Rhee and Jesus in Public Schools

Michelle Rhee wants to get Jesus involved in fixing America’s public schools.

Image Source: Time Magazine

Rhee, the former chancellor of DC schools, has long been the darling of conservatives.  Her anti-union, market-based approaches to fixing public education have won her plaudits as America’s best hope for reforming sclerotic public education systems.

Along the way, Rhee has become the bete noire of educational thinkers such as Diane Ravitch.

Most of the Rhee talk has centered around conservative shibboleths such as vouchers, union-busting, and market-based reforms.

Recently, however, Rhee organized a meeting of religious leaders in Atlanta to discuss the possible roles of religion in reforming public schools.

Rhee’s willingness to talk with folks who want more religion in public schools may signal her broader willingness to engage with the traditional ‘other half’ of conservative school reform.

Among conservatives, free-market ideas and religious traditionalism have long rubbed alongside one another in any discussion of fixing public education.

Now Rhee seems eager to cross that bridge, too.

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