, but not me. Why should a woman who stood up and fought for those who have no voice be scorned by the American public? Michelle Rhee took action in the D.C school district as their chancellor, and transformed it, or at least tried to, before being ousted out. She is a woman who is seeing our nation’s achievement gap become a hole right before her and is responding. Regardless of how one feels about her progressive view of education, women of all ages should find hope in Michelle Rhee’s courage and conviction to provide a better future for America.
Our world seems to have become a society of more problems than solutions, but Michelle Rhee has shown me different. Finally, a woman has come along and is looking for an answer. She has taught me that even when problems seem too complicated, we must be proactive. No longer can our nation lament about the underprivileged children who are not receiving a proper education or the failing teacher with tenure that is impossible to get dismissed. In a July 2007 confirmation hearing for her chancellorship, Rhee proclaimed, “We will no longer describe failure as the result of vast impersonal forces like poverty or a broken bureaucracy." Excuses are not acceptable for this woman. As both a female and future educator, she provides hope and inspiration that teachers can work together to show students their potential in this changing world. While the chancellor of D.C. schools, Michelle Rhee held educators accountable for their students’ scores. Yes, as a future teacher it is scary that my livelihood is held in the hands of my students’ scantron bubbles, but then I realize that I have willingly chosen the important task of teaching. I will not allow the outside bureaucracy and negativity affect what occurs in my classroom. Michelle Rhee has taken a stand for the American education and has inspired me to take a stand for my own students.
Even through the mudslinging and pessimists, Ms. Rhee has overcome adversity. After resigning from D.C. school district, she has continued on her crusade to better America’s education system. Her fight is a continued uphill battle and will not be solved overnight, but she has encouraged and sparked hope within me. People like Michelle Rhee, hated by America or not, have forced our nation to listen up.