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

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Why The F#@& Does Anyone Listen To Michelle Rhee?!

Is it too much to ask that the next time anyone writes a piece about Michelle Rhee they include a look at her record as an educator? Take this latest puffery from The Atlantic:
Rhee, the controversial former Washington, D.C., schools chancellor known for her hard-charging style, has worked with Republican governors to push her reform ideas in states across the country. Her ongoing pitched battle with the teachers unions has put her at odds with one of the Democratic Party's most important traditional constituencies.
That's it - that's all you will learn about Michelle's Rhee's career as an educator from this piece: she was "hard-charging."

No mention of the fact that she dissembled badly about her three years of teaching in Baltimore. No word of how her outrageous claims were swallowed whole by a credulous press corps, even though her claims that she was a miracle worker were absurd on their face.

No mention of how the legacy of Rhee's tenure as Washington's chancellor is mediocre test scores. No mention of how bad the "achievement gap" is after her reign, a metric she herself champions. No mention how ridiculous it is for her to claim her "reforms" helped students.

No mention of the cheating scandal under her watch, and how badly the investigation into it was whitewashed.

No mention of how she admits she drew blood from her students by duct-taping their mouths shut.

Michelle Rhee was, at best, a mediocre educator and administrator. She quit when the going got tough on both jobs. She is currently an astroturfer who collects big bucks from billionaires to push an anti-union agenda, even as her group uses deceptive practices to create a phony groundswell of support.

No one should take her seriously - not the press, not politicians, and certainly not educators. And yet here she is, lauded in the pages of yet another magazine, with no one questioning her remarkable record of utter failure.

Is it too early to start drinking?

Can we PLEASE change the subject?

ADDING: More from Paul Thomas and Diane Ravitch.


Magister said...

I am not a psychologis (just a lowly high school teacher), but I have a theory that her hostility towards teachers and public education has something to do with her discomfort about her own inadequacies in that arena

walt sautter said...

If you take a close look at all the "education experts" most have very little (some none) actual teaching experience. Look at the NJDOE executives as a prime example.
When Ross Perot ran for president (like him or not) he made some profound statements. One thing he said about the executives at Ford was that none of them had ever put a tire on a car and yet they where telling everyone how to build a car (and not a very good one in the 70s and 80s)!
Could this possibly apply to today's educational hierarchy? I think so.

Duke said...

Nice points, both of you. Check out Walt's blog, people!