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6 Reasons Michelle Rhee is Bad for Students and Schools

January 17, 2012

Anyone who has read my blog over the past year is well aware of the fact that I am definitely no fan of Michelle Rhee.  I feel that she is “climber” – someone who will do anything to advance her own narcissistic goals and ambitions.

So, you will not be surprised when I came across the below Rhee Flyer.   I think that people like Ms. Rhee are instrumental in hurting teachers and public schools in general.  On the one hand she talks about the importance of teachers and on the other hand she teams with right-wing governors to undermine those same teachers.  She acts as if no one is watching, or no one notices.  That to me is a sign of her extreme narcissism.

*6 Reasons Why Michelle Rhee is Bad for Students and Schools

1.  Rhee puts politics ahead of students.  Her “Students First” organization is funded by conservative corporate heads, including Rupert Murdoch, hedge fund manager Julian Robertson and the Fisher Family, as well as the Koch Brothers, and others who support privatizing education through charters and school vouchers.

2.  Rhee’s getting rich off of her “Students First campaign.”  Columbia College Professor Shaun Johnson estimated that Rhee’s speaking fees for the last 10 months alone will earn her “between $1 M and $2 M, depending on whether she charged the full $50,000 per event specified in her contract, or the mere $35,000 she charged Kent State [in October].”

3.  Rhee doesn’t support teachers.  Instead of backing investments in quality teachers, Rhee has made the profession less attractive by jeopardizing job security and bargaining rights, and by discounting teachers’ years of service to students.

4. Rhee’s “research” is questionable.  Michelle Rhee bases her crusade to end teacher seniority and “last in, first out” laws on an Urban Institute report that doesn’t even measure actual teacher layoffs; it is a simulation study that is pure conjecture.  The study’s authors admit it takes 5 or more years for a teacher to become a skilled educator, by which time many quit or leave the profession.

5.  Rhee is dishonest.  When Rhee was chancellor of D.C. schools and test scores were tarnished by a cheating scandal, Rhee failed to answer questions from the media or explain the testing aberrations and high rate of erasures.

6.  Rhee is disgruntled.  In 2010, D.C. incumbent mayor Adrian Fenty lost the Democratic primary election and Rhee was forced to resign as chancellor of D.C. schools.  Political experts interpreted this as a referendum on Rhee’s unpopular and misguided reign as school’s chief.  Now Rhee is back to settle old scores.

*Sponsored by the education blog Chalk & Talk: Perspectives on Education by Philadelphia Pubic School Teachers (http://chalkandtalk.wordpress.com)

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