Michelle Rhee was on The Daily Show last night. I thought she generally came across as quite reasonable and tried to minimize and gloss over many of her beliefs. Stewart kept pressing her — admirably, I thought, while trying to maintain his nice guy persona — and the best part is clearly Part Three (the second and third parts appeared on the Web). That’s when Rhee told Stewart “You’re looking confused” when it was clear that Stewart had enough of her ducking and weaving, and he began to question her more forcefully.

I was struck by several things Stewart said during the interview, including:

teaching is an art form

teachers subjected to new offensive coordinator coming in every few years

There hasn’t really been any innovation in education since John Dewey. (this is the only time I thought he was off-base)

Teachers seem like one tool to get education on track, but they seem to be the only tool that ever gets yelled at…. There’s poverty, communities, but teachers are the only ones we tell, “Fix it, or you’re fired!”

Education can take place if the soil is fertile..

Is school the biggest factor?

It seems we’ve abandoned the model of public school in the inner city

You are creating a system where the public school becomes a place for the toughest cases [and others go to charters]

The systemic issues that are the underlying causes of the poor performances never get addressed.

The entire system of standardized tests is somewhat broken.

You might also want to view Stewart’s interview with Diane Ravitch, which was extraordinary, as well as other ones I’ve previously highlighted.

What did you think of the interview?