Michelle Rhee Hits a Denver Home Run While Her Critics Swing and Miss Again

Even when you’re forever 5 years old, time flies. I can hardly believe it was last October that I cried to learn my edu-crush Michelle Rhee was leaving her important superintendent job at D.C. Public Schools. Or that it was only a couple months later we all learned she was starting the new national group Students First.

As Ed News Colorado reports, yesterday Rhee was in Denver to keynote a luncheon event for a fantastic local organization known as ACE Scholarships. I’ve heard from one of my Education Policy Center friends who attended that she gave a great speech. But then again, you can see some of it for yourself, like this clip on how she changed her mind (SMILE) about private school choice:

Not only did the “card-carrying Democrat” change her outlook on vouchers, but Ed News also reports that she praised Douglas County’s remarkable school choice champions who were in attendance, saying:

I’m so glad members of the Douglas County School District and superintendent are here. I’ve heard incredibly wonderful things about the courageous stance that you are taking in the nation in education. I think it sets important precedent, not just for here in the state of Colorado but for across the country.

Now that’s high praise from such a bold education reform leader. Of course, Michelle Rhee is not some sort of caped superhero, as critics commenting on my own blog have sought to malign. In fact, in a great new Washington Times column, Rhee biographer Richard Whitmire expertly shows how many of her vilest critics have ignored facts and reality in their attempts to defame her and her work:

To date, few have even noticed the humor in these anti-Rhee campaigns: She cheated on the gains she didn’t make. Wait, she didn’t make gains, but she cheated on the gains she didn’t make. Wait … .

Without a doubt, now is the time to call in the public-policy referee: Should the three-strike rule apply here?

Ooh, ooh, let me be the ump for this one: STEE-RIIIKE THREE! YER OUTTA THERE! Meanwhile, it may not have been in Coors Field, but Michelle Rhee hit a home run yesterday in Denver…. a home run for school choice, educational opportunity for needy kids, and critical reforms to improve our schools. Take me out to this ballgame. I can tell you it feels good to be on the winning team, even if I mostly just get to be the bat boy now and again.