Michelle Rhee Rhumbuggery

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Michelle Rhee who, as many of you know, is the founder and current CEO of StudentsFirst, as well as former Chancellor of Washington D.C.’s public schools who during her tenure there, enacted a strict, controversial teacher evaluation system (i.e., IMPACT) that has been at the source of different posts here and here, most recently following the “gross” errors in 44 D.C. public school teachers’ evaluation scores.

Well, it now seems that she is on tour. She just recently testified before South Carolina’s K-12 Subcommittee of the House Education and Public Works Committee, specifically  “about legislation regarding improving teacher evaluations and rewarding effective teachers in the public school system in S.C.” It worked so well in D.C., right?!?

This “rock star,” yet again, brought with her her one string guitar, speaking in favor of South Carolina’s House Bill 4419 that “addresses the way teachers are evaluated [i.e., using VAMs], rewards effective teachers with recognition and the opportunity to earn higher salaries [i.e., merit pay] and gives school leaders the opportunity and the tools to build and maintain a quality team of teachers [i.e., humbuggery, for the lack of a more colorful term].”

She also brought with her her typical and emotive chorus lines:

  • “[M]ore and more state legislators are beginning to understand the crisis that we are in in America as it pertains to our public education system.”
  • “[A]s a nation, we are not doing everything that we should be doing to ensure that we are providing all children with the excellent education that they deserve.”
  • “[C]hildren who are in school today will be the first generation of Americans to be less well educated than their parents were for the first time in the history of our country.”
  • The U.S. has “recently dropped to becoming about 15th, 17th and 26th in reading, science and math (respectively).”
  • “Instead of competing against students across the country for jobs, students in U.S. public schools will be competing for jobs against children in Singapore, China and Korea.”

And her best one-liner yet.

  • “In so many school districts across the country, you’ll hear stories about how people will come in, you know, as long as you pass the criminal check, and you’ve got a pulse, you can get a job in the classroom, and then once you have that job, you know, you have that job forever.”

Rhetoric or reality? I would never intend to insult the intelligence of the readers of this blog, so I will just leave it at that.

But it seems that at least one educator presented a counterpoint to Rhee’s testimony, although he unfortunately applauded some of Rhee’s efforts and used more gentle tactics to dissuade the bill’s passing.

A local professor, however, noted that state legislators should really “read the research [emphasis added] and bring experts and educators in on the conversation before a decision is made [emphasis added].”

I sure do hope legislators at least begin to heed this call, and begin to deconstruct and better understand her humbuggery, or more specifically, the fraudulent soundbites Rhee continues to use to advance her highly misguided educational policies and vested interests.

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One thought on “Michelle Rhee Rhumbuggery

  1. Ms Beardsley,
    She will succeed here in south Carolina, because she has the backing of the monied interests, including Gates, and Jeff Bezos and others. The newspapers will not print any criticism of this bunch, because they are in collusion with the goals of this movement to denigrate the teaching profession, and reap the money which is always there, in good times and in bad. I tried many times to warn the community here in Charleston about this fraud, to no avail. Here is a sample of the kind of letter to editor which they will not print. The truth from a veteran teacher will not see the light of day.

    The Trojan Horse is here.
    As we veteran teachers predicted, the death knell for public education is spreading slowly and inexorably throughout the country, and as the Post and Courier reported last week, Michelle Rhee and her for-profit destroyers have claimed two more districts with their fraudulent promise to improve the educational system. The State Board of Education, obviously with the blessings of the Superintendent, has approved the extension of the “non-profit” Teach for America program by placing two more districts here in the low country within their grasp. If the public believes that this is a non-profit agenda, I still have that Brooklyn Bridge for sale at a reasonable price. I wonder how much they promised the board, the Superintendent, and all the palms they had to grease to get this program on board? I am a 28 year veteran teacher who stayed the course, and is no longer intimidated by administrators and fraudulent educational leaders. What can they do to me, stop my social security check? It’s time that someone tells the public what is really going on in the school systems, and in these contrived fiefdoms known as districts, that not only abuse the teaching staff, but waste taxpayer money to fix what they have caused in the first place. Where is the outrage on the part of teachers to the article detailing the hiring of outsourced substitutes to Kelly Educational Staffing. The School District says that they want to expand the concept to the entire district this fall. Human Resources director Julie Rogers is quoted as saying that “They do a really good job of training their substitutes. It’s not just a warm body, they get in there and teach” This is proof positive that the present educational leadership is not capable of operating a school system. Where is the indignation from the educational departments of our local colleges that train teachers? I could rail for a long time, but you get the picture I’m sure. It’s sickening and it’s time to return the system to some normalcy, and discard these frauds posing as educational leaders, before the entire system implodes.

    Ian Kay
    West Ashley

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