If It’s The AFT & Michelle Rhee Then It’s Through The Looking Glass Time

Eduirony Of The Day:  John Merrow’s Ahab-like obsession with Michelle Rhee is easy to understand but why is the American Federation of Teachers so feverishly joining him in trying to make the case (for instance here, and here) that some of its members in Washington, D.C. cheated? Even accepting the absolutely broadest allegations in D.C. as fact would still mean that most (95%) of the teachers in the city didn’t cheat – let’s hear more about them.  And don’t the ones who allegedly did deserve some due process here? From their union of all places?

14 Replies to “If It’s The AFT & Michelle Rhee Then It’s Through The Looking Glass Time”

  1. Shorter EduWonk, EdExcellence, and EdWeek response to Rhee disclosure: “Sssshhhhhhh.”

  2. Whether Rhee is indicted or not, “everyone” now knows that her “reforms,” like those of Beverly Hall, are based on “lies, damned lies and statistics.”

    True education reform can only be delivered by the people willing to be with the children each day. And the American people know this.

  3. More eduirony.
    Another hypocrite on testing:
    NY Chancellor Merryl Tisch: Another Reformy Hypocrite

    “Believe me, I relate to test anxiety,” she said during a visit last week to the Academy of Arts and Letters in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, one of several schools that city and state education officials visited to express support for the new tests. “We can’t wait,” she said. “We have to just jump into the deep end.”


    Meryl Tisch, a state Regent, said she supported both tests and test preparation. Her own children went to private schools and did not take the state tests, she said. But they did take courses to prepare for a standardized test, the SAT’s, and found that they actually learned valuable vocabulary, math and writing skills.


    Merryl H. Tisch (Ramaz School, Manhattan), chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents,

    The Ramaz School:

    Testing should not be confused with educating. We in the Ramaz College Office believe that the primary duty of a student is to educate him/herself. The high school years should be a time to acquire both skills and knowledge that will serve a student well during college, graduate school, and life. Studying for the SAT or the ACT, with or without the help of a tutor or course, should never take precedence over studying for the high school courses that will form the core of a solid, liberal education.

    There is no question that high standardized test scores (with the SAT I or ACT more closely considered than SAT II subject tests) are a factor in admission to competitive colleges today. However, they are never considered as strongly as grades earned in a challenging program over the course of an entire high school career. Fortunately or unfortunately, high standardized test scores will not compensate for poor grades or a flat program in college admissions. In fact, particularly high scores in conjunction with low grades are a red flag for colleges. Admissions committees would much prefer to see a consistent and hard working profile than very high potential (as indicated by high scores) that has not yet been fulfilled.

    Now, you might think that Chancellor Tisch is a massive, screaming, unbelievable hypocrite for attending a private school that emphasizes the joy of learning and deemphasizes the importance of testing – all while pretending she can empathize with the children and families who suffer under her test-crazed cruelty.

    And Andrew accuses teacher unions of protecting child abusers.

  4. And again, Michelle Rhee is caught lying.
    But Andrew just can’t admit that.
    Jay Mathews can.
    I wonder why Mr. Rotherham thinks it is OK to lie.
    Is Mr. Rotherham receiving money from Michelle or Campbell?

  5. I think it’s much too dismissive to say John Merrow has an “Ahab-like” obsession with Michelle Rhee. It’s true that he did about dozen segments on her for the PBS Newshour during her tenure, but that’s over 4 years or so. But I’ve actually found his coverage very measured and balance. It was only with the surfacing of this particular memo, that he has become harshly critical of Rhee. And frankly she deserves to be criticized and asked tough questions about her handling of this situation.

  6. The words of Michelle Rhee:

    “I asked her [Rhee] if she had any regrets about her actions. “I’m a very unusual person in that, in my entire life, I don’t have any regrets. I’m a person without regret. Now, are there things that I could have done differently? And if I had to rewrite it, you know, I would have, you know, done it with a smarter way or whatnot, yeah. There are absolutely things that I could have done better. But regrets? No.”

    Jesus walks among us again. Hallelujah!

  7. What about Woodward and Bernstein investigating Watergate — were they “Ahab-like too?

    There are many examples in history and journalism of people doggedly seeking the truth.

    Unfortunately, there are many examples of journalism used to obfuscate the truth, and this Eduwonk article is one of them.

  8. Maybe, Mr. Rotherham, just maybe… there are people in AFT who genuinely care about teaching as a profession and want all children to get a quality education. And they see covering up this cheating the way doctors might see covering up evidence of infections that occurred at the hospital: errors to be exposed and cleaned up.
    The worst thing here is not that some teachers unfairly made off with bonuses. It is that deserving children with real needs had those needs covered up and ignored.

  9. Andy
    Sanford’s long-buried memo raises the possibility that PRINCIPALS might have been responsible for the WTR erasures. Randi wasn’t attacking teachers. Any investigator worth his or her salt knows that so many erasures require collusion. In classrooms, that would be teacher and proctor, and that would require many classrooms being involved. Much more likely, it seems to me, that an administrator would have arranged things. And, as we know, their jobs were on the line in 2008.

  10. More from Captain Ahab:

    A great deal has happened since “Michelle Rhee’s Reign of Error” appeared in this space two weeks ago.

    DC Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson testified under oath that she learned of Sandy Sanford’s long-buried memo from my blog this past January. My source recalls being in at least one meeting when Ms. Henderson and then Chancellor Michelle Rhee discussed the memo and its contents. Someone is lying.
    The DC City Council held what it called a ‘round table’ that, for the most part, danced around the crucial issues and failed to address an important question: “Did Chancellor Rhee cover up the 2008 erasures?”
    The DC Inspector General continued to evade direct questions, further embarrassing himself and his inadequate investigation.
    The Rhee-Henderson smokescreen–their claim that six investigations have proved they did the right thing–has become easier to see through. It turns out that everything rests on the first ‘investigation’ done by Caveon, a shaky foundation if ever there was one.

  11. The truth about Captain Ahab:

    I was riding on the Mayflower
    When I thought I spied some land
    I yelled for Captain Arab
    I have yuh understand
    Who came running to the deck
    Said, “Boys, forget the whale
    Look on over yonder
    Cut the engines
    Change the sail
    Haul on the bowline”
    We sang that melody
    Like all tough sailors do
    When they are far away at sea

    “I think I’ll call it America”
    I said as we hit land
    I took a deep breath
    I fell down, I could not stand
    Captain Arab he started
    Writing up some deeds
    He said, “Let’s set up a fort
    And start buying the place with beads”
    Just then this cop comes down the street
    Crazy as a loon
    He throw us all in jail
    For carryin’ harpoons

    Read more: http://www.bobdylan.com/us/songs/bob-dylans-115th-dream#ixzz2RXO7KmcG

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