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Tue Feb 5, 2013, 01:35 PM

Let them eat cupcakes. Plus why Michelle Rhee is lawyering up. [View all]

Edushyster does herself proud with the story of the whistleblower about the DC testing scandal. And a few words from Jersey Jazzman as well.

Today Michelle Rhee's book comes out, so the article is well-timed.

Let Them Eat Cake

In case you’ve somehow managed to miss it, today marks the release of Michelle Rhee’s new advertorial, Radical: Fighting to Put Students First. So to mark this special occasion I’d like to propose a toast, although not to Rhee, whose ghastly edu-celebrity may at last be waning (see book sales, declining number of). Let’s raise our collective wine boxes in honor of the woman who has emerged as perhaps the sharpest thorn in Rhee’s side: former Washington DC principal and whistle blower extraordinaire Adell Cothorne.

If you are a regular reader of Diane’s blog, you are likely familiar with Adell’s story; it’s one we certainly haven’t heard the last of. Adell has spoken out, boldly and bravely, about Erasergate, the epidemic of answer changing on standardized tests that took place while Michelle Rhee was in charge of the DC public schools. Her story stings in part because it was Adell’s admiration of Rhee that drew her to Washington in the first place. But when she witnessed what she was convinced was test tampering by teachers at her school she spoke up, and when officials failed to act she filed a whistleblowing suit, alleging that the DC Public Schools were defrauding the government.


Adell Cothorne says that now for the first time in her life she can be googled.

Taking on Rhee, Inc. hasn’t come without personal costs. Adell gave up her job as principal and abandoned, at least for now, the doctorate she was close to finishing, a study of the use of culturally competent instruction to eliminate the achievement gap for elementary school-age African American males. She says that she felt she had no choice but to walk away from her job and her studies because of a fight that felt more important than either. “I needed to do what was right for not only those kids in DC but all students. Testing is killing our education system.”

In the coming days we’ll be treated to endless news stories and puff pieces about Michelle Rhee. Thanks to the bravery of Adell Cothorne, much of this coverage will now include words like “investigation,” “tampering,” “suspicion” and “cheating.” So let’s toast to Adell and hope for better days ahead. And since a little something sweet is just the thing to accompany that toast, why not sample a fresh baked cupcake? Adell thoughtfully provided the following recipe, one of dozens of varieties of cupcakes that she bakes at her new shop, Cooks n’ Cakes. She named this one in honor of Rhee and her successor, Kaya Henderson. It’s called “Let Them Eat Cake.”


The article links to Jersey Jazzman's blog from January.

Rhee Lawyers Up

Yes, folks, it's true: Michelle Rhee has hired the lawyer for Bernie Ebbers and Roman Polanski. Ebbers, at the center of one of the biggest fraud cases Wall Street has ever seen. And Polanski, one of the highest-profile celebrity criminal cases in American history.
(BTW, several people have confirmed to me Weingarten is no relation to Randi Weingarten, the president of the AFT, the teacher union. It's a funny coincidence, though.)

Here's what I'd really like to know: Merrow says he got phone calls from Weingarten this summer. How did that happen, exactly? Did Weingarten call unsolicited? Was he calling in response to an inquiry made to Rhee? And why did Rhee feel she needed a prominent criminal defense attorney to answer Merrow?

This entire thing is getting stranger and stranger. It's time for the rest of the DC press and national education beat reporters to get in on this story.


I gather the reference to Merrow is about the recent Frontline piece on Rhee.

This lady seems to be one of the reformers who have been given carte blanche over public schools. It's infuriating, and I find myself wondering why there is absolutely not a word from any Democratic leaders about the harm she is doing in the name of education reform.

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Reply Let them eat cupcakes. Plus why Michelle Rhee is lawyering up. [View all]
madfloridian Feb 2013 OP
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