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That big old those US students continue to lag behind other nations academically to this week reporting our education system to -- -- And we have.
-- -- controversial outspoken former chancellor of the DC public school system reside just a few months ago.
She's ended the speculation on her next move in this week Michelle Rhee announced the formation.
Of the nonprofit organization students first which will lobby for reforms in public education.
At the local state national level Michelle it's an honor to to -- you because.
And that you were a teacher out there in the classroom and but you are a reformer.
A big reformer.
And I'm so happy that you war because -- it seems like the school system that we have has been in place for a hundred years.
And everybody's -- it and we talk about the unions.
Kind of protecting boot of the old guard.
You've been going up against them in our nation's capital.
A lot of accolades for it.
I'm I don't know you know I was surprised -- thought in Washington DC they would they crucified.
Well you know I think there was -- -- doesn't expect there are certainly lots of people who are incredibly pleased with what we.
Did and then there were others that were quite unhappy with the fact that we really were shaking things up.
And disrupting the status.
Well well and that's what why you get the title controversial -- but it but it it should be worn as a badge of honor so the question is part of the unions really holding back.
-- education point for century education.
Well here's the thing I mean people want to blame the unions for all of the problems but they they unions the purpose of the unions is to.
Protect their members -- maximize the pay and privileges of the teachers and they do a great job of that.
The problem is that when you have such a powerful.
Interest group exerting their pressure.
And you don't have a counterbalance to that then you've got a very lopsided -- the -- part of why I founded students first to actually provide that balance.
And to have an organized interest group that is advocating on behalf of the children -- it.
Before we get to what you're doing now -- let me go back again because I want to step.
Who you are with the audience you started an organization to recruit.
Teachers right and you recruited how many.
We recruited while I was there over 23000.
Teachers to teach specifically in.
Low income urban and rural school districts across the country.
What makes that so special what is it about -- I'll tell you whenever I take calls of our radio show about this teachers always call and say.
Look at week we you know we're not the babysitters.
When we send them home to parents have to be involved -- really comes down to parent involvement that's the big that's the big problem not where -- deliberate thing else agree.
Well here's the thing I mean -- parents certainly do matter and we want to encourage more parent involvement.
But when I taught in Baltimore and I taught in one -- lowest performing.
They have a poverty stricken neighborhoods.
In in the in the city.
And when I always said -- look I can't go home with the kids I can't feed them healthy dinner I can't make sure that they get.
A doctor's appointment -- -- what what I can do is teach him how to read and do math at grade level that's that's that's where I actually can can disrupt.
That -- the cycle of poverty.
And you -- teacher -- in two years you brought from 8% of the kids -- regret level to 980% of the kids.
Who were in the ninetieth percentile how did you do that.
Well it isn't there was no magic you know secret bath formula to this it was what you would think we had incredibly high expectations of those kids.
We we work them very hard there was no excuses we were in school book you know can we -- -- -- before school after school to our as a homework a night on the weekend.
And we built a real disciplined work ethic and the kids love that they they they responded to it -- parents responded to it.
I'm in in the very short period of time we we managed to change the culture.
Of their children operating an -- a right.
We've all what we were all.
Able to advise on the teaching business because we all.
Had teachers for their overall experts on how -- teachers should be even though we don't have our degrees in education.
But we all had.
Really good teachers and we had a lot of middle of the road teachers -- We all had a couple of duds that's it and you've identified the duds and you tried to get them out how did you do that.
Well that's the first thing that you're talking about is even though.
We as students and parents often differentiate teachers and and and -- and act accordingly.
Often does not differentiate so for example when I came -- to Washington DC.
8% of the eighth graders were on grade level in mathematics.
But ninety's -- percent of the teachers were being rated -- doing an excellent job.
You so how can you have a system that that -- -- -- all the adults are running around thinking they're doing great work and what we're producing -- it as a percent clip.
Every teachers as you -- and I had the kids from the toughest backgrounds I had the kids from.
You know gay parents I hit all I had the worst job how do you expect me to teach these kids and those are those are valid concerns and so what we do is -- when we evaluate them we use something called a value added growth model which -- we measure.
Where the kids academic standing as when they enter into the teacher's classroom at the beginning of the year.
And then we measure them again at the end of the year and we see how much they grow.
Do you not saying they have to be.
Little Einstein had to say we need to make Prague we need to see growth and then nobody can argue with that I mean if you don't think that a kid.
Can actually grow their academic progress over the course.
Of the nine month but there with you that you need to find another job could be right most teachers.
-- and and and understand very clearly.
That it is their responsibility.
To see that academic progress.
All right so the story after all anecdotally that.
Within five years a man or woman coming out of degree with an ED on it.
That there are out of the profession they quit in five years what makes teachers quit -- -- so many of them leaving.
Well you know if you talk to -- terrorists and I I just met with a group of great teachers yesterday in Chicago.
What they said was the number one factor was having -- an administrator.
Who was a good manager.
So they're not talking about you know all the other things you would think they they wanna have a a good manager they wanna have a cohort of people that they're working with like minded people who are as motivated as they are.
But these people also these teachers yesterday.
We're saying to me that tenure is not important to them that seniority is not important to them.
And that they favor.
Merit pay and performance pay -- the -- TV isn't that well these actually were teachers they were very diverse group of teachers I think one of the problems that we're having in the country is that there's this monolithic teacher voice and it's coming from the teacher union leadership.
But they don't actually represent.
What a lot of the rank and file teachers believe today and so part of what we need to do is break that -- and and that's why we're we're trying to get the teacher voice out in through our new organization students first what what is what is student first what -- -- -- -- Where -- what's gonna be a national movement of people who.
Understand very clearly that we need a an organization to defend and promote the interests of children.
And that will pursue really aggressive.
Reforms so that we can and make America's schools is the best in the world is it just for teachers are no can I get involved you should absolutely go on -- -- dot org today and sign up to be a member.
We're encouraging parents students teachers and -- -- you know concerned citizens.
To join us because.
When you when you think about the pressure that the teachers unions and other interest groups exert.
It's because they have money -- and members they have they have constituents voters behind them.
And we want to show the politicians that we have a lot of voters behind us who want to hold them accountable for what they're doing the kids -- love it.
Joseph -- so thanks thanks for coming by my pleasure -- to talk to him.
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