Michele Rhee, the District of Columbia’s public schools chancellor, has done a lot to shake up schools in the nation’s capital.
But for some, change can’t come soon enough.
So Rhee is intent on attracting young teachers who aren’t vested in the old contractual arrangements with the teachers’ union, which Rhee thinks is getting in the way of her reform efforts.
In other words, Rhee is looking for a “new breed” of teachers, mostly 20-somethings fresh out of college, who may not have majored in education but are drawn to teaching; like 22-year-old Meredith Leonard, a sixth-grade English teacher at Shaw-Garnet-Patterson Middle School.
Like many first-year teachers who’ve poured into Washington, D.C., in the past few years, Leonard is receptive to the changes that Rhee is proposing, such as merit pay and doing away with tenure.