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Michelle Rhee: Disgrace to Teachers Everywhere

September 17, 2011

The next time you hear Michelle Rhee talking about how she is all for teachers, and how she supports teachers, think back to this article on Rhee First.  This woman is supremely disingenuous and I think that is putting it mildly.  Buying ads in Michigan aimed at undermining the rights of teachers isn’t what I would call supporting teachers, but hey, I am not Michelle (erasure-gate) Rhee.

Michelle Rhee spent nearly $1M in ad buys to defeat  due process and collective bargaining rights for teachers in Michigan. Rhee’s group outspent all other Michigan lobbyists in 2011.  She teamed up with ultra-right wing legislators, Gov. Rick Snyder, and  her billionaire funders,  launching a Madison Avenue-style advertising campaign that bought her results

Written by Eclectablog for the DailyKos.  Read the entire article here. See also this article in The Detroit News.
… Republicans aren’t the only ones getting in on the demonization of the teachers of the next generation of Americans. An independent group disingenuously calling itself “StudentsFirst”, led by Michelle Rhee, has been working diligently to move schools from the public sector to the private sector. They are out to destroy teachers unions across the country and to privatize as much of the school system as they can.
How involved have they been in Michigan. Astoundingly involved, as it turns out.

An organization that supports eliminating or limiting the significance of teacher tenure reported spending nearly $900,000 on advertising in Michigan during the first seven months of 2011.

The StudentsFirst spending was mentioned in a report Wednesday from the nonprofit Michigan Campaign Finance Network. The national education group advertised in Michigan this year as lawmakers made changes to the state’s teacher tenure system.

Legislation that will make teacher performance the key factor in awarding tenure and deciding layoffs in districts instead of seniority were signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder in July.

StudentsFirst reported the most spending of any group in Michigan for the first part of 2011 on its lobbying expenditure forms, but 95 percent of that $951,018 was for television and other advertising — spending that likely didn’t have to be reported to the state.

StudentsFirst wasn’t just the top spender against teachers. They were the top spender on lobbying in Michigan PERIOD (pdf).
By contrast, the teachers union spend a third that amount defending themselves against the Republican and StudentsFirst attacks…
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