Jan 28, 2010

More, Slander, Lies And Spin From Michelle Rhee

As told by Guy Brandenburg, retired DCPS teacher. I couldn't have said it any better. Check out Guy's blog when you get a chance @ http://gfbrandenburg.wordpress.com/

More slander, lies, and spin from Michelle Rhee

by Guy Brandenburg

"After strongly implying that the reason that she fired 266 teachers was that they were sexual perverts, sadists towards children, and never came to work, Rhee has once again put a “spin” on her comments. As you have probably read elsewhere, Rhee told a “Fast Company” reporter, “I got rid of teachers who had hit children, who had had sex with children, who had missed 78 days of school. Why wouldn’t we take those things into consideration?”

In a letter to the City Council Rhee has backtracked somewhat, saying that there was exactly ONE teacher out of the 266 who had been charged with sexual misconduct; but that teacher’s case has not been brought to a conclusion one way or the other. She also said that there were a total of SIX teachers who had at one time or another served suspensions for corporal punishment. Out of two hundred and sixty-six. And TWO who were accused of having had absences without leave. Let’s see: 1 + 6 + 2 = 9, I think. (Did I get that right?) And 9 out of 266 is a little more than 3 percent.

(Keep in mind that teachers can be, and often ARE, accused of corporal punishment or sexual misconduct without any basis in fact. I have seen it happen at my school. Also keep in mind that apparently neither the sexual misconduct case, nor the abuse of leave cases, had been brought to a conclusion. I don’t know any of the facts in any of the cases, and I don’t presume anything, one way or another.)

It is really shameful of Rhee to tar all of the staff that she illegitimately fired with such a nasty brush. But it’s so typical of her; like Ronald Reagan, she is utterly convinced of the rightfulness of her cause, and she seldom lets facts get in the way of her just-so stories.

By one account, in the same letter, Rhee apparently peddled the big lie that she can never fire anybody for misconduct like the cases she alleges, because of the big bad old union contract. That is a flat-out lie. What having the union does is much like the promise behind the Bill of Rights and the theory behind American jurisprudence: accusations need to be substantiated, one is presumed innocent until proven guilty, and anybody charged needs to be accorded due process in one way or another. Can a teacher or other school staff member get fired for actual, proven sexual misconduct with a student, or for a gross instance of proven corporal punishment? Absolutely! In fact, I can’t think of an easier way for a teacher to lose his/her job.

What Rhee is really complaining about is that she doesn’t think that teachers or other school staff know anything, are pretty much all evil malingerers, and don’t deserve any rights whatsoever. Unless they have clearly hitched their wagon to hers. (I bet you get the allusion!)

There used to be a word for people who believe that workers inherently have no rights to collective bargaining, nor to due process when accused of anything. This sort of person also believes that the true Leaders are better than anybody else, and deserve to be followed no matter what. Their present-day counterparts pull out all the stops to stop any attempt at union organizing in any US factory; believe that anybody accused of ‘terrorism’ should be tortured and held indefinitely without any charges, a trial, or the right to confront their accusers. Their educational counterparts – in my opinion – would like to boil down the educational process to little more than getting a certain number of answers right on multiple-choice tests in only two subjects, and believe that teachers are not to be trusted to come up with interesting or inspiring lesson plans.

Back in the 20th century, such people were quite proud to call themselves Fascists. Although they label themselves differently today, I don’t see a whole lot of difference. And I don’t think we need to stand for it."

Posted by The Washington Teacher, featuring GF Bradenburg


Anonymous said...

Again where Rhee plays games. She says one teacher of the 266 had been reported for sexual misconduct. What Rhee does not say is sexual misconduct is very broad and does not neccesarily mean the teacher had sexual misconduct with a student, it could have been with a co worker, or any sexual activity at work, it is not limited to just misconduct with a student. Someone should dig up the information on that specific case and see if a student was involved. If not then Rhee should really be hung out to dry. As usual she deflects the criticism of her remarks with a very borad statement and no one has questioned her as to if the alleged sexual misconduct was with a student.

Linda/RetiredTeacher said...

The important question to ask: Did Rhee or someone else report the so-called sex abuser to the police? If not, Rhee is guilty of a crime.

And yes, many of these accusations are totally false. I still remember how stunned I was twenty years ago when a mild-mannered young male teacher/neighbor was suspended for "impregnating" a student. The man was shocked and confused when the police came to his door but they told him, "Don't worry. Most of these accusations are totally false." Sure enough, it was discovered that the man was "off track" at the time of conception and the student was not even in his class! She later admitted that her mother had demanded to know who the culprit was and so the girl named the teacher and not her boyfriend, the real father! It was later proved beyond a doubt that the father of the child was the girl's boyfriend and not the teacher.

Not too happy said...

Not to change the subject, but then again, IMPACT is Rhee's doing and it was devised to get rid of current teachers. I heard from an ME that DC teachers' average scores on IMPACT are around 2.3. Incredibly low. And these are from scheduled observations. What's going to happen as the year progresses and we have 3 more, all unannounced?

natturner said...

An exchange in the WaPo.

resc wrote:

Did Bill Gates have anything to do with Fenty getting elected? And did he have anything to do with Michelle Rhee being selected? Is he the BIG MONEY behind Michelle Rhee?

I know there is big money somewhere behind her. That's why DC has had to put up with her. But who is it?


Bill Gates had everything to do with the drive to give Mayor Fenty control of the DCPS. His money was behind it. Once that was accomplished Gates lobbied for Rhee as Chancellor.

Fenty, who really is not on the inside on this, just an ambitious politician ready to do as he's told for the sake of his own advancement, actually came to Miami with a small delegation of DC leaders to interview Dr. Rudy Crew for the job, someone far and away more qualified than Rhee, but then isn't everyone, more qualified that is?

Fenty would have given the job to someone like Crew but Bill and Melinda Gates wanted Rhee who is a darling of the forces who want to smash the public schools and privatize education in the US. She had proven herself to them as the steward of one of the cults they fund, the New Teacher Project. Rhee is a "true believer" so she took the job at a relatively low salary, $275,000, and she gave up the bonus she was eligible for this year. They were talking about $600,000 with Crew.

When Rhee tried to destroy the WTU with her two-tiered salary proposal it was completely beyond the funds available in the DCPS budget. But she claimed to have at her disposal private money from Gates, Eli Broad (multi-billionaire founder of KB Homes), Michael Dell (multi-billionaire owner of Dell computers), and the Walton (Wal-Mart, more money than God) Family.

If you are looking for the local rich and powerful standing "behind" Rhee, there's George Vradenburg, a former AOL Time Warner executive and chairman of the D.C. Education Compact, venture capitalist Jonathan A. Silver, who sits on the executive committee of the influential Federal City Council, and Brig. Gen. Anthony J. Tata, the former deputy commanding general of the 10th Mountain Division in Afghanistan. Right-wing whack job Frank Keating, former governor of Oklahoma, should be added to the list now too. He just signed a paid advertisement in the Post calling for Rhee to be named "DC Person of the Year". No, get up off the floor, really he did!

Anonymous said...

Since 20% of the master educators evaluation is the amount of improvement in their teachers, I suspect the second evaluations will be better (also, this would fit politically with the notion that the master educators are "improving" teaching)

A Little Happier said...

From your mouth to God's ear, about our second evals getting better. Now I see why my evaluation from the ME, and I'm an experienced, competent and successful veteran teacher, was lower than I'm used to. I was so disappointed in my rating, a high 2yet not a 3, that I couldn't sleep that night. Thank God another teacher I know, also well-thought of with much less experience, got the same score exact score as I. I felt better. Meanwhile, my principal rated me much higher than the nasty ME.
The ME reached out to me and says she'll be contacting me to help me raise some 2s to 3s and 3s to 4s, as she put it. I thought, I never want to see you again until the next observation. But now I see how it works: they give us help, we improve and their ratings rise.
Again, thanks to the above poster. I hadn't known that about MEs own ratings.

Anonymous said...

Rhee comes across as both a pathological liar and a fraud. It is also interesting that Anthony Tata works for Rhee now.

Anonymous said...

@natturner said, would you please continue sharing anything you find out concerning the Big Money people that are backing Michelle Rhee and Fenty. The information made sense to me.

Anonymous said...

Nat Turner, the people who back Rhee are in NY. Fenty was told to hire her by someone in NY. Fenty has a few freinds in NY and I think most people know of this, white people in DC know about it.

Rhee will have extra backing if she marries Kevin as Kevin is somewhat friends with Obama and gave a great deal of money and support to obama, but we all new that or did'nt we. It was'nt just Rhee who helped Kevin out of that sex scandal, it would have taken more than her. I hope you are getting the point.

Search for yourself who the main person was that was going for Kevin's throat about the sex issue and find out what happened to that person that was going to prosecute Kevin, then you will get the picture. It is a strange and very sad picture when people realy catch on to this and may even scare some who know how to read.

Anonymous said...

Heads Up!
Off topic but-
Jay Matthews had an intersting piece in the 2/3/2010 Post on IMPACT.
I'm wondering-
What do you think of DC officials who deny that ET-15's observing one another is not a contract violation. Does the contract- whose enforcemnet of late is non-existent mean anything? I always thought that contracts established the ground rules & expectations, so that the rules couldn't change or be made up as we/they go along.