Monday, December 1, 2008

More Ripley on Rhee

Skoolboy, posting on Eduwonkette, uses his computational and analytical skills to reveal Michelle Rhee’s “fascinating and appalling” style of work. It seems that D.C.’s teacher bashing superintendent is really a sourpuss who’s likely to spend no more than 2 minutes in a classroom visit and likes to read her blackberry while speaking to educators. Skoolboy also tries to make sense out of Rhee’s Time Magazine claim that she answered 95,000 emails last year.


I’m not the only one “all over” Ripley’s Time story on Rhee, says Doug Noon at Borderland.

It’s worth pointing out that Amanda Ripley admits on her blog that she really is a know-nothing writer: “I knew our schools were troubled,” she says, “but I hadn’t realized the compounded effects of all that mediocrity.” The same should be said for uncritical reporters who wander into political hotbeds they don’t understand and merely repeat what they’re told. Perpetuating myths and exploiting fear is how the Bush administration sold the war in Iraq. Instead of WMD, educational mediocrity due to ineffective teaching needs to be rooted out. Now. So they say.

Palin around…

Marshall University prof Joseph Wyatt writes:

…McCain took a skinny dip into the deep end of the hypocrisy pool when he spoke of a fictional "close relationship" between Obama and former 1960s bomber William Ayers. And McCain did so while overlooking his own chummy outings with G. Gordon Liddy, a felon who attempted to undermine the fair election of the president in 1972 when he and others bugged the offices of the Democratic National Committee. McCain has remained conveniently oblivious to Liddy's plot to bomb the Brookings Institution and his sociopathic plan to kill columnist Jack Anderson. The nutty Liddy more than once has instructed his listeners on the proper methods to "off" federal agents. Oddly, Sen. McCain praises Liddy as a fellow who upholds American values.


  1. As a parent and arts educator who has worked with children in Washington, DC for the last twenty years, I personally know that children whose parents are incarcerated or on drugs, children who don't eat on the weekends until Monday during school hours, children who live where violence is as typical as night and day are more challenging to teach than children who eat healthy food everyday, children whose parents help them with homework, children who don't have to worry about getting shot or jumped on a daily basis.
    Chancellor Rhee and her conservative Republican, think tank buddies know that SOCIO-ECONOMICS definitely impacts academic success rates and it takes a full offering of resources to provide the services that children from these impacted area need in order to succeed academically. "The blame the teacher myth" that Rhee and the corporate right are ramming down the throats of Americans conveniently gives them an excuse to dismantle public education and funnel federal money into charter schools that are run by opportunistic "Eduprenuers" and funded by corporate pimps like Sam Walton of Wallmart fame. Mainstream Media is complicit in the crime of destroying public education as they print one dimensional features like the piece on Michelle Rhee, the witch with a broom - standing in an empty classroom - not only are teachers absent in the picture, students are also absent - which implies that her goal is to make public education disappear from DC and then she will ride off on her broom to the next American city and perform the same "trick" until she eventually kills public education completely. Hopefully the same children that she secretly hates will rise up and turn her into a frog or better yet, a real public school superintendent.

  2. I especially like this quote:

    "In the hallway, she muttered about teachers who spend too much time cutting out elaborate bulletin-board decorations or chitchatting at "morning meetings" with their third-graders before the real work begins."

    Apparently she doesn't understand the importance of creating an environment where students feel comfortable working. Maybe if we taught in stark white rooms and only spoke to children when it was directly related to the curriculum we would do better.

    When I taught 2nd grade, I used my "morning meetings" to teach about the weather, telling time, spelling the names of months and even the cultural significance of certain holidays. Yes, we sat on the floor in the back of the room, and we were probably guilty of the occasional "chitchat," but it helped build community in my classroom and helped start many days off on a positive note.

  3. Yes Zach. Rhee is preparing kids for the world of work.


Agree? Disagree? Let me hear from you.