Saturday, February 5, 2011

Merit Pay: Michelle Rhee slated for Senate and House Committees

Merit Pay: Michelle Rhee slated for Senate and House Committees

Senate and House Education Committees meet on February 9 and 10, 2011 to continue the discussion on merit pay legislation. Headlining both committee meetings will be Michelle Rhee, former Washington DC chancellor and current "informal teacher adviser" to Governor Rick Scott. Both Senator Stephen Wise and Representative Bill Proctor, chairmen of education committees crafting new legislation, say they want to hear what Rhee's experiences were, what she learned, and what she would do differently.

Personally, I am not interested in Rhee or her three and half year experience as chancellor implementing a merit pay plan known as  IMPACT. Schooling in Florida is not the same as Washington DC. Remarkably, Rhee carries seemingly superstar status equally in the Republican and Democrat establishment. However, Tennessee policymakers have 15 years of experience in the development of a statistical model that is used as part of a teacher's evaluation. The Tennessee legislature codified teacher evaluation and there were no reports of fireworks. Tennessee is recognized for its efforts, but gets no superstar status. I  think Florida would be better served by testimony and input from Tennessee.

D.C. news reports that in Rhee's last year, elementary standardized test scores declined, an event she could not account for at the time and no further explanation has emerged. Recently, D.C. school officials "disclosed that 40 percent of the 636 teachers judged "highly effective" under IMPACT declined the performance bonuses because they involved waiving certain job protections."  I never heard of an employee turning down a bonus, have you?

If you are interested in Rhee, her testimony may be accessible via live streaming or later via video. You can check out what is available on February 9 and 10 at the Senate and House committee websites:


Posted By Sandra


  1. Sandra.. I've also been wondering why Rhee has been appointed the Education Guru. I think it's mostly media hype. She tried to take on very ugly school system and straighten it out.. in the process she got up in the inner workings of DC Government. Tha doesn't her a failure, but it doesn't mean she knows all the answers..

  2. You ask a good question, Grumpy. It is also the political establishment that pushes her name as a significant voice. It is rather unusual that she is cheered by both sides, from the Bush Administration to the Obama Administration. She was politically endorsed for the position in D.C. Then, she has done a good job at self promotion. Frankly, I don't think she offers Florida much insight. With Governor Scott's dramatic budget cutting, where will the money come from to fund SB736? The silence on that point is notable.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.