Date: Jan 11, 2013 1:56 AM
Author: Wayne Bishop
Subject: Re: Frontline: The Education of Michelle Rhee
At 04:43 PM 1/10/2013, Haim wrote:
> The history of education reform is long and detailed. It is a
> history of unrelieved failure. Precisely because this history is so
> well known, when somebody comes along, like a Walter Annenberg,
> Bill Gates, Eli Broad, or Michelle Rhee, and claims to want to
> reform the existing public school system, I wonder what they are really after.
I am cynical but not that cynical. I think they all mean well but
Michelle Rhee is the only one who knew anything about our system of
education including its entrenched problems. The big bucks guys knew
they knew nothing about the system except that it was highly
dysfunctional especially in communities that need it most. What to
do? Contact the "best" schools of education and hire the "best"
education leaders. DOA.
By contrast, through Teach for America, Michelle Rhee learned
firsthand about how effective bright, well-educated, youthfully
energetic teachers can be after graduating magna cum laude from
Cornell and knows what is possible however improbable effective
implementation would be.
I think she underestimated how powerful the highly corrupt DC
teachers union is both within the system and how much money and
legwork they were willing to put into the defeat of the mayor over her.
I do think she believed the dramatic jump in standardized test scores
at a few schools, but should've looked into it at once and never
did. Moreover, she would do well to point out those problems at her
Students First website but has not done so and. From all
indications, however, the general increase was legitimate and
meaningful. Very threatening to the powers-that-be.