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Michelle Rhee tells teachers to get ready for a battle over reform. Boss Rhee?

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-01-12 12:12 PM
Original message
Michelle Rhee tells teachers to get ready for a battle over reform. Boss Rhee?
She said that at the RNC convention this week as the anti-union, anti-teacher, pro-parent trigger movie called Won't Back Down was shown.

Next week she will showing the very same movie at the DNC convention. And she will be interviewed at the DNC meet as well by Chelsea Clinton.

For the DNC to feature her so prominently shows public school teachers where they stand with the Democratic party leaders. That makes me bitter.

They had to know that having her at the convention would send up a red flag to public school teachers who have been victims of her scorn for several years.

From Huff Post:

Michelle Rhee At Republican Convention..Education Reform Will Require 'Getting Ready For A Fight'

Former D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee called for classroom teachers unhappy with the system to brace themselves for battle. She spoke during a panel following the showing of Wont Back Down, a film to be released this fall about a parent and teacher fighting to take over a failing school.

.."Wont Back Down features Maggie Gyllenhaal as the parent of a dyslexic daughter with a clearly incompetent teacher, and Viola Davis as a teacher who is convinced to try to shake up the system. Together, they work to get 50 percent of parents and teachers on their side to take advantage of a fail-safe trigger law that allows parents to take over a failing school. Along the way they battle the teachers union and school-board bureaucracy.

The film was shown at an event sponsored by Rhees advocacy organization, StudentsFirst, and the Foundation for Excellence in Education, a group founded by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

Wont Back Down has already been criticized for ignoring realities of the education system and overinflating the efficacy of parent trigger laws. These laws, which in theory allow a school takeover if 50 percent of parents sign a petition demanding so, have yet to be successfully implemented. In the past two years, such laws have been passed in seven states. Despite some attempts, no school has undergone a takeover as a result.


There is a school in California undergoing the change now, Desert Trails Elementary. The parents are large and in charge...at least until the charter company takes it over.

I guess we should not be surprised that she is being pandered to so much by the Democratic party. After all there is big big money behind the Parent Trigger law push.

It's a way to get more charters more quickly by manipulating parents.

With funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wasserman Foundation, the Eli and Edyth Broad Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation, Parent Revolution has more than enough dinero to keep up the rhetoric and the supporting antics. But that obscures real educational issues and keeps their followers from asking about the groups real agenda, which unfortunately is all about charter schools, and not about Julio and Jamal or their sisters and brothers ever becoming educated.

..."Our team works directly with parents at underperforming schools in Los Angeles and throughout California to help parents organize to transform their childrens under-performing schools using Californias historic Parent Trigger law. We use sophisticated and cutting edge community organizing techniques to help parents organize, create Parents Union chapters, build power, analyze their schools performance, and fight for kids-first reforms that will dramatically improve academic outcomes for their children.


I find myself wondering just how many of our Democratic leaders are aware that this movie pushing such a corporately funded "movement" is being shown at their convention? If they don't know they should, as it gives credibility to this shameless manipulation of parents at the expense of public education.
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PatrynXX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-02-12 09:59 AM
Response to Original message
1. yeah but...
Rhee is one of the reasons I ended up leaving a petition site. She broke none of their TOS. But they kicked her out anyway. And Democrats tend to listen. Republicans don't. So please let us not act like them. What I'd really love is if Clint Eastwood also showed up.. and well actually was in a chair while Obama had a chat with him...
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-02-12 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Michelle Rhee is no "activist", not "grassroots". Change.org claims to be both.
First off, defending public education is NOT acting like a Republican. It is acting as Democrats should act.

Never would I have suspected that the Bush education agenda would be heartily welcomed by Democrats.

Hubby and I are voting for Obama, in fact we were large donors in 2008. But that does NOT mean I have to silence my voice when he is wrong.

I have already written my responses to your concern about Change.org. They were getting money for the signatures, just as they do on all petitions. They can not pretend to be an activist site when they are hosting Students First, one of the biggest corporate venture groups in education. They finally realized that.

Michelle Rhee is no activist.

Here is what I have written already about why she is not healthy for public education.

A treasure trove of Michelle Rhee quotes about her education philosophy.

I think if there is one thing I have learned over the last 15 months, its that cooperation, collaboration and consensus-building are way overrated.


That was said at the Aspen institute in 2008.

Sometimes she uses this voice to imitate teachers; other times, politicians or parents. Never students. "People say, Well, you know, test scores dont take into account creativity and the love of learning, she says with a drippy, grating voice, lowering her eyelids halfway. Then she snaps back to herself. "Im like, You know what? I dont give a crap.


That was said in an interview with Time Magazine with her on the cover with a new broom that sweeps clean. She doesn't give a "crap" about creativity and love of learning? Really? Yet she is speaking at the DNC convention, given good prominence.



Another quote made at the Fordham institute in 2008.

"People tell me the unions are an inevitable part of this (school reform). My thing is, what has that gotten us so far? All the collaboration and holding hands and singing Kumbaya?"


Did you know that she and Arne Duncan kicked a retired teacher, well known blogger out of their education summit because he had been critical of them on his blog?

A retired D.C. teacher who has written critically about Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Michelle Rhee said security guards escorted him out of an education data summit where the two were speaking on Wednesday.

Guy Brandenburg, who writes the GFBrandenburgs Blog (which is subtitled Just a blog by a guy whos a retired math teacher) describes in a post how he attended the National Data Summit in Washington D.C. for which he had signed up to attend and started handing out a pamphlet he wrote criticizing data-driven school reform.

..."The pamphlet, which you can see here, is titled Problems with Using Data to Fix Our Schools Or, Garbage In, Garbage Out. According to Brandenburg, security guards approached him after he had handed out about a dozen pamphlets and told him that he had to leave because the summit hosts didnt want him there. He was told he could not stay even if he stopped distributing pamphlets, Brandenburg said in an email.

After he left the conference, he wrote this post on his blog:

So much for freedom of speech.


I am exercising my freedom of speech when I write about the harm being done to public education. What puzzles me is why it is so hard to get people to care.




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rpannier Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-02-12 03:17 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. I was glad they kicked her off
And I make no apologies for it.
She's well funded and the fewer avenues she has to spread her b.s. the better
In my Congressional District the Democrat running will most likely lose. Partly because she has cuddled up to rhee and her money and she can't get votes from union members (in a very union area). My absentee ballot will be blank in the House race and I e-mailed her campaign and told her that.
She's spent the last couple of weeks backtracking from her rhee fawning
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-02-12 05:08 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Thanks for the post. Much agree with you.
Tired of being criticized for resenting the privatization of education and the empowerment of "reformers" like Rhee.

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Jakes Progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-02-12 11:49 PM
Response to Original message
5. Obama loves rhee.
The republican convention cheered rhee. Teachers and children have been screwed - and by the party they looked to for help.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-03-12 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Yes, I fear you are right. Everyone loves her.
Except those in the public school system who are her victims.
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