This week it was revealed that the controversial education reformer Michelle Rhee (former D.C. schools chancellor) sends at least one of her daughters to a private school. This comes on the heels of her spokeswoman – Erin Shaw – telling the Los Angeles Times that Rhee, ‘”is a public school parent.” But as it turns out, she may not be 100% a “public school parent, ” since it appears that Rhee may be sending one of her daughters to Nashville’s Harpeth Hall, “an elite institution that bills itself as one of the “country’s premier independent college preparatory schools,” and has a yearly tuition of over $21,000.”
When Rhee was the chancellor of the D.C. school system (from 2007-2010) both of her kids did attend public school. But something changed in the move and you know, we have no idea what happened or why. There are many reasons why a family might decide to send their child to a private school instead of a public. Perhaps the child may have unique educational needs from differential learning issues to being wildly gifted. Perhaps the child’s educational needs were not being met by the school. Perhaps they were being bullied. There are many different reasons why someone may send their kids to a private beyond just having the label of “elite,” next to the school’s name.
It is Rhee’s family’s personal choice. Does being a fighter for public school reform mean you must send your children to the school’s you are fighting to change? Does it really matter that Rhee may be sending one of her kids to a private? Many seem to think it matters. The Los Angeles Times asked the question “Is it fair to ask if Michelle Rhee’s kids go to public schools?” and the poll results were overwhelming in the favor (at the time of writing this, it was at 86%) her being asked with just 14% saying no.
Rhee is still fighting the good fight. Sure, the choice of sending her kid to a private could come off as, “the public school are okay for your children but not good enough for mine,” but without all the knowledge of why she made that decision for her daughter, we shouldn’t judge her.
Do you think it matters that Rhee has a child in a private school?
Photo Source: Twitter/Michelle Rhee