Oprah Winfrey is advocating for the school system in Newark to hire D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee as its next superintendent.
Winfrey, who has called Rhee a "warrior woman," made the recommendation on her show airing today. Other New Jersey education advocates have suggested the same move.
Rhee spokeswoman Safiya Jafari Simmons says the chancellor had no comment on Winfrey's remarks.
As some of you may have heard, Oprah Winfrey is having some guests on her show today: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R), Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D, though I'm not so sure anymore) and Facebook head honcho Mark Zuckerberg (I for ignorant). Zuckerberg has created a $100M challenge grant (not a donation) to improve the schools of Newark, NJ. Admittedly, Newark schools are some of the worst in the state and they need a lot of help, but do they need this kind of help?
"So we should close down schools that are failing, get a lot of good charter schools and figure out new contracts for teachers so that better teachers can get paid more money, that more for performance as opposed to just based on how long you've been there," he said in the TechCrunch interview in a section of the Q&A preceded by the word "DELETE."
Never mind that this kind of move would likely throw many teachers out of work were the system to go all-charter. Work rules, tneure, all that. Out the window. You've likely seen the recent study that disproves the theory that merit pay leads to better-educated children.
Of course, none of this has anything to do with the new movie "The Social Network", which, to say he least, is not too kind to Mr. Zuckerberg.
Winfrey and Zuckerberg went to great lengths to explain that the timing of the announcement has no connection to the forthcoming film about his life and the founding of Facebook, which paints an unflattering portrait of the young billionaire. Zuckerberg laughed off the portrait of him in the film saying, "It's a movie. It's fun. A lot of it is fiction," he said. "This is my life so I know it's not that dramatic."
I guess we have to destroy Newark in order to save it.
Note: I am a licensed teacher, currently unable to find any meaningful work. I had an extremely negative experience with a charter school, one that has put my license in jeopardy and I would like to prevent what happened to me from happening to anyone else.