Last updated on: 6/6/2012 | Author:

Michelle Rhee, MPP Biography

Former DC Schools Chancellor
Pro to the question "Do Standardized Tests Improve Education in America?"

“[T]here are a lot of people out there who think we’re too focused on standardized tests. But, really, how can you diagnose learning problems, move kids to the next level or hold teachers accountable if you don’t measure student progress in an objective, standardized way? Advocating for standardized tests doesn’t mean killing creativity in classrooms or supporting a one-size-fits-all approach to instruction. The tests are simply measurement tools…

We all have to get on the scale when we go to the doctor for a checkup. No one expects each and everyone one [sic] of us to weigh the same, and no one expects us to follow the same diet or exercise regimen. But just because our prescription for good health may vary, that doesn’t mean we don’t have to get on that scale.”

Cowritten with Richard Nyankori, “Accommodate Don’t Discriminate,”, May 5, 2011

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Founder and Former CEO, StudentsFirst
  • Member, Transition Team, Florida Governor Rick Scott (R), 2010-2011
  • Winner, Good Housekeeping Shine On Award, 2011
  • DC Schools Chancellor, July 2007-Oct. 31, 2010
  • Winner, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research Urban Innovator Award, 2010
  • Featured in the documentary Waiting for Superman, 2010
  • Guest of First Lady Laura Bush at President George W. Bush’s State of the Union address, 2008
  • Founder, Chief Executive Officer, and President, The New Teacher Project, 1997-2007
  • Teach for America Corps Member, Harlem Park Community School, 1992-1995
  • Advisory Board Member, National Council on Teacher Quality
  • Advisory Board Member, National Center for Alternative Certification
  • Advisory Board Member, Project REACH of the University of Phoenix’s School of Education
  • MPP, Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, 1997
  • BA, Government, Cornell University, 1992
  • Graduated, Maumee Valley Country Day School, 1988
  • Named as one of TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2011
  • Lives in Sacramento, CA
  • Married Kevin Johnson, Mayor of Scaramento, CA, on Sep. 3, 2011
  • Married Kevin Huffman in 1996 (now divorced)
  • Has two daughters
  • Daughter of Korean immigrants
  • Born on Dec. 25, 1969, in Ann Arbor, MI