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Posted at 11:56 AM ET, 12/08/2008

Broomsticks and Baseball Bats

Michelle Rhee's broomstick-wielding presence on the cover of last week's Time begs the question about her national image versus her local one, an issue examined in a Washington Post story today.

The Time cover also got D.C. Wire curious about what other would-be saviors of public education have made it to the front of the magazine in recent years. A quick search turned up at least two.

One was a September 1991 image of a shirtsleeved Education Secretary Lamar Alexander in 1991, standing in a darkened classroom, accompanied by a typically breathless newsmag cover line: "Can This Man Save Our Schools?"

Perhaps more striking -- for its resemblance to this week's cover -- was the Feb. 1988 issue featuring Paterson, N.J., high school principal Joe Clark, carrying the baseball bat that became his calling card as he patrolled the halls. "Is Getting Tough the Answer?" Time asked.

Alexander, after a couple of runs at the Republican presidential nomination, represents Tennesssee in the U.S. Senate. Clark, who ran the Essex County Juvenile Detention Center in N.J. for a time, is now a motivational speaker. The rest of Rhee's story remains to be written.

Bill Turque

By Marcia Davis  |  11:56 AM ET, 12/08/2008

Categories:  Education

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