At long last, Michelle Rhee’s funders revealed
“Walking Rorschach test Michelle Rhee is back in the headlinesthis week, put there by a reporter who found a crack in the infamous wall shrouding the funding sources for her national education-reform lobbying powerhouse StudentsFirst.”
More information documenting that Michelle Rhee is a corporate backed reformer can be found at: http://www.minnpost.com/learning-curve/2012/03/long-last-michelle-rhees-funders-revealed
Then take a look at this from Diane Ravich’s blog: http://dianeravitch.net/2012/10/02/michelle-rhees-plan-to-destroy-public-education/:
“Michelle Rhee is is a one-person PAC. She is raising hundreds of millions of dollars from rightwing billionaires and foundations and corporations to subsidize her program.
What is her program? Destroy teachers’ unions; eliminate tenure and seniority; privatize public education. Having failed to transform the public schools of the District of Columbia, she now wants to privatize public education everywhere.”
Look at Rhee’s statement at: http://www.salon.com/2013/02/26/teaching_kids_to_hate_democracy/
“That’s where Rhee’s little-noticed but incredibly revealing comments come in. As grass-roots opposition in the local community understandably rose up to oppose her destructive policies, Rhee made quite clear what she and her movement thinks of the notion of local control of schools and community involvement in education policy:
MICHELLE RHEE: People said, “Well, you didn’t listen to us.” And I said, “No, I listened to you. I’m not running this district by consensus or by committee. We’re not running this school district through the democratic process.”
FRONTLINE: [on camera] It’s not a democracy.
MICHELLE RHEE: No, it’s not a democracy.
If a statement like that about public schools isn’t offensive enough unto itself, remember that Rhee made it not as some outside observer. She made it while she was holding public office. Yes, that’s right: A person who held a democratically accountable office was making clear that the national “reform” movement she leads believes that schools are no longer and should no longer be controlled by any kind of democracy…… Rhee has also become a discouraging lesson in the persistence of the corporate crusade against democracy. Rather than being ostracized for her obvious failure she has been rewarded. Indeed, for coupling both education policy failure with such a brazen assault on democratic ideals, Rhee has been employed as an education expert by political leaders of both parties, seen the coffers of her book-hawking political front group expand and been rewarded with fawning coverage from the political and media elite.”
We have known her as a White Chalk Criminal, but few others do yet. After all no one can lead in education and not know about White Chalk Crime. Hence, they are promoting White Chalk Crime by remaining silent about it. Become informed or expect more White Chalk Crime in our schools! See what we have reported about her in the past below:
July 17, 2012
Hidden Anti-Teacher Agenda: Former DC Schools Chancellor Rhee Still Scamming and Posing as Education “Reformer’
By Dave Lindorff
Former DC schools head Michelle Rhee is still scamming progressives with her hidden anti-teacher political organization, StudentsFirst, says TCBH! journalist Dave Lindorff
By Dave Lindorff
Michelle Rhee: inflated resume and deceitful school ‘reform’ campaign by ThisCantBeHappening
Michelle Rhee, the former chancellor of Washington, DC’s public schools, who left under a cloud after the mayor who appointed her, Adrian Fenty, was defeated in a re-election bid in which Rhee’s contentious tenure was the main issue, is at it again.
Rhee, a shameless self-promoter who already stands accused of lying on her resume about her alleged success as a teacher of elementary students, and who continues to be the subject of a US Department of Education investigation into a test cheating scandal at D.C. schools during her tenure as chancellor, is now trying to lure progressives to support her campaign against unionized teachers by pretending to have the support of the popular petition-circulating organization Change.org.
In an email blast sent out to progressives on Tuesday, Rhee’s organization StudentsFirst.org, says:
Thank you for joining StudentsFirst by signing a petition on Change.org. I’d like to tell you a bit more about what we’re fighting for.
Every morning in America, as we send eager fourth graders off to school, ready to learn with their backpacks and lunch boxes, we are entrusting them to an education system that accepts the fact that only one in three of them can read at grade level.
But studies have shown that in just one year, students with an effective teacher are able to improve by one and a half grade levels. These effects are so significant that the “achievement gap” between low-income or minority students and their wealthier or white peers can effectively be erased by only three consecutive years of highly effective teachers.
It’s time we recognize the value of great teachers. At StudentsFirst, it’s our goal to make sure every child in America has a great teacher in every classroom. From improving teacher evaluations, to ending seniority-based teacher layoffs, to paying effective teachers higher salaries and bonuses, there are many ways we can elevate the teaching profession in this country to a level that reflects its importance and attracts talented individuals to join its ranks.
Recipients of this letter may not have ever signed a StudentsFirst.org-sponsored petition on the petition site Change.org. Nor will they likely know that Rhee’s organization was actually tossed off of Change.org following protests by teachers unions and education activists who pointed out to Change.org that Rhee and StudentsFirst had supported the anti-teachers union campaign of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, that Rhee had been on the transition team of equally anti-teachers union Gov. Rick Scott, and that she and her organization had contributed $70,000 to help another anti-teacher’s union politician, Rep. Paul Scott (R-MI), fight off a recall campaign.
As DC schools chancellor, Rhee fired hundreds of teachers and principals with no due process, promoted friends and lackeys to positions of responsibility and high pay, ignored parent opinions, fostered racist policies that favored white and asian over black students at some wealthier schools, and, allegedly, oversaw what may have been an epic program of cheating on school assessment tests. The Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General tells ThisCantBeHappening!
In June, Change.org, under intense pressure from labor and education activists, dropped StudentsFirst from its list of petition-circulating organizations.
Rhee’s email letter makes no mention of that expulsion.
The omission is all of a piece with her false resume claim to have had astonishing success at raising the test scores of her 8-year-old students as a young teacher, and to her claim to have had no knowledge of any problem with test scoring integrity while she was Chancellor. (Statistics professor emeritus Thomas Haladyna has said that there is a greater chance of winning the Powerball grand prize than of Washington DC students’ test scores showing so many corrected erasures purely by chance.
Given her documented history of self-promotion and deception, it would be more appropriate — and fairer to the public — if Rhee were to change the name of her organization to RheeFirst.org.
DAVE LINDORFF is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, the new independent Project Censored Award-winning online alternative newspaper. His work, and that of colleagues JOHN GRANT, LORI SPENCER, LINN WASHINGTON, JR. and CHARLES M. YOUNG, can be found at www.thiscantbehappening.net
Dave Lindorff is a founding member of the collectively-owned, journalist-run online newspaper www.thiscantbehappening.net. He is a columnist for Counterpunch, is author of several recent books (“This Can’t Be Happening! Resisting the Disintegration of American Democracy” and “Killing Time: An Investigation into the Death Penalty Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal”). His latest book, coauthored with Barbara Olshanshky, is “The Case for Impeachment: The Legal Argument for Removing President George W. Bush from Office (St. Martin’s Press, May 2006).
Here are some pearls of wisdom from Susan Schwartz, one of the professional educators who is REALLY trying to reform our schools:
To me, Rhee’s organization called StudentsFirst is an Orwellian metaphor.
“Doublespeak” is Orwell’s term for the ironic language used by the autocrats in his book “1984,” where the powers above control everything, including language, words and labels; thus, The Ministry of Truth is indeed the propaganda organ.
StudentsFirst an organization of Rhees?
How ironic. The last person to put students first is Rhee, who in truth puts them LAST (as well as, genuine learning reforms that will make a difference).
And more about Rhee:
Scams and Frauds (Plus George W. Bush and Michelle Rhee) At Upcoming Subprime College Conference in Vegas
Republic Report previously reported that former President George W. Bush will be speaking at the annual meeting of APSCU, the leading association of for-profit colleges, on June 22 at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. For-profit colleges get $32 billion in student aid from your tax dollars every year, but many are marked by deceptive recruiting, low-quality programs, sky-high prices, and high dropout rates.
- The attorneys general of 23 states have pursued a joint investigation of possible fraudulent activities by for-profit colleges including Corinthian, University of Phoenix, Education Management Corp., Kaplan, Keiser, and Bridgepoint.
- The U.S. Justice Department and half a dozen states have sued Education Management Corp., owner of the Art Institutes and other for-profits, for fraud, alleging the company paid its recruiters based on the number of students signed up, in violation of federal rules. (EDMC denies these claims.)
- Apollo Group, which owns the University of Phoenix, disclosed on Thursday, that the SEC is investigating the company regarding insider trading. (Apollo said it would cooperate.)