Will Michelle Rhee be running Newark schools? Here she is on Meet the Press today

The timing of Mark Zuckerberg’s mega-gift to the City of Newark is interestingly timed for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the opening Friday of the documentary Waiting for Superman, which strongly advocates charter schools as educational saviors and specifically makes a star of Washington, D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee. Rhee may indeed have a key role in the reform Mayor Cory Booker will seek to transact with Zuckerberg’s gift, and the mayor is a strong supporter of charters. So, here are two clips from this morning’s Meet the Press as they broadcast from New York City and the 2-day Education Nation Summit. Guests, along with Rhee, included Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers, Robert Bobb, Robert Emergency Financial Manager of the Detroit Public Schools, and Arne Duncan, US Secretary of Education. Waiting for Superman and Zuckerberg’s gift were part of the discussion.

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Comments (10)

  1. truthteller

    “2010 DCPS Test Scores DECLINE”

    see news article,

    DCist website: =>


    Look at the data, rather than the

    24-7 mega-media hype manipulated,

    funded & produced by the Hedge Fund boyz,

    Kaplan Testing corporation,

    the edu-profiteers/financiers clique

    & their incompetent spokesmodel rabid Rhee

    – with her ludicrous lack of proven

    teaching or administrative experience,

    her lack of academic certification to be a superintendent,

    her lack of reasonable supervisory procedures,

    her lack of basic managerial skills,

    her lack of teambuilding to implement goals,

    her lack of community development to facilitate progress,

    her lack of professional tact, her lack of essential

    communication insight,

    and her abysmal lack of common sense.


  2. truthteller

    concerned DC Public Schools parent :

    re: Michelle Rhee’s “mom friendly” comment, prepared specifically for the Oprah show, about moms not tolerating mediocre teachers being given time to grow and develop professionally.

    “Well — The unqualified, needing-to-grow-professionally, TFA principal that Rhee PUSHED on our school, despite protests from a panel of engaged, informed, truly progressive, professional educators and parents with advanced degrees in education . . . . . (this TFA principal) hired and protected even more inexperienced, unqualified teachers who will take YEARS to develop into true professionals. But the principal and those teachers all know how to say “yes” to their boss. Too bad they don’t know the basics of how children learn, or the nuances of curriculum and instruction. It is hard, hard work indeed to have to reprogram my kids every day after school, to get them to embrace and understand learning again. Rhee’s influential, BAD decisions and practices, more than ANY OTHER failure of the DC Public School system, has me on the verge of pulling my kids out of school. Rhee embarrassed herself mightily at the DC screening of this film (“Waiting for Wall Street Super-scammers”) with her comment insulting DC voters. My kids, and the 350 others in their school, will not be devastated at all when she leaves. We assume she will head to the business world for which she may have more appropriate skills.”


  3. truthteller

    achievement gap widened



    Michelle Rhee, unaccountable & unqualified


    (note: she is not legally eligible

    to be a school district superintendent)

    “The DCPS had lower math test scores

    in grades 4 and 8 in 2009,

    and District African-American

    test scores went down” …….

    read & view the

    data =>



  4. truthteller

    “Just the facts:

    Shaw Middle School’s scores did not even stay about the same.

    They went down – reading scores declined from 38.52% in ’08 to 29.20% in ’09

    and it’s math scores went from 33.33% to 29.02%. This can easily be verified at the official website http://nclb.osse.dc.gov.

    The fact that Shaw’s scores didn’t go up is a major embarrassment for Rhee.

    She installed a new principal (Brian Betts), who hired a new staff, selected for being young and “unjaded” and he paid the kids for good behavior and attendance. It seems imperative that Rhee is asked to re-examine her determination to pursue this method and not gloss over an obvious failure with her ongoing pathological

    prevarication & misrepresentation of the facts.

    (-info. by efavorite)


    Michelle Rhee is full of herself….. and facts show…. Her scores went down !

    The ironic part is watching Rhee loyalists twisting themselves into pretzels to rationalize a 4% drop in D.C. elementary school test scores. Suddenly, the entire test-and-punish crowd is explaining to us how test scores don’t mean anything and how test scores are tied much more to out-of-school conditions. The problem is that she has made rising standardized test scores a central measure for achievement – writes Washington Post columnist Valerie Strauss. But judging her reforms on the actual test scores, well, as my kids say, “Not so much.”

    — by Mike Klonsky”

  5. truthteller

    reference: “knowyourfacts”)

    The DCPS decline in test scores

    in elementary schools

    (Reading and Math) now reflect 2007 levels.

    In actuality the drop was 4 points of proficiency.

    These drops in elementary reading and math represent

    an overall drop of 9-10% fewer elementary children

    scoring proficient compared to last year.

    One of the realities of Rhee’s brand of reform leadership is that our youngest children are not being taught well .

    See here = /> http://gfbrandenburg.wordpress

    If the reforms were having an impact one would expect

    that the third graders who entered the school system

    when Rhee did 3 years ago, and are taking the DC CAS

    tests for the first time, would have shown great promise now. Unfortunately the opposite is true;

    the test scores show declining proficiency rates.

    The most difficult thing about being a parent of a child in

    DCPS is the huge lack of analysis in the mainstream media and

    the general spread of misinformation about the nature of

    educational gains (or lack there of). We have a lot to learn from our third graders and owe them a qualified educational leader who can truly enable them to have high-quality learning experiences.

    Unfortunately for DC teachers, the greatest beneficiaries of Rhee’s lack of real educational leadership have been the charters – because people have flocked to them for cover as Rhee closed 20 some schools. But perhaps as a teacher you and your colleagues at the charter should ask yourself why isn’t the quality of the schools good enough. Why aren’t all children everywhere being provided with the curriculum rich learning experiences you benefited from at the private school? What needs to happen next to ensure that goal?

    I assure you it is not it has nothing to do with the desperation

    and other articulate passions expressed by people like Rhee.

    It has to do with getting to the hard work of providing children with significantly enhanced academically rigorous curriculum

    and learning experiences – including their families in the process. Passion (and broom-mongering) aside, Rhee

    really didn’t bring it –

    nor was she headed in that general direction in my view.

    I have heard Gray speak on the educational issue and he has stated that he will move forward with reforms just not with the expansion of testing as Rhee planned. Hopefully that will mean that our children are getting higher quality instruction here in

    DC, rather than Rhee’s’

    ‘teaching to the test’ approach which has hijacked meaningful, viable real education.


  6. truthteller

    Dept of Edu reviewer comments from the first RTTT round of funding:

    “the panel says a closer look the data “show mixed results and continuing and sizeable achievement gaps.” The District earned 21.6 out of 30 points in this area. Officials raise the question of whether the gains reflect an initial shock of reform that will fade over time, or something more permanent:

    “The number of points awarded to this section is due to the concern that the quick gains may be the result of the newly imposed expectations rather than proven instructional practices that will need to be sustained over time. The District would need to analyze the achievement data and explore the connections between the data and the sustainable actions that have contributed to sudden academic gains to determine if the projected goals are fully attainable.”

    Finally, the District’s application took a hit for its tone and approach in the section entitled “Great Teachers and Leaders.” Overall, it garnered 111.8 of a possible 138 points. Reviewers took exception to the District’s assertion that a Race to the Top grant would be a vindication in light of the political resistance to some of Rhee’s personnel moves, and would position DC “to ensure that its cutting edge human capital work can be accelerated and become a national model for innovative human capital.”

    Reviewers questioned whether the District was more interested in showcasing its “speed in achieving results and to become a national model” or in committing to the “detail and attention needed to build the capacity of staff to become great teachers and leaders.”



  7. truthteller

    “Michelle Rhee, Kevin Johnson

    and St. Hope Academy

    (note: It’s time to RESEARCH

    the actual facts about

    unaccountable, unqualified

    Michelle Rhee)



    (‘hush money’

    alert !)

    Washington DC blogger ‘lodesterre’ has been reading the Inspector General’s referral to the

    U.S. Attorney; he/she’s been asking many good questions –

    some of the same ones on our mind too

    – such as the issue of Michelle Rhee holding “conflicting positions” at Kevin Johnson’s

    “St. Hope Academy” privatized charter H.S.

    in Sacramento.

    According to the IG interview with former St. Hope employee Jacqueline Wong-Hernandez, the same time Rhee was listed as a St. Hope board member, she was identified as the consultant for the New Teacher Project (which recruited teachers for St. Hope schools), the consultant for the reconstruction bridge span and the consultant for the reconstruction of the HR department.

    On a memo she was listed as the Chief Operating Officer for St. Hope Academy. On an organization chart she was identified as president.

    As lodesterre writes:

    …Ms. Rhee’s titles at the St. Hope Charter Academy boggle the mind. Were all the positions paid positions? How did she perform the duties of board member and Chief Operating Officer at the same time? As president, Chief Operating Officer and Board Member at the same time? as President, COO, board member and a consultant for St. Hope on three projects, at the same time? How did she act as a consultant for St. Hope on the New Teacher Project, an organization that supplies teachers to schools, and as a consultant for St. Hope’s Human Resource Department’s reconstruction? Did she suggest to the Human Resource consultant which applicants to hire?

    It must have sounded interesting.

    Why, when Rhee was apprised by St. Hope employee Jacqueline Wong-Hernandez about sexual misconduct allegations against Kevin Johnson by Americorps teenage volunteers (and a seventeen year=old H.S. student), did she not contact California State authorities she was obligated to do under California law? Was this another one of those irksome laws she sees no problem in ignoring because she “knows” better?

    As COO and President, not to mention those consulting positions, was Ms. Rhee aware of the misuse of Americorps funds and volunteers as outlined in the Investigative General’s report of August 2008? As one of the top three office holders of St. Hope it seems that either Ms. Rhee was aware and therefore participated or that she was not aware and she was negligent in her duties or these positions were merely window dressing for her resume and padding for her bank account.

    Why did Ms. Rhee not only try to bring in the St. Hope

    umbrella organization to take over the operations of two DC schools, but she also insisted

    that she need not recuse herself from the process (??)

    This occurred in spite of her

    deep involvement with St. Hope

    and her knowledge of financial irregularities

    (involving the misappropriation of $400,000

    in federal grants)

    and federal legal violations

    Another serious matter is her

    attempted cover-up of evidence

    pertaining to criminal incidents

    within Sacramento city & county.

    There were violations of California

    state laws & regulations, which should have been reported & investigated.


  8. truthteller

    Investigate this!

    Rhee-form, edu-profiteers

    & sleazy, corrupt HYPOCRISY

    What was ‘helicopter-in’

    Michelle Rhee’s DAMAGE CONTROL

    for (boyfriend) Kevin Johnson?


    Michelle Rhee was on the

    board of directors

    (and was “operations manager”/consultant)

    of Kevin’s privatized High School charter

    — during the time when

    there were financial illegalities

    & misappropriations

    ($400,000) of federal grants

    and also a pattern

    of outlandish sexual misconduct

    perpetrated by school director

    Kevin Johnson involving students (minor teens)

    & subordinate (Americorps) school staff —

    as documented by

    U.S. Govt. Inspector General

    Gerald Walpin.

    (crucial, must read) ==>


    also, more detailed

    info. =>



  9. SmartyJones

    You left out the most important aspect of this thingy – the commercials.

    The first was American Express, which will donate a lot of money for a lot of pledges.  I forgot what each of them was for.

    Second was Geoffery Canada, starring in his own uncaped version of Superman.  Ok, I think it was a trailer for the caped version.

    Third was the AFT showing heartrending versions of how teachers made students into who they are.

    Fourth was – I dunno – I went for coffee.  Probably viagra.

    Short Version

    Arne (I’m tall and I play basketball with the Prez) Duncan: Plus ca change.  Google it if you don’t know what it means.

    Michelle (I get high firing teachers) Rhee: We got the power; we can do whatever we want.  Screw the community.

    Robert (Detroit – what can I say) Bobb: We do what Michelle does.

    Randi (we need tools) Weingarten:  I’m sorry that the wind in this sorry ass scene is blowing my hair up to make me look like the devil.

    Fluffy: Look, I’m tough – I showed a clip of Bush telling the world that tests aren’t fun.

    Oy, the humanity!

  10. WarningFromDC

    Here’s a warning to NJ – Michelle Rhee used “masking tape” on the mouths of 3rd graders as corporal punishment when she a teacher in Baltimore.

    The Washington Post released an audio of DC’s Chancellor Rhee jokingly telling her new hires how she used “MASKING TAPE” on the mouths’ of students and caused bodily harm to the 35 innocent children.

    I’m not making this up, here’s the link to the full story and audio from The Washington Post:


    Don’t let Rhee get within 50 ft of your children.  


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