Bottom line: C’mon, are we in middle school? I happen to think Students First should disclose its donors, I like transparency. But the way to push on that is not to set up an anonymous attack site that basically amounts to character assassination. Rather it’s – obviousness alert – to take a stand on transparency by being transparent and then expecting it of others. More fundamentally, how did a union that fought for workers rights and against authoritarian regimes around the world and for a variety of unpopular but important issues here at home (including, instrumentally, in our field academic standards long before they were cool) find itself behind an anonymous website with photoshopped pictures of someone?
I’m all for a lively debate and Michelle Rhee’s positions and policy recommendations are certainly fair game for the public debate and even websites designed to argue the other side, but even if AFT President Randi Weingarten was not barnstorming the country calling for move civility in the education debate this particular site would still cross a bunch of lines. We should all be embarrassed.
Update: Apparently much of the photoshopping is being cleaned-up. Sort of contradicts the official line that the AFT is proud of this…Also, Rhee biographer Richard Whitmire weighs in below.