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Fri Feb 1, 2013, 04:38 PM

Strange interview with Michelle Rhee in the NYT. Odd questions.

This is part of an interview the New York Times did with Michelle Rhee as part of her massive PR for the release of her new book.

She's also on ABC's This Week on Sunday.

This has been edited from the original, so of course that makes me wonder what was in the original. It is such a strange interview with such odd questions.

From the New York Times:

Michelle Rhee Gets an Education

Questions in bold:

In your new book, “Radical,” you recount that while growing up in a Korean-American household in Toledo, if your brother brought home a bad grade, your mother would ground you, not him. Can you explain her thinking?

My mother is a very traditional Korean mom. I grew up with clear roles as the girl of the family, and one of them was being responsible for my brothers and specifically to make sure my younger brother was doing well in school. Korean culture is very lenient on boys.

You write that you were offended by a sign in a Washington public school that read, “Teachers cannot make up for what parents and students will not do.” That didn’t make sense to you?

As educators, we have to approach our job believing that anything is possible. It is incredibly important that we constantly communicate to kids that they can accomplish anything when they put their minds to it.


She failed to address that 2nd question. It's a very serious issue.

“Teachers cannot make up for what parents and students will not do.”


That is completely unequivocally true. I used that statement in parent conferences often. I never had a parent take issue with it or disagree. It is the simple truth.

The new education reforms only demand from the teachers. If standardized test scores are not good, the blame is only on the teacher. They will close schools and fire teachers based on those scores. But there are no consequences for parent or student.

They are free to go to other schools feeling they have not failed, only the teachers and the school.

It would be so simple to counteract the damage Rhee has done to teachers and public schools. Arne Duncan's voice would help defray some of the harm done, but there is not a word from him.

The biggest puffy question she was asked was if she had ever been fired. Her answer was because she made neat sundaes when the management wanted sloppy ones.

Once. I worked at an ice-cream parlor in college, and they were famous for making sundaes sloppily and having the hot fudge rolling over the sides. I liked to make my sundaes neat so that all the ice cream stayed in the bowl and whatnot. They didn’t like that.


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Reply Strange interview with Michelle Rhee in the NYT. Odd questions. (Original post)
madfloridian Feb 2013 OP
leveymg Feb 2013 #1
Blue_Tires Feb 2013 #5
Starry Messenger Feb 2013 #14
madfloridian Feb 2013 #17
Starry Messenger Feb 2013 #21
reteachinwi Feb 2013 #26
Starry Messenger Feb 2013 #30
madfloridian Feb 2013 #15
FiveGoodMen Feb 2013 #19
madfloridian Feb 2013 #27
FiveGoodMen Feb 2013 #29
leveymg Feb 2013 #38
reteachinwi Feb 2013 #2
madfloridian Feb 2013 #11
liberal_at_heart Feb 2013 #3
madfloridian Feb 2013 #4
reteachinwi Feb 2013 #20
madfloridian Feb 2013 #28
roody Feb 2013 #6
Bucky Feb 2013 #7
Bucky Feb 2013 #8
duffyduff Feb 2013 #9
madfloridian Feb 2013 #39
reteachinwi Feb 2013 #10
madfloridian Feb 2013 #12
reteachinwi Feb 2013 #16
madfloridian Feb 2013 #18
duffyduff Feb 2013 #33
madfloridian Feb 2013 #41
sulphurdunn Feb 2013 #22
amandabeech Feb 2013 #25
duffyduff Feb 2013 #34
sulphurdunn Feb 2013 #35
amandabeech Feb 2013 #36
Blue_Tires Feb 2013 #37
LiberalFighter Feb 2013 #13
Octafish Feb 2013 #23
sulphurdunn Feb 2013 #24
madfloridian Feb 2013 #31
madrchsod Feb 2013 #32
Tierra_y_Libertad Feb 2013 #40
madfloridian Feb 2013 #42

Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 04:44 PM

1. That's what I call a soft serve interview.

She is a little darling of the corporate media, isn't she? Just make the story sweet, syrupy, with some whipped cream on top.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 05:44 PM

5. If Rhee knew there would be "real" questions, she never would have agreed to it...

Last edited Fri Feb 1, 2013, 06:34 PM - Edit history (1)

She's our new Sarah Palin now...Even though there is a mountain of evidence and research to expose her as a $$$$$ grubbing fraud, she ALWAYS gets the kid gloves treatment as her profile gets bigger...

I'm at least glad that all the DUers who were cheerleaders for her are long gone...

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Response to Blue_Tires (Reply #5)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 06:18 PM

14. +1000!

There are a few left, but they got quieter about supporting her when Erasuregate happened and then she became BFFs with Rick Scott.

She wrote a book? Why does this depress me?

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Response to Starry Messenger (Reply #14)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 06:34 PM

17. Well, read these excerpts....they will depress you more.

http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2013/01/rhee-talks-romance-and-ca-politics-in-new-autobiography.html

"On crafting the idea to form StudentsFirst over dinner at a restaurant in Sacramento:

"I flew to Sacramento on September 24 to spend time with KMJ and his mom, Mother Rose... As soon as I walked into Mulvaney's restaurant, KMJ took one look at me and asked, 'What is it? You're contemplating something, I can tell.' ... My frustration came from the perspective of an education reformer - from the top. I figured that the right superintendent who was willing to make changes and had political backing could accomplish bold reforms. I was proved wrong, because I didn't figure in the power of the unions. KMJ was plotting and jotting notes. 'If we are going to make a difference, we need to start a movement. A movement of everyday people who are fed up with their kids getting a subpar education. We need to create a vehicle through which they can take action and drive change,' he said... KMJ kept jotting. We kept talking. Finally, he turned over his notes for Mother Rose and me to see. He had sketched out our new organization. We settled on a plan to create a national advocacy group that would raise money and build membership with the goal of providing political muscle to leaders who stood for change."


SO...we learn that KJM, her hubby, Kevin Johnson, created Students First during a dinner with Rhee and his mother. Wow.

Here she goes again blasting unions. There's real hate there in her mind for unions. Well, I don't like her at all. So there.

On StudentsFirst's strategy as a lobbying organization:

"The power of StudentsFirst is not in playing the inside game. The Teachers unions have a thirty-year head start on walking the halls of state capitols, bonding legislators to their causes and meting out retribution to those who cross them. We are not going to beat them at that game. We have to play and win in the outside game... We will have to put pressure on legislators they have never felt from anyone other than unions. We will need to counterbalance the unions' money with our members."


And she tells why her group gave CA such a bad report grade grade. She's not done there in that state. Californians beware!

That's where the Obama administration and StudentsFirst came in. We worked with our members and reform organization partners across the state to educate the opinion makers, legislators, and general public about how poor the bill was and how it would be a step backward for California. Our members emailed and called legislative offices for days leading up to the vote... While we were successful in scuttling this bad piece of legislation, the lesson is stark. Not only are we nowhere close to trying to craft meaningful evaluation policy in California, but we're having to pull out all the stops to try to defend against legislation that would move the state in the wrong direction. Had StudentsFirst and the reform community failed to mobilize quickly, in all likelihood this bill would have swept through the legislature, moving the state's public education system backward, without any pushback or opposition. This is the dynamic that we're up against in California and the reason why it
.will take a massive grassroots movement to achieve education reform in the Golden State."


Grassroots, my hind foot. Corporate bullies.

Read more here: http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2013/01/rhee-talks-romance-and-ca-politics-in-new-autobiography.html#storylink=cpy




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Response to madfloridian (Reply #17)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 06:57 PM

21. The comments at the Sac Bee link are delicious, that's some comfort.

She thinks the CA teacher unions have no opposition here? I guess she snapped during our entire white knuckle fight against the Koch brothers and Prop 32. She must have known about it, ed reform buddy and DFER troll Gloria Romero sided with the right wing against her own party to come out and campaign *for* Prop 32.

http://fryingpannews.org/2012/10/05/how-gloria-romero-became-the-face-of-proposition-32/


I wouldn't be surprised to find out if Michelle Rhee is on the take from the Koch brothers, if not now, then soon in the future.

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Response to Starry Messenger (Reply #21)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 07:26 PM

26. She doesn't have to disclose her contributors

 

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Response to reteachinwi (Reply #26)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 07:46 PM

30. Thank you reteachinwi

A mix of the usual suspects and some big Republican money. The next couple of election cycles here are going to be...interesting. o.O

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Response to leveymg (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 06:19 PM

15. That's exactly what they do. She is treated with kid gloves.

I believe Arne and Obama are fearful of talking against her, of standing up for the teachers she insults almost daily.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #15)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 06:46 PM

19. The POTUS is afraid of her?

Then we elected the wrong guy.

He's supposed to have what it takes to lead a defense if hostile forces attack.

But he's afraid of a demagogue?

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Response to FiveGoodMen (Reply #19)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 07:29 PM

27. Well....

Her policy is his policy, that is for sure. Maybe he and Arne let her have free rein because they don't disagree with her.

I do believe people don't mess with her for a reason...just not sure what that reason is.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #27)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 07:46 PM

29. Yes.

I think it's more likely that Obama agrees with Rhee than that he's afraid of her.

(And if he IS afraid of her, that's just pathetic; he's got more power than anyone but the Kochs and they're ilk)

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Response to FiveGoodMen (Reply #29)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 02:16 PM

38. Obama would never have appointed Arne Duncan if he didn't endorse Michelle Rhee

Also, Rahm Emanuel and his family are heavily invested in privatizing public education.

Don't fool yourself, Obama has signed on to this.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 04:46 PM

2. Not part of the Rheeality based community

 

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Response to reteachinwi (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 06:02 PM

11. Ha, that's good.

I like that.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 04:50 PM

3. just as you can't expect more from the students without giving them help, you cannot expect more

the parents unless they have access to help as well. I don't really look at my daughter's textbooks much. She never really needs my help with her homework, but this morning she had her pre-cal book out because her teacher asked her to put a cover on it to protect the book. While she had it out I got a good look at the cover and at the very top it said Core Curriculum Edition. It was like I was a vampire and I had just seen the sun. It was revolting. I pointed at the words and said that is why your brother is taking an 8th grade math class even though he is not at that cognitive level. I did just get to fill out an online survey given by the Board of Education and the Superintendent of Public Instruction. They were asking what we value more in a school's performance: high state test scores, or an ability to demonstrate a good rate of improvement. There was also a comment section where I told them that I did not appreciate that my son's curriculum was based soley on grade level and not on cognitive ability. I don't know if it will make a difference but at least they were aking the question.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 05:37 PM

4. The reformers, the test makers, and the textbook creators have set the curriculum.

They in their wisdom have decided that your kid will be tested on what they decide to put in a test.

That's why so many teachers are protesting these high stakes test. That's why these Seattle teachers are protesting the MAP test pushed by Broad and Gates, et al. It tests the kids on stuff that was not even covered in the classroom..

Battle in Seattle. Teachers take stand against high-stakes test. Could get suspensions

I agree with you that this one size fits all education is not going to fit anyone comfortably.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 06:47 PM

20. Parents are crucial

 

Teachers have been discredited by reformers and their governor stooges. I'm going to rant but will try to be brief. We gave standardized tests for the last 17 years I taught. The 10th grade test was given in the first two weeks of November, after the students had been in 10th grade for one quarter. When we would do test analysis the following spring I would point out that the students were taught the material on various questions they did poorly on in December, or February, or March. My recommendations for improvement was to give the test in April, after the curriculum had been taught(!). I was summarily dismissed, the state needed time to correct the tests (I, apparently, didn't need time to present the curriculum.). It was frustrating, dishonest even, and I felt that the real purpose of the tests was to prove the failure of public education. Parents can do a great deal to save their schools. Teachers are under a great deal of fire and they are not listened to or respected. It shouldn't be necessary but this is where we are.

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Response to reteachinwi (Reply #20)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 07:33 PM

28. Exactly! "purpose of the tests was to prove the failure of public education."

It has taken a while for people to realize it. If not why are companies given carte blanche to make up proprietary tests with no oversight. Why are testing companies requiring parents to hire lawyers if they question a test score.

It's really bad stuff when you get down to the nitty gritty.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 05:46 PM

6. For how long was she an educator?

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Response to roody (Reply #6)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 05:48 PM

7. I don't know, but it seemed to have stopped around the time she became an administrator.

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Response to roody (Reply #6)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 05:52 PM

8. After a quick google, I see she spent 3 years in a classroom before becoming a CEO

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Response to Bucky (Reply #8)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 05:57 PM

9. Including duct taping her students as part of her classroom "management" style

Such behavior would get teachers in many if not most states fired and their licenses suspended or revoked.

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Response to duffyduff (Reply #9)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 09:07 PM

39. Yes, I have known it to happen in our area.

It is not believable a teacher would do that and think it is okay. Rhee seems to think it's really funny.

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Response to roody (Reply #6)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 06:02 PM

10. It appears she taught for 3 years

 

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Response to reteachinwi (Reply #10)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 06:04 PM

12. That is a great blog with thorough research.

Thanks for the link. He's right.

"Why does this matter?

Simply because I think it’s important for the public to know that the main spokesperson for the movement for additional dumb standardized testing, for teaching to the test, and for firing teachers based on those dumb tests, would herself have been fired under those criteria.

And she has lied repeatedly about that, and has repeatedly claimed that she performed some sort of miracle when she was teaching in Baltimore: a miracle that no-one else has ever, ever achieved.

Voters in DC, to their credit, saw through her lies and voted Adrian Fenty out of office largely because of her lies (I think) and the horrible effects she had on DC public schools. Yay! But in the rest of the country, people probably only know her because of adoring media coverage that paints her as some sort of saint; she has become an advisor to several right-wing Republican governors who think that the key to educational success is breaking teacher unions."

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #12)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 06:26 PM

16. Her effectiveness continues

 

close to your home.

“When Gov. Rick Scott unveiled some of his education policy proposals with school-choice celeb Michelle Rhee this January, they paid a visit to a second-grade class at Florida International Academy in Opa-Locka to showcase the successes of school choice.

Oops.

The school rankings are out. And the academy’s new elementary school just got an F.
http://www.rheefirst.com/rick-scott-and-michelle-rhee-praise-charter-that-just-got-an-f

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #18)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 09:59 PM

33. Look no further than Common Core. That is entirely Gates Foundation.

Of course, it won't work. It isn't supposed to.

Note that the schools Gates, Duncan, and others send their kids to do NOT have such a classist agenda.

It's all about tracking students into low-wage, no future employment, and restricting higher education for the masses.

By "higher education," I mean high school.

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Response to duffyduff (Reply #33)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 09:48 PM

41. Yes, Gates paid big money on Common Core.

I have an article, will see if I can find it.

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Response to roody (Reply #6)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 06:57 PM

22. She taught elementary school

for three years and performed miracles, or so she says. All of her miraculous claims about her experience in the classroom or in the administration office are sketchy. What is not sketchy are he bonafides as just another Ivy League grifter working a longcon on the parents of disadvantaged public schools kids to enrich her Wall Street sugar daddies.

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Response to sulphurdunn (Reply #22)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 07:25 PM

25. I believe that she co-taught with an experienced teacher during her second year.

That was after the hideous duct-tape episode.

Disgusting woman.

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Response to amandabeech (Reply #25)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 10:01 PM

34. A firing offense and grounds for license revocation, but like many teachers-turned-administrators,

she parlayed her failures as a teacher and a human being into far more lucrative employment.

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Response to amandabeech (Reply #25)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 10:20 PM

35. I've often wondered

why the duct tape stunt wasn't a career killer for her. It is really inexcusable to do something like that. It's a wonder she wasn't frog marched out of the building and charged with child abuse. It's strange, but what's even stranger is that she finds it a humorous anecdote and no one ever calls her out on it publicly.

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Response to sulphurdunn (Reply #35)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 01:48 PM

36. I'm with you on your post.

She's very narcissistic and sadistic.

So long as the duct tape wasn't ripped from her face she's fine with it.

It says something about the people around her who don't call her out on her "humorous anecdote".

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Response to sulphurdunn (Reply #35)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 02:01 PM

37. She's a reptile, so it wouldn't surprise me

if she had the dirt on her bosses and threatened to start blabbing...

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 06:07 PM

13. There are two takes on this.

She failed to perform her duties twice (at least). Making sure her brother had good grades and providing sundaes according to company policy.

Personally, I think she lies about Korean tradition that punishes the sister instead of the brother.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 07:05 PM

23. We don't want government to go there. Meaning: We can't afford HEAD START.

Or real jobs programs, or universal health care, or housing subsidies, let alone pay for a quality education for every student.

Get real. We got photo opps to attend. Interviews. Sunday morning tee vee.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 07:06 PM

24. Corpporate media

serves Wall Street. Wall Street aims to cash in big time on public education. Wall Street bankrolls grifters like Michelle Rhee to sell "education reform" through corporate media the same way Judith Miller used it to pitch the very profitable Iraq War for them.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 08:29 PM

31. Anyway to access the original one online?

A version of this interview appeared in print on February 3, 2013, on page MM12 of the Sunday Magazine with the headline: Reform School.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 09:51 PM

32. there`s a whole lot of air in her head...

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 09:20 PM

40. Michelle Rhee is to education what a candy salesman is to nutrition.

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Response to Tierra_y_Libertad (Reply #40)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 09:49 PM

42. Apt comparison.

In fact quite good.

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