It's teacher hunting season!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

W. Post Audio: Rhee Jokes Over Taping Mouths; Mini-Scandal at StudentsFirst

Imagine if New Yorkers had reporters that would tear away the sheep's clothing from the wolves of New York City education. (Click on video box on right for audio of her speech.)
(Aghast woman at left; Arne Duncan possibly in background, by the window.)

A Washington Post reporter did just that in uploading audio with the headline, "Rhee talks about her early misadventures in teaching." Disgraced former Washington, DC Schools Chancellor, Michelle Rhee, investigated for "erasuregate," a scandal in which there were allegedly high numbers of erasures, was captured giving a talk to first-year teachers about her difficulties in her first years as a teacher. The Post uploaded an audio excerpt of the speech at Columbia Heights Education Campus in a video-type box. (Her students' scores fell in her first year, 64 percent to 17 percent in math.)

Her jovial, stand-up style delivery had her teacher audience laughing and included her explanation of the infamous mouth-taping incident. As she acknowledged in her delivery, students' lips bled.

What a difference an elite degree and a Teach for America appointment makes. (See last post: in addition to heading StudentsFirst, she sits on the Broad Foundation board.) As of this date, she has done no "desk service" or paid any penalty for the incident.

Read this well argued opinion piece at Huffington Post. Peter Drucker researched and found several incidents of teachers taping children's mouths shut. Harsh penalties ensued. For Rhee, supportive chuckles. Why? The author drew the parallel to the analysis of president Richard Nixon: "When the president does it, that means it is not illegal."

I share his interpretation of how Rhee's abuse goes unchallenged by her high-flying associates. I quote Zucker below:
What is especially galling to me is that no one -- not Oprah, not Bill Gates, not any of the high falutin' power brokers that either interview Michelle Rhee, work with her, or pal around with her -- will bring this abuse of children up with her.

Speaking of -gates, a StudentsFirst leader is in controversy for offering rewards for those who post positive comments on blog boards. RheeFirst! blog noted that the staffmember played victim when the contest came under fire.

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