I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Michelle Rhee: Corporate Tool

Just in case there was any doubt:
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Fenty’s former school chancellor, Michelle Rhee, has expressed very similar views:
Well, I think that Wisconsin is an incredibly difficult situation and it’s very complicated. I think on the one hand, there are some things that the governor is proposing that go a little overboard, I think, trying to put in place a vote to decertify the union every year. On the other hand, I do think they are trying to address some issues that have to be taken on. So for example, the unfunded pension liabilities are significant and those pensions are no longer going to be sustainable.
More here. Rhee knows less about pensions than she does about teaching kids, if that's possible; why she gets to have a prominent place in the debate is beyond me.

She continues:

We’ve got to do something about them. And I think that unions can collectively bargain over basic things like salary, but they don’t have is a place getting involved in policies and so I think that the move to try to limit what they bargain over is an important one. 
Unions representing teachers - you know, the people who actually do the teaching - shouldn't be involved in policy. But people who have a lot of money (no matter how they got it) should be setting the educational agenda.

Yeah, that makes sense...

Rhee is now heading up Florida governor, Rick Scott’s education team. It’s one thing to work for an anti-union Democrat like Adrian Fenty, but Rick Scott is a Tea Party conservative whose education reforms include massive privatization of schools through a vastly expanded voucher program, which would allow students to leave public schools and attend basically any school they wanted, including dubious online schools and for-profit charters.
At some point you have to question Rhee’s sincerity. That she is backing the full corporatization of public schools in Florida goes well beyond simply advocating for school choice. Her support for the authoritarian, top-down reforms Scott Walker is pushing in Wisconsin should be all the information we need to determine just where Rhee’s priorities lie.
I know exactly what St. Michelle of Arc's priority is: Michelle Rhee. $100,000 makeovers don't just grow on trees, you know. 

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