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

. . .a pupil attitude factor, which appears to have a stronger relationship to achievement than do all the “school” factors together, is the extent to which an individual feels that he has some control over his own destiny. James Coleman, 1966

Saturday, September 08, 2012

The Atlantic's Love-fest for Rhee, Inexcusable

The Atlantic is championing the self-aggrandizing agenda of non-educator Michelle Rhee:

How Michelle Rhee Is Taking Over the Democratic Party

The writer of the article needs to hear from the progressive education community that Rhee and the Obama education agenda are not popular or credible; email Molly Ball at mball@theatlantic.com

Note this response from Diane Ravitch: Is Michelle Rhee Taking Over the Democratic Party?

And this from Jersey Jazzman: Why The F#@& Does Anyone Listen To Michelle Rhee?!

And here is my email to Ball:

As a life-long educator and scholar, I am deeply troubled by the continual poor journalism surrounding the education reform movement headed by people such as Rhee, who is at best incompetent.

The Atlantic article you wrote is no exception to my disappointment. Rhee has support only among bureaucrats, and a long list of people who have either no or very little real-world experience as educators.

The list of misrepresentations in your piece are too long to identify here, but one key example is the characterization of "Waiting for 'Superman'" and "Don't Back Down"—both of which are inexcusably poor films and propaganda pieces for those set on dismantling education in the U.S.

Some evidence for you to consider:

My series on the corporate reform movement, with several pieces addressing Rhee:

The failure of the Obama education agenda:

Universal public education, like freedom of the press, is essential to a vibrant democracy; media coverage of Rhee is a harbinger of the complete failure of journalists' role to protect the public trust.

Rhee is self-serving and neither an educator nor a scholar of education. The American public needs investigative journalism that exposes the lie that is her agenda, not more Rhee propaganda disguised as journalism.
Speak up.


  1. Any article about Michelle Rhee published by the Atlantic Media Company should disclose Rhee’s extremely close ties to AMC’s CEO and owner, and his wife (David and Katherine Bradley).

    The Bradleys hosted Rhee at their Massachusetts Heights home three times between January 2008 and March 2009, and it is extremely likely that there were additional times after that.

    It was also Katherine Bradley who, in 2010, ponied up the $100,000 fee for Anita Dunn’s PR to help improve the image of the intensely disliked Michelle Rhee.

  2. Thanks PP,
    This exemplifies the rotted core of our corporate media.

  3. The Atlantic has a disgraceful history of public school-bashing, which I started documenting in 2003, with its entry into the college ranking market. http://www.susanohanian.org/show_atrocities.php?id=1128

    Here's one in 2006 that I actually liked. . . a lot:

    Here's The Atlantic on Michelle Rhee in 2008:

    Here's Chris Good swooning over Arne:

    In 2010 Guy Brandenburg ripped up an Atlantic article:

    Also in 2010, the New York Times actually pointed out that the wife of The Atlantic publisher chipped in $100,000 into Rhee's self-improvement fund:

    And here's Joel Klein:

    Deborah Geist was on of The Atlantic's 19 brave thinkers of 2010:

    2011 was rich in Atlantic teacher bashing. Here you'll find fewer than six degrees of separation between The Atlantic and that infamous spoof phonecall between Governor Scott Walker and billionaire conservative cause funder David H. Koch. . . with a passing nod to Ayn Rand and John Stossel along the way.

    Something thoughtful actually appeared in The Atlantic--about Finland:

    2012: David Sirota took on the Atlantic:

    The despicable Jonathan Alter finds a comfortable home at The Atlantic:

    Here's a piece by former executive director of the Nixon Center for Peace and Freedom and current Director of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation, which, since 2006, has received $3,100,000 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

    I offer a commentary on a couple of Atlantic items:

    Here's where an Atlantic senior editor's son goes to school:

    There's more but the above seems like more than plenty.