I have previously posted about the incredible zealotry and arrogance that Michelle Rhee and many other school reformers have shown in portraying their beliefs as being the only legitimate ones for people truly concerned about children (see The Gracelessness Of Michelle Rhee; Just What Our Schools Need — A Second Appalling Manifesto; and/or What A Terrible Video About Parents & Schools With A Terrible Message).
Today, in Newsweek (she was also on Oprah, but I didn’t see it — I assume she communicated a similar message) she upped that arrogance level to new heights. Not only did she portray her new organization as the one true one to “defend and promote the interests of children,” she also did not stop at attacking teacher unions as the primary obstacle to change. No, now she’s also attacking school boards,too:
“…school boards… are beholden to special interests [and] have created a bureaucracy that is focused on the adults instead of the students. Go to any public-school-board meeting in the country and you’ll rarely hear the words “children,” “students,” or “kids” uttered. Instead, the focus remains on what jobs, contracts, and departments are getting which cuts, additions, or changes. The rationale for the decisions mostly rests on which grown-ups will be affected, instead of what will benefit or harm children.”
I don’t know about you, but in my experience the vast majority of school board members are committed to making schools the best place they can be for children and spend countless volunteer hours focusing on…children.
Rhee’s list of people she thinks are most concerned about the needs of children is getting smaller and smaller…
I was unfortunate enough to be flipping channels when I came across Ms. Rhee on Oprah. It was avery upsetting interview.
Did you see her on Colbert Report the other night? No talk of her new organization and rather vague regarding her future.
I wonder if Rhee would rather have what Philadelphia has: a School Reform Commission appointed by the state instead of an elected School Board.
How do people get away with brazenly attacking democratic institutions like that? (By the way, here in Denver our school board IS beholden to special interests– the interests of corporatist reformers like Michelle Rhee!)
If she doesn’t like elected governing bodies beholden to “special interests” like *parents*, perhaps she’d like to live in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe?
Regarding her ‘performance’ on Oprah, you didn’t miss much. Just a lot of snake oil sales and happy talk about decimating public schools, all couched in that familiar Oprah speak… I never understood her appeal — and I never want to…
Only in America could Rhee make the kind of money she does, spouting her simplistic formula. She reminds me of a rabid Tony Robbins