"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Michelle Rhee Lands Free Media Relations Man at WaPo

It should come as no surprise that WaPo's Jay Mathews is all aflutter that NYC's junkstore model for "highly-qualified" teacher preparation is about to come to DC. After all, Fenty's duplicitous, and perhaps illegal, appointment of Michelle Rhee, former New Teacher Project Director as the new chancellor of DC Schools, promises a good future for Mathews, who continues to use his day job as a way to promote visibility for his other concerns such as the College Board, KIPP, Kaplan (a WaPo property), and his lucrative authoring on issues for which he has no expertise beyond that which he has proclaimed for himself.

The fact that a national newspaper would continue to allow Mathews to promote his conservative and self-serving opinions in the news stories that he files is a sad statement on the cringing rush to the Right by the media and the overriding desire among elites (both right and left) to arrive at a cheap solution to the crumbling, lead-laced apartheid schools of our nation's capitol.

Enter Michelle Rhee, who is schooled in the new school of teacher preparation, which consists of a 6-week basic training period that focuses on classroom discipline. She and her media relations man, Mathews, have a solution, in fact, for the 50% rate for urban teacher turnover: they would turn over all of them by creating a corps of Teach For America Temps (call it T-FAT), composed of young Ivy League graduates who are offered a resume-building opportunity before our best and brightest go on for their corporate law training or their corporate medical training. Fenty will be get the cheap, compliant, hard-working, malleable, and temporoary teacher corps that the moneyed ed reformers are demanding from him. No silly requirements for that boring educational theory, ed history, child development, teaching methods, educational psychology, fieldwork, curriculum making, or assessment training. This is a bold new era with a more efficient understanding of what it means to be a highly-qualified teacher (for poor kids).

Think of it. No costly retirement plans, no seniority issues, no highly-degreed or expensively-experienced employees, no resistance to the curricular or behavioral brainwashing programs developed by corporate curriculum makers aimed at creating "corporate learning environments." No wonder that Fenty can afford to pay the AFT leadership to play ball. And it will save billions, as reported where else, in the Washington Post, for the costly unending expense of replacing the fleeing educators whose ethics, nerves, or stomachs cannot abide the slave mentality that they are expected to promulgate among the Work Hard, Be Nice KIPPster children, all of whom are black, brown, and/or poor.


  1. Anonymous5:00 AM

    Response From: Jane Doe
    08/05/2007 2:59AM
    I'm concerned with the amount of politicking going in regards to the appointment of Ms. Rhee. Her association with Mr. Kevin Johnson (CEO of St. Hope Public Schools_ and his aspirations of political social climbing has appalled the Sacramento Education Community to no end. With his little Soldiers running St. Hope Public Schools to excommunicating employees without notice, who challenge the "system", Ms. Rhee's ties to Kevin Johnson may harm her in months to come. From shredding "bad" test scores to luring unsuspecting high level Directors to Sacramento, Miss Rhee has much to overcome. In 2006-2007, Miss Rhee was the interim Operations Director of St. Hope Public Schools. She lured many successful Administrators from all over the U.S. to come to St. Hope in hopes to turn it around from the cesspool Mr. Kevin Johnson had created witin his own organization. But, alas, the St. Hope Song and Dance was just it, a song and dance. These hopeful Administrators were under the impression they had a say in the curriculum and the day to day operations of running a high school and an elementary school. They were sorely mistaken. St. Hope had an agenda and meant all along to exploit the services of these highly motivated Administrators who had much to offer. These Administrators saw on a daily basis bad data passing through the SIS, they saw how under developed the curriculum was, they saw money wasted on outside agencies coming in and giving their resources only to fight with accounting about getting paid for their year long services. These outsided agencies had to deal with un-credentialed new teachers who had nary a clue how to teach students, much less manage the classroom. Additionally, Ms. Rhee's hiring/firing practices lack ethics and morales and I pity the DC School system and all the teachers who will eventually face Ms. Rhee's chopping block and creative test scores. I digress. I actually pity the children who attend St. Hope Schools in Sacramento High School in year 0708. With a Miss Rhee appointee from New York at the helm in Sacramento, has surely put Miss Rhee and KJ in a tenuous spot. Students with no Math Classes scheduled to a staff that has been cut in half, I feel that the new lady running St. Hope has more than her hands full. Professionally, anyone in high level postions at St. Hope better hope they get the Charter renewed because where else are they going to go? Additionally, I'm waiting for the Sac Bee/SCUSD memorandum stating the allegations of one minor who was victimized by Mr. Kevin Johnson. I hope Sac Bee/SCUSD have enough balls to break the story at the Charter renewal because the public in Sacramento and the world deserve to know the truth.

    Response From: Jane Doe
    08/05/2007 3:06AM
    Quick Note:

    St. Hope Public Schools

    80% turnover rate from 0506-0607
    95% turnover 0607-0708

  2. Anonymous9:24 PM

    As sad as this sounds, I wish everyone in the Sacramento area would read this blog and hear the truth (posted above). I have never seen such an atrocity of a school as Sac High.