"An inspiration to all of us in the education reform movement, Rhee is a passionate and tenacious advocate for public–school children, particularly those in poor communities. Her successes and setbacks, as we see in The Bee Eater, are a guide to all of us who want to transform the calcified bureaucracy of our education system and change the odds for poor children."
Geoffrey Canada, president and CEO, Harlem Children′s Zone
"In The Bee Eater, Whitmire provides us with the lessons learned from Rhee′s leadership of the D.C. public schools. We all owe Rhee enormous gratitude for her courage and for raising the bar on strategies to help all of our kids achieve. And just like we want for our kids, this book helps all of us adults learn and grow as well."
David Levin and Mike Feinberg, KIPP charter schools co–founders
"We have a real problem in this country when I can look at a child′s zip code and tell you whether they will get a good education. Michelle Rhee refused to accept this situation and became a force for moving the system to where it should be. In this volume Richard Whitmire provides a compelling chronicle of her efforts and those of other innovative reformers who seek to transform the lives of our nation′s young people through public education."
Condoleezza Rice, former United States Secretary of State
"Rhee refused to accept a school system that excused its own failures by pretending poor, mostly minority kids couldn′t be educated. Despite Rhee′s successes, the defenders of the status quo fought back tenaciously. Whitmire captures this epic battle in a page–turning, must–read book about education, politics, and the future of our nation."
Joel Klein, former chancellor of the New York City Department of Education
1 An (Asian) American Life 7
2 The Transformation Begins 25
3 Going National 45
4 Welcome to the Nation′s Education Superfund Site 65
5 Closing Schools 93
6 Randi and Michelle 107
7 New Hires, New Fires 131
8 Up from the Foundations: The Chalenge of High School Reform 157
9 Rhee′s Critics Find a Winning Storyline 171
10 The Mayor′s Race 191
11 Lessons Learned 201
12 What′s Next? 227
About the Author 263