Back in the 1990’s, the big new thing was to have “nontraditional” folks -- generals, US attorneys, former governors -- come in and run big school systems. But they were most of them older, and male, and many of them white. Young, female, and a minority, Rhee is the next iteration of the same appealing if not always effective idea. She’s also the first of her school reform cohort to take step into a big, real-world education job, and as such is the focus of the expectations and hopes of whole slew of TFA-type educationistas who hope to follow Rhee into superintendencies and more, and are counting on her success to help pave the way. Like others who are the subject of inordinate hype -- think Barack Obama -- she’s unlikely to be able to be as transformative as some hope. But she still represents a shift.
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