American students continue to do miserably compared to their peers, and strapped states keep looking for more ways to stretch education dollars. That combination is all the more reason why we need comprehensive reform, writes Michelle Rhee, who recently left her post as DC schools chancellor to begin a group called StudentsFirst. "Public support is building for a frontal attack on the educational status quo," she writes in the Wall Street Journal.
Rhee lays out some suggestions—dropping tenure in place of a performance-based system for teachers, allowing good charter schools to expand, giving scholarships so poor students can go to private schools, overhauling the teacher pension system, instituting mayoral control of districts, etc.—that her group will be pushing. In short, it's "a shakeup in the school governance structure," but one she says is long overdue. "For education reform, 2011 could be the best of times."