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She’s been on the cover of Time. She’s been the subject of an ongoing PBS series on leadership. She’s been hailed as a visionary leader on the editorial pages of The Washington Post and invited everywhere to talk about her plans for dramatic change in Washington’s public schools. So it was just a matter of time until Michelle Rhee, the chancellor of the District of Columbia public schools, caught the attention of Oprah, who has just published her first-ever “Power List.”
Now that Rhee has reached the pop-culture pinnacle—Oprah is, after all, a king-, er, queenmaker—will she finally be able to cut a deal with the Washington Teachers Union on a contract that she has pledged could be revolutionary?
—Lesli A. Maxwell
Schools now have more data than ever available at their fingertips. That means everyone is jumping in enthusiastically to use it, right?
Not so fast.
In a brief released this month by the Alliance for Excellent Education, the group says teachers are suffering from what some educators call the DRIP syndrome—data-rich but information-poor.
—Dakarai I. Aarons
LEARNING THE LANGUAGE
One high school senior in New Jersey explains she doesn’t wear the traditional hijab as a sign of submission, as some Americans might think, says an article on CNN.com. Rather, she sees the hijab as preserving and keeping safe her beauty.
I remember once taking note of a Somali teenager in the Columbus, Ohio, public schools who covered her whole head and face except for her eyes and wore long, flowing black clothing. At the same time, I noticed the toenails shining through her sandals were painted bright red.
I had questions I wanted to ask. But the youths clothing and appearance weren’t the subject of my story, so I didn’t.
—Mary Ann Zehr
A version of this article appeared in the August 26, 2009 edition of Education Week