Friday, November 14, 2008

More educators say no to Klein, Rhee-form

Deb Meier tells Ravitch—‘No Klein at DOE’

I shudder to think we may be in for another, even worse, Rod Paige of Bush fame. The so-called New York miracle is as phony as the Texas one that ushered in Paige. By the time we exposed the latter, much harm had been done. We cannot afford a repeat of this.

Read Deb’s entire post on the Bridging Differences blog


Pushing back on Rhee-form

The power foundations and Mayor Renty may still adore D.C Chancellor Michelle Rhee but many teachers, parents, principals, and school activists are already getting tired of her arrogant, top-down union-busting approach to school reform, says WaPo’s Marc Fisher. He quotes critics who say that top-down won’t work without delivering support to teachers or changing conditions in the community. They are right.

Rhee still thinks she can force teachers to accept a deal that would take away their tenure in exchange for a short-term pay raise, supplied by foundation donations. She wants to be able to fire teachers without due process—one of the new pillars of the Gates Foundation. If teachers take the bait on this one, they are screwed. They can kiss collective bargaining rights good-by forever. Pay increases are great. But they can be reneged on at any time, especially as soft money dries up during this deep and long-term economic crisis, and their union is gutted. In fact, teachers and their unions across the country are watching this battle closely to see how it bodes for them.

Besides, what good is a pay raise if you are fired arbitrarily for speaking out against Rhee’s policies or when you are replaced by a low-paid TFA recruit, or when your school is closed to make room for a privately-managed charter or Catholic (now charter) school?


  1. Excellent post. The dialogue in DC has been so one-sided in terms of coverage. The Post seems to do a monthly Op-Ed piece in which teachers are urged to accept this contract and another monthly piece singing the praises of Rhee. No real dialogue has been created - not from Rhee, not from Fenty and not from George Parker, the Union president. Let's say all the conditions were just right to accept this lucrative contract. That might make us the highest paid teachers in the country but it also ties us to DC since nobody likes to take a $25,000 or $50,000 pay-cut to teach elsewhere.

    Just a kind note of correction - you have "except" where you want "accept". It probably just slipped right by.

  2. Thanks for the typo correction lodesterre.


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