Former D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee Eyed As Trump’s Education Secretary

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Nov 15, 2016 7:00 PM
Former D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee Eyed As Trump’s Education Secretary

President-elect Donald J. Trump wants to bring the country together, so we shouldn’t be surprised if he picks a few Democrats to serve in his cabinet. It’s similar to Barack Obama’s transition when he kept Republican Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense and picked Rep. Ray LaHood (R-IL) to be Transportation Secretary. He also picked Republican Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman to be U.S. Ambassador to China. If President-elect Trump picks who some have said is rumored to be our next education secretary, the Washingtonian noted that teachers unions would “howl” if nominated and confirmed. That person is former Chancellor of D.C. Public Schools Michelle Rhee:

Former DC Public Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee is reportedly in the running to take over the Education Department in President-elect Donald Trump‘s administration. Rhee’s name came up Monday night on CNN as a possible nominee for education secretary next year, along with charter-school executive Eva Moskowitz, and retired neurosurgeon—and one-time presidential candidate—Ben Carson.

During her nearly four-year tenure running DC schools, Rhee became a national hero among the education-reform movement for her promotion of public-charter institutions, private-school voucher programs, and brusque negotiations with the Washington Teachers Union, which represents about 5,000 city teachers. Since stepping down in late 2010, she founded the school-reform group StudentsFirst, which has since been folded into another group; advised Republican Florida Governor Rick Scott on education policy; and became the head of St. Hope Public Schools…

Although it’s been more than five years since Rhee ran the District’s schools, she still casts a looming specter over its teachers. Her successor, Kaya Henderson, largely continued Rhee’s policies, but with a softer hand. (Henderson stepped down in September, fueling speculation that she could’ve been tapped for education secretary had Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton won the November 8 election.)

The publication added that St. Hope has been hot with allegation that it misappropriated federal money, so we’ll see how this works out. Trump already has someone within the orbit, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is still plagued with the Bridgegate fiasco that took down two of his top aides. He was suppose to head the transition team, but got bumped—with Vice President-elect Mike Pence taking over. Rudy Giuliani is rumored to be in the running for Secretary of State, while Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) is said to be in the running for Defense Secretary or Attorney General.