Joint education committee to welcome Michelle Rhee

LANSING—A joint Senate-House education panel today announced a special hearing to host Michelle Rhee, founder and CEO of StudentsFirst, who will address potential reforms aimed at bolstering Michigan’s public education system.

The hearing, hosted by state Sen. Phil Pavlov and Rep. Paul Scott, education committee chairs, and Sen. Howard Walker and Rep. Bill Rogers, appropriations subcommittee chairs, will take place in in room 326 of the Capitol (House Appropriations Room) on Wednesday, March 9, and will begin at 3 p.m.

Rhee has worked for nearly 20 years as a teacher and an administrator to give children the skills and knowledge required for success in a changing world. As chancellor of Washington, D.C. Public Schools, she successfully enacted numerous meaningful reforms.

“When our children’s future is at stake, education reform can’t be an experiment, but rather a combination of best practices,” said Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township. “Rhee took important first steps to turn the D.C. schools around at a pivotal moment. We owe it to our students and teachers to learn from her experience in order to do the same in Michigan.”

Currently, leaders in both chambers are exploring potential reforms to our education system with an emphasis on encouraging high-level performance from students and the quality educators who fuel their success.

“Rhee’s practical approach in turning otherwise daunting challenges into an achievable reality provides refreshing hope to the prospect of making Michigan a beacon of educational excellence,” said Scott, R-Grand Blanc. “Her presence signifies our rejection of the status quo, and will provide a pathway to strengthening our students’ future.”

Legislators will engage in a bipartisan exchange of ideas focusing on reforms such as teacher tenure, merit pay and school choice. Immediately following the hearing, there will be a media availability in the Speaker’s Library, room 252, in the Capitol.

For more information about the event contact Sen. Pavlov at (517) 373-7708 or Rep. Scott at (517) 373-1780.