Is Michelle Rhee changing the Democratic Party?
School reform champion on 'Fox & Friends'
- Duration 4:05
- Date Sep 24, 2012
School reform champion on 'Fox & Friends'
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This transcript is automatically generated
Thank you Brian Michelle -- became famous for reforming Washington and schools in cracking down on teachers -- spot.
Would you believe she's.
Actually a Democrat well joining me now is the founder of students first and former chancellor of the DC public school system.
Michelle re good morning to you good morning detectives an article recently written about you saying that you're taking over the Democratic Party -- you make -- -- Well I think it's a new day in -- Democratic Party that's clear you know whereas I think there used to be an assumption that the democratic.
Politicians in this country we're just gonna side.
With the teachers' unions come what may I think the democratic mayors in particular have shown that that's not gonna happen anymore.
You have people like and Antonio Villaraigosa.
-- husband Kevin Johnson has the near Sacramento Cory Booker in Newark.
And now rom Emanuel in Chicago.
Who have said you know what we support unions and we support teachers but we have to be able to challenge the teachers' unions on some of these policies that don't make any sense a lot of people were really surprised when the mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel former chief of staff for President Obama decided to take -- -- unions how do you see that strike and where it ended up who won.
Well the first thing is that the kids are back in school which is the most important thing and certainly.
Mayor Emanuel did not get all of the reforms that he wanted but I do think that he sent them -- clear message.
That as a Democrat he's not gonna stand for these teachers union contracts.
That are doing good things for kids and I think in a lot of ways he set a precedent for other democratic mayors to be able to come forward to as you you said you know maybe even provided cover.
For them it's interesting because you went to both the RNC -- the DNC with this new movie that we've been talking about today that comes out on Friday called won't back down.
Which is basically about parents getting more control with the lives of their kids in public schools.
And you say that you feel that education reform may actually be the one issue that can bring the two parties together why.
Well I'm in a lot of conversations with Democrats and a lot of conversations with Republicans.
And you would be surprised at how much overlap and alignment there is between the two parties on this issue I think the American people.
Are tired of the gridlock in Washington I think after this election is over we have to find a way to come together and it seems obvious to me that we would come together over an issue that there's.
Have a real possibility of coming to agreement on and I think education reform is that.
So because everyone's pretty much affected by -- pay taxes Ford -- you have kids who are in the system this movie talks about this parent trigger law -- How does that what is it and how does get power back to the parents -- So what the parent trigger allows for.
Is that if the parent 50% or more of the parents in -- failing schools sign a petition.
That they can force the turn around of that school.
They can either close the school or turn it over to a charter operator but the parents get to choose how it's going to be restructured.
I think it's incredibly empowering.
Because what we talk about a lot of education reform is that we need more parental involvement.
And that's the way for permit parents to really feel empowered and to make some quality choices for their kids and yet still the unions are coming out against -- -- -- saying that you're not a real Democrat because you meet with Republicans.
So what do we need to do in this country to actually get the U nations on the side of what you're trying to do as well.
You know the unions are just doing what they're supposed to do which is looking out for the pay -- privilege and priorities of their members so you can't begrudge them that.
But saying that that not a real Democrat think it's actually wrong when I was at the Democratic National Convention.
Everywhere I went people were saying you know keep going with the school reform so I think they're further pushing themselves out to an extreme where the vast majority of Democrats and and I honestly Republicans just are -- I think.
On both sides of the party line.
We know that we need to reform our schools we know that we can't afford continue to continue on.
Being 25 out of 34 nations in math.
And so you know -- taking these polarized views I think is not gonna move the country forward.
You're with students first and movie is won't back down and it comes out on Friday.
The shot -- great to see in person.