Missed this Politics Daily story last week and surprised it didn’t get more airtime given the header, so much for the kinder, gentler, Rhee 2.0 theory! But, it’s an open question whether that is so bad given where the idea that it’s a priority that all the adults in education systems get along harmoniously has landed us as country.
Perhaps this is exactly the kind of impolitic urgency too often lacking in the space?
Politics Daily: If you’re pulling [reform ideas] from here and there, why are you so controversial?
Michelle Rhee: I am very frank, very blunt. It’s important to be honest with people about the situation we’re in. Some good things are happening in this city. I could spend all my time talking about them. But the reality is that (only) 8 percent of our 8th graders are on grade level in mathematics. That means that 92 percent of our kids are not on grade level in math. That is a crime in my mind. I use language like that. And people don’t like that, (but) we don’t have time to wait for 10 more years.
7 Replies to “Rhee 1.0”
There is a discussion going on at http://www.tinyurl.com/Op2LearnFB regarding Brown vs. Board of Education’s 55th Anniversary. How far have we really come in providing access and quality in education for every child?
What did the first paragraph in this post say? Can someone help me?
You can read the whole Q & A at: http://www.politicsdaily.com/2009/05/07/reforming-d-c-schools-changes-challenges-complaints/
The previous paragraphs provide context. Rhee had just said, “There’s not another urban superintendent anywhere who wouldn’t want to do the exact same things that I’m doing.” She said she had borrowed from Klein, and Duncan and … well that’s it.
And what was her response to the fears of teachers that she would be arbitrary. She said it wouldn’t be “rational” to be unfair.
Not long ago, however, Rhee was saying she didn’t have strong feelings on specific instructional approaches.
Showing the lack of curiousity and doubt of George Bush, Rhee came in and pushed ideas that were scientifically invalid, and she didn’t seem interested in asking why her ideas weren’t ready. I saw Jason Kamras on C Span acknowledging that value added models weren’t ready.
Clearly, Rhee is showing that she’s still not ready to bargain in good faith.
There’s a difference between having a “sense of urgency” and being obnoxious and disrespectful. Why would anyone think that bullying and haranguing your core workers while threatening them with dismissal if they don’t go along with your harebrained idea to pay them with foundation grants would create any sort of improvement? She’s been at this for what, 2 years now? 3? With no results? Her days are numbered, I don’t care how beloved she is by the “reformers”…
“Why would anyone think that bullying and haranguing your core workers while threatening them with dismissal if they don’t go along with your harebrained idea to pay them with foundation grants would create any sort of improvement?”
Maybe because the “core workers” have failed. Utterly. Next?
Regarding Rhee 1.0: I just read the article. Inner city public education doesn’t have to be the mess it is, but it is a mess. We cannot afford to be fixing the social ills, as Rhee says. An effective teacher can be the tunnel to the rest of the world for these kids, they need to know there’s another kind of life, and that they can learn to get there and better themselves.Unfortunately there are plenty of bad, ineffective teachers in suburban, urban, private and public schools. My kids have only been in school for five years and we’ve witnessed two out of five HORRIBLE teachers. One even got fired. We attend one of the most “prestigious” public schools in Maryland. What Rhee’s doing is going to take a long time. She’s unraveling almost fify years of mess, she’s only been there for two. Rock on.