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

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Which Foundations Are Funding Rhee's Union Busting?

Yesterday the world sat at the feet of Bill and Melinda as they outlined their next big-hearted and self-serving ventures into shaping national educational policy to snugly fit the mold of the techno-efficiency zealots. Most of the contenders for the big job of ED Sec were there: Arne, Joel, and even Linda all sat with rapt stares as Bill and Melinda offered them all political cover, while outlining an educational future more dismal than, say, having your computer loaded with Vista--forever.

One of the three legs of the Gates's new 2 billion dollar stool is "teacher quality," which, translated, means higher pay for higher test scores. Does it mean also the continued funding of barracudas like Michelle Rhee in her bid to crush the teachers's union of DC and replace the teaching profession with a permanent stream of Ivy League temps from Teach for Awhile, er, America? Was it Bill and Melinda, or Eli, or Michael and Susan, who promised the $75 million a year for the first five years of the new DC contract? No need for big pay after that? Didn't think so.

From Sam Dillon's piece in the NYTimes today on the big raises promised to teachers who are willing to sell out:

In the interview, Ms. Rhee said the raises would be financed largely by foundations that had given her commitments of $75 million a year for five years, of which a “significant portion” would go for teacher compensation.

“The foundations want to fund things that are innovative and will have national ramifications,” she said. Ms. Rhee has declined to name the foundations, however, raising worries among some teachers about the foundations’ motives and about whether their commitments would remain solid if the nation’s financial crisis were to be prolonged.

Meanwhile in DC, students carry shotguns in the halls while teachers wait or the promised extra academic help that Rhee promised but has not provided. Maybe Bill and Melinda could help. From WaPo:

D.C. Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee has dispatched a team of administrators and extra security to an Anacostia middle school where three teachers have been assaulted, a 14-year-old was charged with carrying a shotgun and students have run the hallways discharging fire extinguishers.

The intervention began Monday at Hart Middle School, where a dismal academic record -- 17 percent of its students read at proficiency level last year -- triggered a mandatory overhaul under the federal No Child Left Behind law.

Interviews with teachers, parents, students and police paint a picture of a troubled school that, far from hitting bottom with its placement on "restructuring" status, has fallen into an even deeper hole. It is overenrolled and understaffed and lacks the extra academic support promised by Rhee, teachers said. . . .

1 comment:

  1. Maybe Bill could get a job in DC he's an Ivy League drop out isn't he.