November 19th, 2007

Michelle Rhee in Washington, DC
Michelle Rhee in Washington DC Episode 2: Facing Expectations

This program was made by possible by support from the Annenberg, The Eli and Edythe Broad, Bill & Melinda Gates, William and Flora Hewlett and Wallace Foundations.

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We’ve seen Michelle Rhee race to open schools on time. Now, she’s trying to confront what she calls a “bloated and unresponsive” bureaucracy. Her plans? To set new expectations for principals and teachers and hold them accountable.

In this episode, we watch as Rhee tries to upend old ways of doing business and inevitably draws the ire of some educators and community members. We meet two of her critics: George Parker, President of the DC Teacher’s Union, and Arlene Ackerman, former DC Public Schools Superintendent.

(Originally aired November 19, 2007)

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You can watch the entirety of the Michelle Rhee series here:

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Chancellor Michelle Rhee is quite the monster. How can people be so stupid as to place the entire burden on teachers? Don’t they realize that almost all successful programs are because of the selection of kids, that if the kids come from homes that are safe and nurturing and economically sustainable they will succeed, if not, all but the miracle children will fail? Rhee seems to be a first-rate fascist with blinders as big as Oedipus.

New York City has just hired a team of criminal prosecutors to get rid of poor teachers. Swell, criminalizing the entire class of people to whom the city entrusts its children is really wise. Is that who you want to teach your children, adults who are angry, afraid and disempowered? It is all so wrong. American families fetishize their children as a bromide to escape the economic reality that society is so organized that children as a class are abused and neglected because even the best of parents are working too hard to pay mortgage payments to give the children the love and attention that is their birthright? When will teachers’ colleges face the fact that it’s the economy, stupid?

Michelle Rhee has a terrible outlook on education. She will no doubt ruin many lives. I predict that scores might get better, but children will not learn to be critical, self-motivated learners. They will forever be driven by exterior motivators, and thus will be blind to the beauty that is a life of inquiry and learning.

[...] Rhee in Washington, DC The Michelle Rhee in DC Series: Start to finish Michelle Rhee in Washington DC Episode 2: Facing ExpectationsMichelle Rhee in Washington DC Episode 6: Tough Changes and ControversyMichelle Rhee in Washington [...]

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