Taking a Crack at California's Education System

Lauren Williams's picture
Thursday, March 28, 2013

When Michelle Rhee wants to make a point about what she sees as the coddling of American children, she refers to her daughters' abundant soccer trophies.

"My daughters suck at soccer," she says to crowds that roar with knowing laughter.

The former District of Columbia schools chancellor is pitch perfect in the role of outraged parent and education reformer, distilling complex policy debates into bare-knuckled banter.

In Rhee's world, as she recently told crowds in Los Angeles and Sacramento, teacher seniority protections are "whack," principals can be "nutty" and charter schools can be "crappy." Such frank talk has made the controversial former teacher a celebrity and potential political powerhouse.

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