Scott Reportedly Courting Michelle Rhee to be Next Florida Schools Boss


Will Michelle Rhee, the former Washington, D.C., schools chief, be Florida's next commissioner of education?

That's the scuttlebutt in Tallahassee.

Though current commissioner Eric Smith says he has no plans to step down, incoming Gov. Rick Scott is said to be courting Rhee, an aggressive reformer who took on the teachers' union in a campaign to clean up one of the most dysfunctional school systems in America.

The State Board of Education hires and fires the commissioner, so Scott cannot bring Rhee in unilaterally. But John Winn, a Jeb Bush holdover, stepped aside to accommodate Charlie Crist, so an early dismissal of Smith isn't out of the question.

Rhee's agenda dovetails with Scott's tough, competition-based approach to education. During her tenure, Rhee fired one-third of D.C.'s school principals, shut down dozens of failing schools and negotiated a teacher contract that contained performance-pay provisions. Both Rhee and Scott support charter schools as well as school vouchers.
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