September 5, 2013
Location: Mark Taper Auditorium at the LA Central Library
Address: 630 W. 5th St, Los Angeles, CA 90071
Time: Doors open at 5:30PM PDT | 6:00-7:30PM PDT
"...teachers'voices are vital to the conversation about how to improve our national education system..." the announcement of the event states, without irony, and goes on to list the "education thought leaders" who will lead "this critical dialogue."
In addition to Michelle Rhee, former Chancellor of the Washington, D.C. public schools -- a job that catapulted her to a public ed rock star (and when it ended, after a short tenure, she founded StudentsFirst and wrote a book), the event will feature Dr. Steve Perry, principal of a magnet school in Hartford, Connecticut; and George Parker, (above, with Rhee) former president of the Washington, D.C. teachers union.
Tonight's event, which will be watched closely by ed policy wonks across the country, is the first of several national town meetings planned by Rhee. From LA, the show moves on to Birmingham, Alabama.
In a 2011 article in the New York Times, Sam Dillon reported:
Michelle A. Rhee butted heads frequently during her three-year tenure as schools chancellor of Washington with the president of the local teachers’ union, George Parker, and eventually a voter backlash over the city’s school reform wars cost both of them their jobs.
Now, in a strange-bedfellows twist, Ms. Rhee has named Mr. Parker as the first senior fellow of Students First, the national group she formed ... She says she hopes Mr. Parker can be a compelling voice for change, especially in speaking to teachers’ union members around the country. He says Ms. Rhee hates teachers’ unions less than most people think...
Photo: Brendan Smialowski for the New York Times.