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Sat Jan 5, 2013, 09:53 AM

 

‘Frontline’ raises questions about test-score tampering under Rhee

Source: Washington Post



Student standardized-test scores at an award-winning D.C. school dropped dramatically in 2011 after the principal tightened security out of concern about possible cheating, according to a new “Frontline” television documentary to be broadcast Tuesday.

The hour-long program raises questions about whether District officials have adequately investigated persistent suspicions that public school employees may have tampered with tests during the tenure of former Chancellor Michelle Rhee.

Adell Cothorne was principal of the District’s Noyes Education Campus for one year, in 2010-11. She told “Frontline” that just after students took a midyear practice version of the city’s annual standardized test, she stumbled upon three staff members sitting late at night in a room strewn with more than 200 test booklets.

One of the adults was at a desk, holding an eraser. The other two sat at a table, booklets open before them.

Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/documentary-examines-michelle-rhees-legacy-in-dc/2013/01/04/ae86e8a6-55f7-11e2-8b9e-dd8773594efc_story.html?hpid=z2



Rhee has some explaining to do.

49 replies, 6731 views

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Reply ‘Frontline’ raises questions about test-score tampering under Rhee (Original post)
Welcome_hubby Jan 2013 OP
Thav Jan 2013 #1
plethoro Jan 2013 #8
Thav Jan 2013 #16
plethoro Jan 2013 #18
montanacowboy Jan 2013 #2
LittleGirl Jan 2013 #4
madrchsod Jan 2013 #5
olddad56 Jan 2013 #17
LeftyMom Jan 2013 #49
Recursion Jan 2013 #19
Jefferson23 Jan 2013 #3
jsr Jan 2013 #6
SunSeeker Jan 2013 #7
proud2BlibKansan Jan 2013 #12
Squinch Jan 2013 #9
prairierose Jan 2013 #10
n2doc Jan 2013 #13
proud2BlibKansan Jan 2013 #15
mrdmk Jan 2013 #25
Squinch Jan 2013 #26
DBoon Jan 2013 #33
Squinch Jan 2013 #34
MichiganVote Jan 2013 #36
erpowers Jan 2013 #37
Squinch Jan 2013 #38
wordpix Jan 2013 #41
MichiganVote Jan 2013 #45
erpowers Jan 2013 #42
MichiganVote Jan 2013 #46
Squinch Jan 2013 #39
proud2BlibKansan Jan 2013 #11
proud2BlibKansan Jan 2013 #14
RedstDem Jan 2013 #20
Stuart G Jan 2013 #31
ElboRuum Jan 2013 #21
Not Sure Jan 2013 #22
Frustratedlady Jan 2013 #24
valerief Jan 2013 #23
wordpix Jan 2013 #27
strikeforce Jan 2013 #29
Ernesto Jan 2013 #28
wordpix Jan 2013 #30
Stuart G Jan 2013 #32
amandabeech Jan 2013 #47
nikto Jan 2013 #35
Sunlei Jan 2013 #40
erpowers Jan 2013 #43
primavera Jan 2013 #44
Doctor_J Jan 2013 #48

Response to Welcome_hubby (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:06 AM

1. She came to our state a while ago

To give a lecture on how awesome charter schools are. I told my rep, and now chair of education committee, to take everything she says with a horse salt lick, and the only thing she wants out of this is to enrich herself.

I'm forwarding this article to her.

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Response to Thav (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:44 AM

8. Do you have a contact address? I would like to give her my opinion

 

also. This made-up fraudster needs to go.

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Response to plethoro (Reply #8)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:14 AM

16. Coming to you via DU mail

And she's ranking member, not chair. She should be chair, though.

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Response to Thav (Reply #16)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:17 AM

18. Copy that. Thanks......nft

 

ddddd

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Response to Welcome_hubby (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:09 AM

2. She is a fraud

and it's high time she is exposed

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Response to montanacowboy (Reply #2)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:17 AM

4. +1 nt

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Response to montanacowboy (Reply #2)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:21 AM

5. +2

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Response to montanacowboy (Reply #2)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:15 AM

17. That is the opinion I hold of her husband

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Response to olddad56 (Reply #17)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 12:21 PM

49. Howdy (probable) neighbor!

I'm pleasantly surprised KVIE is going to show this episode of Frontline tomorrow night. I kind of suspected they'd schedule something else to avoid calling out the mayor's wife.

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Response to montanacowboy (Reply #2)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:30 AM

19. One of many grifters that DCPS has had foisted on them

And, every four years or so, some genius decides that this fly by night scheme will totally turn the school system around, so she won't be the last.

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Response to Welcome_hubby (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:12 AM

3. Rhee has been a deep part of the problem. I am pleased to see Frontline speak on the issue

although the Arnie Duncan approach to education needs much more media scrutiny.

K&R

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Response to Welcome_hubby (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:29 AM

6. It's about time this charlatan got exposed

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Response to Welcome_hubby (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:34 AM

7. Rhee is a scammer.

I don't know how she got me email address but I keep getting spam from her asking for money on behalf of various self-proclaimed educational reform groups.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #7)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:03 AM

12. Same here. No idea how she got my email address.

And her emails are vile. The one she sent out less than 48 hours after the Newton massacre was just insulting.

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Response to Welcome_hubby (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:45 AM

9. This isn't a surprise at all. Didn't the same thing happen after W's educational "miracle" in Texas?

When you get one of these "teachers are awful and the corporate model is best for the children" officials in a position of power over a school organization, we can pretty well predict what will happen:

First they will institute testing that enriches some member of their family or their political ally. They will institute provisions that are harmful to teachers. They will institute provisions that extend the children's school day and increase the childrens' work loads.

These changes will be in direct opposition to what we KNOW scientifically are the childrens' age-appropriate neurological capabilities.


Second, the test scores will show miraculous improvements in the children's test scores.

Third, the official who instituted the changes will be promoted to a higher, more influential level.

Fourth, the test scores will precipitously drop.

Fifth, the stories will come out that the original "miraculous" test scores were the result of tampering by underlings.

Do we get it now? If not, we're just dumb.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #9)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:59 AM

10. Exactly, but somehow that never gets mentioned in...

any story that manages to find any room in the corporate press.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #9)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:04 AM

13. Yes! AND he appointed the Houston School District Super as Department of Education Head!

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Response to n2doc (Reply #13)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:13 AM

15. Rod Paige should be in prison.

Back when his 'success' in Houston was all the rage, a group of parents and school officials from my district went down there to visit. They came back with nothing helpful to share. Their report was basically - 'we have no idea what he's doing to make those gains in achievement'. Just a few years later, it all came out. He was cooking the books, falsifying attendance data, getting kids to drop out. By then he was Sec of Ed and no one wanted to hold him accountable.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #15)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 02:55 PM

25. President G.W. Bush Jr. a.k.a. Karl Rove did not want to hold this clown accountable

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Response to n2doc (Reply #13)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 04:30 PM

26. And there is no telling how much damage this did in other areas. Other school boards looked at

what they did and instituted the same changes. Which, in the end, were completely wrong for the children.

Kindergarteners today spend 7 hours a day sitting at desks learning letters and numbers. There is very little that I can think of that is worse for the development of a 4 or 5 year old child. They are simply not developmentally ready for what we are requiring of them.

They are not doing things like: playing duck-duck-goose - which teaches self regulation, fingerpainting - which teaches sensory awareness and directionality and body mapping, imaginative play - which teaches social skills and independent thinking and creativity. I could go on and on about the developmentally appropriate things they are NOT doing.

And then we are surprised when they can't sit still for the lessions (which neurologically they are not supposed to be able to do before age 7) so we label them attention deficient. Later when math becomes more abstract and they don't have the spatial awareness and creativity and imagination to understand it, we say they are slow.

They are neither. It is just that the corporate approach to children is moronic. And we know it.

But it's profitable to someone. So we just keep at it.

It's pathetic. Rhee is one of the prime culprits.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #9)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 09:45 PM

33. Sounds like corporate America

Denounce your predecessors, institute sweeping organizational changes, declare victory, claim your bonus, move on, and then it all collapses after you've left

She's like the Bain Capital of public schools

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Response to DBoon (Reply #33)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:34 PM

34. Michelle Rhee: the Enron of education.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #34)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 12:04 AM

36. Amen to that. Why the public is not raising hell about The Fed. Dept. of ed. is beyond me.

What the states are doing is even worse. Obama seriously needs to flunk Duncan. This will be eventually seen as a down side of the Obama administration.

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Response to MichiganVote (Reply #36)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 05:13 AM

37. They Do Not Know

How many time have you heard a bad story about charter schools in the main stream media? How many stories have been done in the main stream media on how some of the charter schools that perform better than public schools get those results? How much time does the main stream media spend discussing the stories of schools that at one point had a dramatic increase in test scores only to see a just as dramatic decrease when individuals seem to be given less access to tests after they are taken? How many times does the main stream media link the dramatic increases and decreases to high stakes testing and not just bad apple teachers and principals?

If I have heard stories like that in the main stream media I have not heard very many. Much of the stories that I hear that do not give the positive view of charter schools come from independent media. I have seen a few television news reports about Michelle Rhee, but I do not recall any mentioning that the results that happened during her time in D.C. are in question. Normally, I hear Rhee took a get tough approach with teachers and other school officials in which she fired teachers and other school officials she felt were underperforming. Her approach angered teacher's unions and some parents, but test scores increased during her time in D.C.

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Response to erpowers (Reply #37)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 09:39 AM

38. How many times has it been reported that, on the whole, public schools outperform charter schools?

Which, statistically they do. SOMEONE in power understands this, and understands how bad that news will be for the Charter School movement, because now the push is to exempt charter schools from the same standards and reporting that public schools are subject to.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #38)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 10:29 AM

41. Actually, they're about even with charters - depends on the school districts

I did a one-year research project with a student on this topic last year. Some public schools perform better; some charter schools in certain areas (Boston, NO to name two) do better. In DC, I teach as an adjunct for a nonprofit in one charter h.s. that partners with DCPS and another school that's a charter only. I see the same problems in both schools and the same positive movement, too. There is no "one size fits all" in this debate.

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Response to wordpix (Reply #41)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 04:05 PM

45. There is no 'one size fits all' when it comes to educating the special needs kids either.

Your research sounds very much like it was broad based and did not include this aspect. Special needs kids are general education kids first.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #38)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 10:38 AM

42. Not Much

I am not sure I have ever heard public schools outperform charter schools from a main stream media source. I might not know about that fact if I did not on occasion listen to and read independent media.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #38)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 04:11 PM

46. Its another delusion for Americans to think that poshy little all white "public" schools do better.

Nobody sells delusion to the American public better than for profit business. Of course they want to be exempted from being held accountable. Accountability means money to pay for staff or services TO BE accountable.

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Response to MichiganVote (Reply #36)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 09:40 AM

39. Totally agree. I love Obama, but with respect to education, his positions are moronic.

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Response to Welcome_hubby (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:01 AM

11. Good. This needs to be exposed.

So far, there's been little accountability for Rhee, who dreams of new ways to hold teachers accountable.

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Response to Welcome_hubby (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:09 AM

14. Thanks. I'm reposting this in the Education group.

Glad to see Frontline covering this.

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Response to Welcome_hubby (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:48 AM

20. she should be teaching a class on

how to cheat.

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Response to RedstDem (Reply #20)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 09:32 PM

31. yes, she cheats well.......imagine how many, and who has been hurt by this.

Her scores if I recall, were the foundation of the so called, "charter school" movement..she should pay..but she won't..

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Response to Welcome_hubby (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 12:09 PM

21. When thinking about what Michelle Rhee is doing...



I have to remind myself that my generation (Gen-X) was probably the last or one of the last to go through our public school system when it was an effective entity.

The first thing I ask myself is, "Is Michelle Rhee serious in wishing to reform/fix the educational system in this country?" I would like to hope that, since she was educated at the same time, that her desire is in earnest. It is bothersome to me to see the education I received when compared to that received today, and I know that when I talk about this subject with others of my generation, that they are indeed aware of this disparity and that they are similarly unsettled.

However, seeing her contempt of "ineffective" teachers, and the reliance on testing as almost the sole metric of success, I suspect her motives are more aligned to making the case for full privatization (in a subsidy framework of course, wink, wink) of the educational system... of course, holding behind her back the whole time a ready-made product to sell us to replace what she'd made the case against.

If I judged by results alone, I'd say that "teaching to the test", if we look around the to the more successful educational systems around the world, is widely regarded as ineffective. Numbers are data, and testing is useful in creating numbers, and therefore data, however, data is just that without an effective manner of interpretation. So testing has its place as one of the metrics we use to determine if the process of education is effective, but should neither be the most important metric, the sole metric, nor should be used as a proxy for honest common sense.

Once I saw her methods, I doubted very seriously that she was or is interested in anything but reducing headcount and cost, and selling a particular idea to people, that teachers, alone, are the problem.

The fact of the matter is that teaching is very much a "rubber meets the road" process, and I would seriously doubt the credibility of someone who believes they have the answer if they are willing to sacrifice or replace the people who are at the direct point of interface in the education process, rather than listening carefully to the problems that exist from those same people. Any person calling themselves a reformer should realize that the real point of reform is to put teachers back at the center of the educational process, rather than be beholden to absolutist requirements like No Child Left Behind or rote standardized testing. A reformer would look at the now dysfunctional adversarial relationship between parents and teachers/administrators and look for ways to turn that back into a collaborative effort. A reformer would understand the specific difficulties of anyone doing their jobs with no control or remedy and then being held solely responsible for a poor result.

Now, we have this. Something which looks from the outside as a clear breach of trust, a contemptuous slap in the face from a person who KNOWS precisely what she is doing. She is selling a shit product, sure, but she certainly has ambition for herself, which has little to do with whether people take anything away from their education or not.

It sickens me to think that the only way Rhee gets taken even remotely seriously is the amount of anti-teacher and anti-union propaganda which is floated by the GOP and repeated by the media. If she had come up a scant 30 years ago, she'd have been run out of town on a rail on her very first day. Not now. Now we have to deal with the apparent cultural axiom that teachers are lazy and feckless and are concerned only with protecting their jobs and positions. We have to deal with the tired refrain that their unions are the problem. We have to deal with the concept of an adversarial relationship between teachers and parents. We have to deal with the idea that teachers, because they even chose to BE teachers, must not be good at anything in the private sector, something about "those that can, do..." well, you know the rest. You've heard it for a long time.

That some even still talk about her in anything but a facetious or sarcastic manner is what I think requires explanation. She is a fraud, and anyone who is interested in making education work in this country again shouldn't have to be told this. Hopefully, this investigation will run her out of education entirely, but knowing our media and their obeisance to their anti-teacher, anti-union GOP masters, it will only be cast as those nasty teachers trying to ruin a "reformers" credibility.

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Response to ElboRuum (Reply #21)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 12:43 PM

22. Wow, great post! n/t

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Response to ElboRuum (Reply #21)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 01:56 PM

24. Thank you for your post. eom

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Response to Welcome_hubby (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 01:07 PM

23. So what's the deal? Public schools need to meet certain standards to get fed funds and

charter schools don't need to do anything to get fed funds?

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Response to Welcome_hubby (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 05:08 PM

27. I'm working in DC public schools with "IEP" students

Let me tell you, things are bad. I started at the end of MR's tenure and I was a classroom teacher; some of my 6th graders barely had 1st and 2nd gr. skills. Now I work with older teens who have weak basic skills (some of them also operate on the 1st-2nd gr. level). Turns out they ALL have severe family problems at home, from no parents to living with crackhead parents, alcoholics and family members in and out of jail; some are young mothers and fathers age 16 or 17, some have two little kids already, some sell drugs to make money b/c there are no jobs out there for teens with no skills. I am also wondering if one of my students is a male prostitute due to various things he's said.

So then we (society) change a few deck chairs on the Titanic and expect these kids to perform well on tests. Not gonna happen.

You know what works? Mentoring, tutoring, caring, letting the kids know they can learn and we're there to help them, and working with them one-one to catch them up. But there are too few programs like ours (a non-profit group that sends experienced tutors into the public schools) and too little money to right this ship.

I say, let's build more fighter jets, aircraft carriers, start more wars, and keep making the Pentagon contractors wealthy. And let the schools go downhill even further.

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Response to wordpix (Reply #27)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 08:27 PM

29. thank you

 

for what you are doing.

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Response to Welcome_hubby (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 05:58 PM

28. I taught Union sheet metal skills for $25 an hour part time...........

Was offered $12 for the same from a charter high school..........
What's that tell ya?

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Response to Ernesto (Reply #28)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 09:03 PM

30. I am all for the schools going back to vo-ag/trades education

And they should pay you as well as English or math teachers, too.

I specialize in kids with school problems and they can do well in life with reading, writing and math with an 8th gr. education IF they learn a trade. If they're not interested in academics and they're mid-older teens, teach them a trade they ARE interested in.

Otherwise, they end up in required language and high level courses they can't do well in/don't want to do well in/aren't interested in, and it's a waste of time. Maybe when they hit their 20's they'll want to return to school to improve basic skills; meanwhile, teach them something they can earn a living at in h.s.

Otherwise, we will continue to have kids graduating h.s. with poor skills who can't get jobs, continuing the poverty cycle.

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Response to Welcome_hubby (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 09:44 PM

32. The Key to this is the ...Acutual Cheaters........

If 2 or three of those erasing the scores can be found, and tell the truth, this will open up..If not, and if those staff are still being paid in one way or another by Rhee, the it will remain suspect. Courage is the answer..Who knows who is willing to sacrifice all in D.C.

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Response to Stuart G (Reply #32)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 04:17 PM

47. Rhee left when the mayor who hired her was thrown out of office.

She's not heading any school system now.

She's jetting about the country giving speeches and seminars.

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Response to Welcome_hubby (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:37 PM

35. RHEE is a CROOK!

Neocon, corporatist government infiltrator.

She should be investigated by the FBI and CIA for probable illegal foreign bank account$.

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Response to Welcome_hubby (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 09:50 AM

40. so many schools accepted awards for 'no child left behind' Then later were caught cheating.

We have let down a generation, a decade of Americans who got a horrible education. Got pushed ahead into society and now so many in their 20s lack a decent start in life.

And this cheating of a decent education continues with the online scams today. Huge In Texas, google a GED or a high school diploma and you can see. people can pay 300.00 and get a diploma online.

America fails their children and all the good teachers, it's pityfull we allow selfish profit/greed to rule our education system

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Response to Welcome_hubby (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 10:55 AM

43. Rhee Wanted to Be A Celebrity?

From the article it seems that Michelle Rhee wanted to be a celebrity. She fired a person in front of cameras. Was that the only place she could fire that person? Was she more concerned with being a celebrity than fixing the D.C. school system? Where her actions as head of the D.C. school system meant to make a name for herself? Could she have tried to reform the D.C. school system.

In addition, there seems to be a large amount of evidence that cheating was occurring. When there was a lack of test security the scores rose by about 25 percent. Once test security increased the test scores decreased by a double digit percentage. I realize percentages can be misleading, but the results in test scores dramatically increased and dramatically decreased at multiple schools based test security. There could be other reasons for the dramatic increases and dramatic decreases, but cheating seems to be a major possibility.

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Response to Welcome_hubby (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 12:06 PM

44. Sounds kind of thin to me

The article posted describes how one former principal, based upon one anecdotal experience, perceived rife corruption in an entire system that, when investigated, produced no evidence to support her suspicion. Which is not to discount her concern, but it is possible that she's wrong, you know.

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Response to Welcome_hubby (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 12:01 PM

48. Like a lot of 21st Century "Entrepeneurs", Rhee has figured out

how to get rich off of the taxpayers. She isn't much different than the "defense" contractors, banksters, or those who have gotten rich from "Homeland Security". It would help the country immensely if she, Erik Prince, and some other bunco artists went to real federal prison for a while.

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