I am excited to continue working side by side on these new opportunities we have.” Rhee once appeared holding a broom on the cover of Time magazine next to the headline “How to Fix America’s Schools” and set out to make her mark in California four years ago when she unveiled plans for an advocacy organization to counterbalance the influence of teachers unions over public education.
She then gave up her position as chief executive of Students First, saying she created it to “shake up the education establishment, which is exactly what we did.” Instead, she assumed a leading role in the mayor’s 2014 citywide bid to make his office more powerful, appearing in debates and chatting with reporters.
He became the mayor of Sacramento in 2008 and was reelected in 2012.
In late 2010, she founded Students First, a non-profit organization that works on education reform.
“Kevin and I view our goals in life and public service as a team,” Rhee said at the time.
“He was right there with me when we created this organization and has worked alongside me throughout these past four years.
Rhee, who is married to Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, was nowhere to be found at the downtown premiere of “Down in the Valley,” the shelved TV movie documenting Johnson’s successful campaign to keep the Kings from moving to Seattle.
She graduated from the private Maumee Valley Country Day School in 1988, and went on to Cornell University where she received a B. Rhee told Washingtonian magazine that she was demoralized by her first year of teaching, but said to herself, "I’m not going to let eight-year-old kids run me out of town." She said she took courses over the summer and received her teacher's certification, then returned to teach at Harlem Park.Rhee responded that the discrepancies between the official test scores and the ones listed on her résumé could be explained by the fact that her principal at the time informed her of the gains but those results may not have been the official state tests that were preserved. Board of Education was stripped of its decision-making powers and turned into an advisory body, and the new office of chancellor was created—so changes in the public school system could be made without waiting for the approval of the board.In 1997, Rhee founded and began serving as the CEO of The New Teacher Project, a nonprofit that within ten years of its founding, trained and supplied urban school districts with 23,000 mid-career professionals wanting to become classroom teachers. Fenty and Rhee announced that they planned to make revolutionary changes in D. schools, and that part of the planned changes was a hoped-for "grand bargain" with teachers under which "greater accountability, including an end to tenure," would be traded "for a nearly 100-percent increase in salaries." In 2008 she also tried to renegotiate teacher compensation, offering teachers the choice of salaries of up to 0,000 based on what she termed "student achievement" with no tenure rights or earning much smaller pay raises with tenure rights retained.“The key to it was we did it very quickly,” Rhee told us Wednesday, on the phone from the California capital where she runs her advocacy group, Students First. “We were trying to see how long it would take to get around.” Which is how they’ve always conducted the relationship, first forged through their shared ed-policy wonkery. For their destination wedding, Rhee and Johnson picked Blackberry Farm, a hotel in Walland, Tenn., where they’d previously stayed — a location convenient for her two daughters, who live in Nashville with their father, Kevin Huffman.Rhee and Johnson never officially confirmed they were dating until she showed up at a D. (Rhee’s ex-husband — winner of The Washington Post’s “America’s Next Great Pundit” contest in ’09 — was named commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Education in the spring.