Michelle Rhee: ‘Charter schools are public schools’
Former D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee appeared on Fox and Friends this morning, continuing her steadfast support for charter schools.
Rhee had a conversation with guest co-host Alisyn Camerota about Steven Brill’s book Class Warfare, which pits school reformers like Rhee against the teachers’ unions. And the controversial Rhee, who invited a TV camera crew to film her firing a principal, was steadfast in proposing more “performance pay for teachers.”
When Camerota asked her about the view that charter schools would take money away from other public schools, Rhee responded with an interesting take.
“Charter schools are public schools,” she said. “This is something that people have an absolute misperception around. Charter schools are public schools that except kids that live in the state at any time. And we have to remember that they are also accountable for seeing results.”
Rhee added: “I think the notion that somehow by introducing competition, whether through charter schools or vouchers, for low income kids that somehow that is going to be a detriment to a system, I actually think that the exact opposite is true.”
Rhee’s classification of charter schools as “public schools” is only partially true: while they do draw draw public funds, charter schools are usually set up by private sector entities — and some are run by corporations. They tend emphasize merit-based teacher pay and curriculum that specialize in some fields more than others.
Public school advocates, including the National Education Association, indicate that voucher programs, which allow parents to choose whether their tax dollars go to public education or private/charter schools, would directly take away funding from public education.
Updated for clarity.