Space Coast Progressive Alliance

The Future of the American Experiment is in Your Hands
Wednesday, 27 July 2011 14:50

Rupert Murdoch Loves Michelle Rhee?

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As founder of her own StudentsFirst.org she is behaving like more than a state level political/education consultant; she has launched her own "Save Great Teachers" campaign which supports firing as many experienced public school teachers as possible while hiring cheap non-certified newbies in for-profit charter schools. Rhee sounds more like a future presidential contender establishing her own corporate sponsored platform.

All across the nation schools, with Rhee's endorsed mandated testing/punishment combination, showed test score increases that seemed too good to be true. They were, indeed, too good to be true. One elementary school in Gainesville, Florida had the lowest 5 percentile scores in math which implausibly increased to 91% proficiency within three years by following a Rhee type plan of firing teachers and threatening to fire principals and teachers who opposed her. The remaining teachers and principals along with all of the new hires had no recourse to reporting the truth except by losing their own jobs and being sued by school boards as "disgruntled" employees slandering "necessary reforms" that were not reforms but were actually brutal intimidation.

Even parents were intimidated for merely questioning their own child's math improvement scores while the child remained unable to do simple arithmetic at home.

"In Washington, D.C., a father became suspicious of his daughter's high math test scores, as the girl couldn't perform basic arithmetic functions. One of then-chancellor Michelle Rhee's favorite principals, Wayne Ryan of the Noyes Education Complex, responded by banning that parent from setting foot on campus. All in all, more than half of D.C. elementary schools, including Noyes, showed evidence of adult tampering with students' standardized test answer sheets under Rhee's administration, which paid principals and teachers up to $12,000 in annual bonuses for raising test scores. Wayne Ryan has since resigned in disgrace.
And adult cheating doesn't just happen at traditional district public schools: Charter schools in South Los Angeles andTampa, Fla., have been implicated in similar test-manipulation scandals in recent years."

See http://www.slate.com/id/2299709/

Rhee's forms of threat and intimidation appear to have nothing whatsoever to do with better learning for children. Firing certified, qualified, and experienced teachers to hire young, uncertified, unqualified, inexperienced people to teach is illogical and destructive. (Imagine hospitals hiring uncertified, unqualified, inexperienced people to perform medical procedures on your child!) Count all of the children in all of the classes across all of our country who were cheated of real educations while pandering to Rhee's highly profitable "corporate education reform" movement. This is inexcusable. Our children must not be used a expendable pawns in a for-profit corporate-charter-voucher tug of war against public schooling.
Further details of this are detailed at http://blog.al.com/school-journal/2011/07/scandals_show_the_corrupting_i.html


Who financially supports Michelle Rhee, her personal foundation and her media coverage as the venue for her plans to dismantle public education? Even Rupert Murdoch gets involved in this conglomeration of wealth and power. See http://crooksandliars.com/karoli/michelle-rhee-and-rupert-murdoch-thick-thie


Everyone knows that "true education reform" is an ongoing necessity in America and around the world; we must all actually support it.


Since education reform isn't the actual goal of Rhee and her ilk, what is behind it all? The extensive research cited below comes to this unfortunate conclusion. Political power and financial control.
"Although the Democrats rely on corporate money almost as heavily as the Republicans, disabling the Democrats’ union-based, grassroots operation will serve Republicans well."
http://www.truth-out.org/firing-line-grand-coalition-against-teachers/1310222493


Before jumping to conclusions, please remember that there are also private corporate interests endorsed by Democrats in some states that are attempting the same gains for their financial backers. Michelle Rhee once served the interests of "Race to the Top" Arne Duncan's corporate backers before Rhee turned to more lucrative offers by more solicitous benefactors. (See the last full article above for details.) Corporations who enter the field of education reform must be treated as highly suspect in our increasingly corporate controlled nation.


Isn't it about time that we rescue public education out of the hands of political gain and for-profit privatization greed? Our children are at stake.

- Ken Previti

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