"We have an opening in Philadelphia. Are you interested?"
That was one question an audience member submitted for former Washington, D.C., public-schools chancellor Michelle Rhee after her hour-long lecture Monday night to a nearly full auditorium at the Kimmel Center, undoubtedly referring to the Philadelphia School District's open superindendent position.
Rhee didn't directly answer, but said that she misses her previous job, in which she implemented controversial reforms.
Before the lecture - part of the Philadelphia Speakers Series - a handful of current and retired teachers picketed outside the Kimmel, handing out flyers with reasons why Rhee is "bad for students and schools," including that she "puts politics ahead of students" and "doesn't support teachers."
"She's not honest, and I don't agree with the idea to end seniority for teachers," said Christopher Paslay, an English teacher at Swenson High School who helped organize the protest.
"She's out for herself," added Lisa Haber, another organizer, who retired from teaching at Harding Middle School last year.
During her lecture, Rhee discussed her time in D.C., telling how her experiences had led her to become a reformer who pushes most notably for vouchers and merit pay for teachers.