Rhee Tackles Classroom Challenge

Teachers hate her. Principals are scared of her. How Michelle Rhee became the most revolutionary — and polarizing — force in American education

Robyn Twomey for TIME

Michelle Rhee, Chancellor of Education, Washington, DC

In 11th grade, Allante Rhodes spent 50 minutes a day in a Microsoft Word class at Anacostia Senior High School in Washington. He was determined to go to college, and he figured that knowing Word was a prerequisite. But on a good day, only six of the school's 14 computers worked. He never knew which ones until he sat down and searched for a flicker of life on the screen. "It was like Russian roulette," says Rhodes, a tall young man with an older man's steady gaze. If he picked the wrong computer, the teacher would give him a handout. He...

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