Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What’s Wrong With Rhee

The following is a repost from Larry Ferlazzo. It was also reprinted in the Answer Sheet, Valerie Strauss’ blog on the WaPo. As most of you who follow education are now well aware, Michelle Rhee, destroyer of public education in D.C. and faux activist with her new privatization-pushing StudentsFirst group, has moved to Sacramento, California, to be closer her to accused serial pedophile husband, Kevin Johnson, mayor of Sacramento. According to Ferlazzo, Rhee’s move to Sacramento may be the second biggest shakeup of the city after Gov. Jerry Brown’s re-relocation to the state capital.

More to the point, for those of us concerned about Ed Deform and the implications of its new focus on California, Ferlazzo makes some very salient points about Rhee’s history and what that may mean for California, and for education across the nation.

By Larry Ferlazzo

A local magazine here in Sacramento is doing a big story on former D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee, who, apart from Gov. Jerry Brown, might be Sacramento’s most famous newest resident. The writer asked if I would be willing to answer a few questions... Here's a summary of how I responded when he asked what I thought of the policies that Rhee and her allies in the “school reform” movement are promoting.
I responded by saying that I had four main concerns:
1) During her 3 1/2 year tenure as chancellor, Rhee seemed primarily interested in doing “to” teachers and families instead of doing “with” them. This lack of willingness to work in partnership and to listen, symbolized by her TIME Magazine cover holding a broom in a classroom, showed a lack of understanding of the basic tenets of power — sharing it with others doesn’t mean you have less; in fact, it means that the pie gets bigger for everybody with the new possibilities that are created.
2) I was very concerned with her focus on using test scores as the most important tool to evaluate teacher and student success. I referenced the discovery last week that the test scores her own students supposedly achieved when she was a teacher were far lower than she had claimed (see The Best Posts About Michelle Rhee’s Exaggerated Test Scores).
To read the entire article, please go to 4 concerns about Michelle Rhee

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