Seattle Education

For the news and views you might have missed

Michelle Rhee-form protest in Seattle. Join us.

There will be a protest at 6:00 PM on February 19th in front of Town Hall where Michelle Rhee will be talking about her latest fundraising effort, her book. Join us. We’ll have signs…and tape.

You can join us on the Facebook page Michelle Rhee picket and print informational flyers for the event from this web page. Print a few and bring them with you if you can.

rhee flyerNothing has changed since I posted this last year:

StudentsFirst will be in Seattle…and that is not a good thing

On a personal note, I come from a long line of proud African-American female teachers. At one time, teaching was the only profession that African-American women could participate in so that was the chosen profession of my grandmother and my aunts. The first time that I heard about Ms. Rhee was when she had fired teachers en masse in DC for abusing children. I found this shocking but once I looked into it, I found that she had lied. This woman had maligned the good name and reputation of many proud, many times female and mostly African-American teachers. How dare this woman who knows nothing about educating children and has no respect for children who she continually refers to as “kids”,  and has no respect for the culture of the people who she pretends to be championing, tell us what she thinks that we need to know about educating our own children.

I find her personally to be offensive and when I hear her speak, she sounds ignorant.

Dora Taylor

Ms. Rhee (pronounced "re")

Ms. Rhee (pronounced “re”)

StudentsFirst is an organization created by Michelle Rhee after her tumultuous tenure as Chancellor of DC public schools. She was supported by Eli Broad who threatened to pull his financial support for the DC public school system and Rhee specifically if she was not selected to continue as Chancellor of DC schools after Mayor Fenty’s failed re-election bid. After Fenty, who supported her policies of firing first and asking questions later, was booted out of office, and when it looked like the new mayor would not be keeping her on, Rhee decided that it was time for her to high tail it out of town as well. That’s when she founded StudentsFirst. Broad and the Wal-Mart Walton’s went with her and pulled all of the funding that was to support the merit pay scheme for teachers that she had touted. Now DC is holding the bag financially for her little escapade. As posted in Scathing Purple Musings, How Michelle Rhee Orchestrated a Deceitful Billionaire Bait and Switch:

Washington Post reporter Bill Torque takes a close look at the DCPS budget and notes there’s a serious difference between Michelle Rhee’s budget and that of her successor,  Kaya Henderson.

One of the more striking line items on the operating side is for private grant funds. They averaged about $21 million between 2010 and 2012, as the Broad, Arnold, Walton and Robertson foundations supported the labor contract negotiated by former D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee, one that eliminated seniority preferences and established big performance bonuses under IMPACT.

But the Rhee Effect is there in bold relief on Page D-2. With Rhee gone and the three-year foundation commitment up, private largess is considerably more scarce. Grant funds are projected at just $3.8 million for FY 2013, an 82 percent drop. Officials have announced that the cost of the IMPACT bonuses has been passed on to the individual schools

Rhee’s got egg on he face this morning. She’s been running around telling all those hot and bothered republican governors that merit pay can be funded by the philanthropic sector. While on  a trip to Michigan here’s what she said  in March of 2011 when asked how Florida would fund its new merit pay program:

As for the money aspects, she noted that Washington D.C. schools, where she was chancellor, did get grants and outside funding to support a move to a performance-pay salary system. Rhee said “significant interest” remains in the national funding community to invest in such efforts, which could be paired with local and state decisions on how to change spending to cover the costs long-term.

I guess that Eli Broad, Wal-Mart and Rhee have moved onto something else and have left DC holding the bag on that merit pay scheme they pushed through. Florida legislators have done the same thing. Incoming house speaker, Will Weatherford wrote in a December 2009 Gainesville Sun op-ed piece that Race to the Top funds would give teachers “real financial rewards for excellence.”  It didn’t. Jeb Bush admitted in September 2011 that the legislature wasn’t funding merit pay.

Broad and the Walton’s did move on, to fund StudentsFirst.

Michelle Rhee singing the praises of Florida Governor Scott Walker

Michelle Rhee singing the praises of Florida Governor Scott Walker

Rhee is now under investigation for cheating scandals that occurred during her watch but that doesn’t keep her from tooting her own horn in pursuit of devaluing the entire profession of teaching.

A protest in Sacramento during an appearance of Rhee.

A protest in Sacramento during an appearance of Rhee.

And of course, who could forget the time when she fondly recalled taping the mouths of her students when she didn’t know how to manage her class as a first year Teach for America, Inc. (TFA, Inc.) recruit? Or when she started to mimic the way one of her African-American students spoke during that same narrative? It was enough to make me somewhere between sick and incensed listening to her joke about this with a group of first year TFA, Inc. teachers.

The Magical Me Ms. Rhee is also on the Broad Foundation’s Board of Directors along with Steve Barth, Founder and CEO of KIPP charter schools, and his wife, Wendy Kopp, Founder and CEO of TFA, Inc. It’s a very cozy situation with this ed reform crowd.

A Rhee protest in Boston

A Rhee protest in Boston

Going back a bit further, Rhee spent three years teaching as a TFA, Inc. recruit. and then went on to found an organization called The New Teacher Project, a TFA, Inc. wannabe based on the same business model, before being selected to lead the charge of education reform in DC schools as Chancellor by former Mayor Fenty. Rhee had no previous experience as a principal or a superintendent running a school district but now she was in charge of an entire city of students and teachers with the backing of Broad and the Walton’s with mayoral control of the school system and no democratic checks and balances in terms of a fully functioning school board. What I find amusing about Rhee’s history in education is the part that she made up. See Michelle Rhee caught lying like a rug on her resume. As usual with this group, I searched for a curriculum vitae and found none for Ms. Rhee.

Now she is on a well-funded crusade, taking her dog and pony show far and wide and meeting with resistance all along the way.

Rhee-form protest in Oakland, California

Rhee-form protest in Oakland, California

For more on Michelle Rhee, I would suggest reading an article by Diane Ravitch titled Shame on Michelle Rhee, a New York Times article titled Amid a Federal Education Inquiry, an Unsettling Sight, a post by Diane Ravitch titled  I don’t understand Michelle Rhee and a post on Seattle Education titled Michelle Rhee’s Framing of the Debate on Education written by Joanna A. Bujes, a Oakland public school parent and supporter of public education who herself is an educator.

In addition to the above referenced articles, there is information on Rhee’s relationship with the right-wing element and her support of school vouchers. See Right-Wing Campaign to Privatize Public Ed Takes Hold in Pennsylvania and Michelle Rhee Steps Out With Scott Walker To Accept DeVos Accolades.

There is also a post on the Parents Across America website, Parents flunk Michelle Rhee’s StudentsFirst.

Rhee scary

8 comments on “Michelle Rhee-form protest in Seattle. Join us.

  1. AJAY JAIN
    March 13, 2013

    The Voting Rights Act (VRA) must be upheld by the supreme court:

    The numerous despicable attempts to restrict voting made during the last election cycle are proof of that. Anyone who truly believes the VRA is obsolete needs to recognize, given last year’s voter suppression efforts, the Jim Crowe era is biding its time.

    Now even if you are dumb enough to believe that all is OK with the world and there are no reasons to have the voting rights act on the books. Then why are the the parties at opposite end’s on this? Why are the Republicans in America trying to keep people from the poles ?

    The argument is that VRA is discriminatory against Southern states to require them but not other states to seek pre-clearance for voting laws; I actually agree. The Voting Rights Act should require *ALL* states to seek pre-clearance. After what we’ve seen the GOP try to pass in states all across the nation prior to the last 2012 election, I see no reason this safeguard against voter suppression should be limited to just Southern states as suggested by VRA of 1965 but now should be expanded to apply to ALL 50 states.

    Ajay Jain
    ajain31@gmail.com
    1209 Creekwood Drive
    Garland TX 75044-2421

  2. ChicagoBetty
    February 14, 2013

    You forgot the part where she laughed when talking about the students’ lips bleeding after they pulled off their tape (“I forgot to tell them to lick heir lips first,” she said/lied to a large group of teachers.) Then she told the story of how she took several small students for an outing, but had “forgotten” to get their addresses and drove around looking for their homes, even getting out with one boy to walk around until someone recognized him. This audio was linked to a story in the Washington Post. She sounds like she is lying through her teeth, because no one can be that stupid not to know in advance where these students lived. She is a sociopath.

  3. Pingback: Michelle Rhee-form protest in Seattle. Join us. | saveourcola

  4. scrapthemap
    February 13, 2013

    Reblogged this on Scrap the MAP!.

  5. Efavorite
    February 12, 2013

    I’ve spent years refuting the Rhee myth in DC and am delighted to see that you and others have taken up the cause.

  6. seattleducation2011
    February 12, 2013

    My pleasure.

    Dora

  7. Peg Metzger (Bflo. NY )
    February 12, 2013

    This is a wonderful blog! You do a great job, Dora.
    Thank you for all of your work.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Information

This entry was posted on February 12, 2013 by in Michelle Rhee and tagged , , , .
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 793 other followers

%d bloggers like this: