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Michelle Rhee ‘not pursuing’ Trump post, but urges others to help him succeed

Creative Commons / Commonwealth Club

Former Washington D.C. schools chief Michelle Rhee isn’t interested in serving as President-elect Donald Trump’s administration, she said Tuesday, curbing speculation that she would serve as education secretary.

“I am not pursuing a position with the Administration,” Rhee tweeted.

But Rhee, a longtime Democrat who has distanced herself from the party, said she “appreciated the opportunity” to talk to Trump, and said she disagreed with those who have urged education leaders to stay away. The group Democrats for Education Reform said last week that a Democrat who accepted the role of education secretary “would become an agent for an agenda that both contradicts progressive values and threatens grave harm to our nation’s most vulnerable kids.”

“They are wrong,” said Rhee, who met with the president-elect over the weekend. “Mr. Trump won the election. Our job as Americans is to want him to succeed. Wishing for his failure would be wanting the failure of millions of American children who desperately need a better education.”

Rhee’s statements echoed comments made by Eva Moskowitz, the head of the New York City-based Success Academy network of charter schools, who also recently met with Trump. Moskowitz confirmed last week she wouldn’t seek a job in his administration, but said she was ready to support Trump’s efforts.

With Moskowitz and Rhee out of the running, it appears more likely that Trump’s eventual pick will come from the Republican Party. Betsy DeVos, the former head of Michigan’s Republican party and a proponent of school vouchers, is still under consideration after meeting with Trump over the weekend. Trump has also met with Jerry Falwell Jr., president of Liberty University, an evangelical Christian school.

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