Rhee Gets an 'F' for Failed Policies
by Portia Armstrong, New Yorkers for Great Public Schools
A few nights ago, behind the walls of a private club in Midtown, Michelle Rhee, CEO of StudentsFirst, had an invitation-only event for the national release of her new book, “Radical: Fighting to Put Students First.” Why did she hide in a private club? Is it because she cannot take the scrutiny of her so called “radical” policies?
Michelle Rhee’s tenure in DC is clouded with the scandal of cheating on standardized tests she wants to equate with accountability. Rhee said “People say ‘Well, you know, test scores don’t take into account creativity and the love of learning,’ …I’m like ‘You know what? I don’t give a crap.” How can anyone trust she cares about students when she talks about education and our children like that?
Instead of investing in research-based strategies like extended time, an enriched curriculum, expanding early childhood education, teacher collaboration and mentoring she has spent time and money insulting and blaming teachers. When she was the chancellor of D.C. schools, this losing strategy increased teacher turnover. Also, she supports paying teachers based on student test score results, despite clear research that shows this strategy is a failure.
Did she hide inside the private club with her 1% friends who have dumped $50 million into her NYC chapter, StudentsFirstNY, that wants to preserve Mayor Bloomberg's failed legacy? Rhee promotes privatizing public education through charter schools and the non-profits who run them. Instead of fighting for resources and fair funding of public education she and her 1% friends have put money into campaigns that actually cut funding to our schools, to give tax cuts to the rich.
New Yorkers are a progressive minded people who don’t let extreme right winged people come into our house without calling them out on wrong and damaging policies. Around the country, Rhee supports politicians who oppose immigrant paths to citizenship, and the Dream Act. She’s on the wrong side of the issue on gun control, endorsing 14 of the 15 Michigan legislators who voted to ease restrictions on guns in schools, and on LGBT equality, her endorsees are some of the most anti-gay legislators. As if that’s not enough, StudentsFirst spent half a million dollars backing anti-worker, anti-union legislation to destroy the right to collective bargaining, an assault on poor and middle class families.
Michelle Rhee: you get an 'F' for Failure.