By Ed Diokno
President-Elect Donald Trump met with Michelle Rhee Saturday for the position of Education Secretary.
Rhee, of Sacramento, Calif., is the second Asian American to be interviewed by the Trump for a possible position in his administration. The first is believed to be South Carolina Governor Nikki Halley who met Thursday with Trump, possibly for Secretary of State.
Even though Rhee is a Democrat, her positions on education, particular her advocacy for charter schools, is in line with Trump, who said, “We need to fix our broken education system,” during the campaign. He also said he would eliminate the Department of Education.
Rhee gained national prominence, appearing on the covers of both Time and Newsweek, as an education reformer, while she was chancellor of schools in Washington, D.C., from 2007-10. (She implemented many reforms, but butted heads with teachers, fired more than 200 and was criticized by those who felt she didn’t seek adequate input from teachers and parents).
She has been an advocate for charter schools and chairs the board of St. Hope Public Schools, a Sacramento-based charter school organization started by her husband, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, who played professional basketball for 12 years with the NBA’s Phoenix Suns.
Interviewing Rhee may just be a head fake to give the appearance of Trump seeking diversity in his administration. She is not given a great chance to becoming Education Secretary because Rhee supports the Common Core curriculum that Trump has pledged to dismantle.
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