At 03:01 PM 1/10/2013, Domenico Rosa wrote:
In my opinion, Michelle Rhee should have promoted the hugely successful teaching methods used in the schools that are operated in Chicago led Marva Collins. Instead, Rhee focused on fraudulent "mastery" test scores.

I do not disagree with your suggestion on the importance of sensible classroom standards of behavior, instructional materials, and sound teaching but Rhee's focus on the importance and validity of standardized test scores is not misguided; it is by far the best we have on a global scale that correlates very well with future success in math-based studies which, in turn, correlates very well with general education success and, one step further, correlates very well with upward mobility through education for kids who need it most.  I am sure that she did not want, let alone encourage, fraudulent manipulation of the DC schools' student performance but, if she turned a blind eye instead of applying a hawk eye, she deserves to be criticized but not to dump her efforts in DC and elsewhere.  Some formula for people other than the teachers of their same classes overseeing external testing needs to be employed and principals who are confirmed of such flagrant cheating should be dismissed and blacklisted from employment as principals anywhere as is done with disbarred lawyers.

In contrast to traditional assessment and from one of the follow-up postings, Adell Cothorne regurgitated some of the education assessment idiocy supporting her criticism of Rhee's: focus on improving test scores:
"And you’ve got to get it [test score improvement]. So children who need a little more processing time, children who may be able to give you the idea, but they have to write a song about it, or they have to create a picture about, (but) … when the rubber meets the road, it’s not about differentiation at the end of the day. That teacher is judged on, ‘What scores did those children get on that test?’ And that test doesn’t look at, ‘Could you sing the information?’ or ‘Could you create a poem?’ It looks at, ‘Could you write a short essay and could you bubble in the right answer?’ So that has been the focus. How do they pass that test? Not ‘Did they learn anything?’ but ‘Are they able to pass numerous tests?’ "
The PBS ombudsman's assessment of the program is worth a read:
http://www.pbs.org/ombudsman/2013/01/michelle_rhee_reformer_zealot_both_or_somethi.html

Wayne