John Merrow did a credible exam of Rhee and her DC initiative too. https://www.pbs.org/newshour/education/examining-michelle-rhees-legacy-in-education-reform
In January of 2002, the No Child Left Behind Act was signed into law, establishing a high stakes testing regime with all children tested in grades 3-8 and once in high school. Test-and-punish school accountability meant annual testing and also a set of punishments for so-called failing schools and their staffs. The punishments eventually put in place were closing schools, firing teachers and principals, and privatizing or charterizing schools. States were eventually required to use students’ standardized test scores as a significant percentage of their formal evaluation process for teachers. The assumption behind all this was that incentives and punishments would make educators work harder and that standardized test scores would rise and achievement gaps would close. But test scores didn’t rise and achievement gaps didn’t close.
No school district epitomized this sort of data-driven, standardized test-based school reform like Washington, D.C. In 2007, Michelle Rhee was brought in as…
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