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Friday, March 26, 2010

More of Rhee's mess to clean up for Anita Dunn

Is she really worried about firing bad teachers?

Here's another problem for Anita Dunn, Michelle Rhee's new million-dollar PR flack.

Supt. Rhee debased the more than 200 D.C. teachers she fired recently, even implying that many of them were rapists and child molesters. Of course her charges turned out to be fabrications and Rhee was forced to recant. Rhee has also been among those yelling the loudest about how difficult unions have made it is to fire bad teachers.

If that's not a big enough mess for Dunn to clean up, how about the fact that Rhee has, at the same time, pushed hard for a voucher system to pay for Catholic school tuition in the District. She has also helped bail out failed Archdioscese schools by making many of them non-union charter schools.

The front-page story in yesterday's NYT revealed that hundreds and possibly thousands of children have actually been sexually abused and molested in U.S. Catholic schools--with full knowledge of church leaders, who covered up the crimes and treated them with a wink and a nod. In one Wisconsin school alone, a priest, Lawrence Murphy, was found to have molested some 200 deaf students. When the abuse was reported to higher ups, Murphy was simply transferred to another school where he spent his last 24 years working freely with children in Milwaukee. You may recall that Milwaukee was the nation's first school district to allow vouchers to be used for parochial school tuition.

It seems that Rhee is not as concerned about firing bad teachers as she claims to be. It is also worth noting that conservative think-tankers like Fordham's Mike Petrilli and Andy Smarick have also taken up the Catholic school voucher/charter cause without a word of concern for the "difficulties" of firing bad teachers.

Dunn has  her work cut out for her.

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