Posts Tagged 'union busting'

Michelle Rhee’s declining expectations

Fast Company January 12, 2011: Michelle Rhee Wants to Spend $1 Billion Fixing Education

Politico January 27, 2011:

Now Rhee is in the process of shifting from political naif to full-fledged power broker. She has created an emphatically political new organization, StudentsFirst, and she told POLITICO she hopes to raise and spend an astonishing $200 million annually — a large sum, even in the deep-pocketed world of education philanthropists

Maybe making yourself politically radioactive wasn’t such a bright idea. And maybe the billionaire union busting movement wants a new face for their work.

So what is Harry Jaffe smoking?

Harry Jaffe

Michelle Rhee needs an image consultant. A marketing manager. A junkyard dog press agent. Something!

Rhee’s problem isn’t that she has a horrible image, her problem is that she is a horrible person. Listen to what students say about Michelle Rhee:

Did you ever wonder who fell for the Nigerian email scam?

Apparantley it was TAPPED:

Rhee’s contract would allow teachers to opt-into a private-sector funded pilot program in which they’d give up tenure in exchange for aggressive merit pay. Teachers, especially longtime veterans, are skeptical. And because those private sector reform dollars are dependent on the contract’s approval, the D.C. schools are in a stalemate.

This is a Nigerian Email contract; give up money you have now for the possibility that you might get more money. Except that money will never materialize, the teachers will be fired and replaced by a series of low cost substitute teachers. It has already happened at many schools.

Why children need teachers with tenure

The Washington Teacher

Here is another email that I received from a teacher regarding a DC principal who unfairly tried to place an outstanding teacher on a 90 day plan without regard to her work performance. As I have noted in my other blog entries- some DC principals have been advised by Rhee’s administration to place a quota of teachers on a 90 day plan even if they have to ‘lie’. I can’t help but ask what’s wrong with this picture ? If you know of cases in which DC teachers have been unfairly placed on a 90 day termination plan, email me with specifics c/o Read the email below and weep !

Go and read it. It is clear that Michelle Rhee is a true believer and has no understanding of how children are hurt by her schemes.

I hope Vincent Gray is able to expose all this in council.

Republic Windows and Doors, BoA and disaster capitalism

Republic Windows and Doors Received a Bailout from Chicago Before It Bailed Out of Chicago

We need to make run-away-shop a criminal offense.

Rheeality check

Progressive Review
Guy Brandenburg, Concerned 4 DCPS – I know that the major media are totally enamored of Michelle Rhee. But those of us who live and work right under her are much less in love with her.

Closing schools? Other school chiefs in DC have been doing that for at least a decade.

Firing lots of DCPS central office workers? Just about every single one of our last 7 or 8 superintendents started out by doing that. Fat lot of good that’s done.

Increased test scores? Many of us point out that that’s the result of a new curriculum brought about under the former school chief, Clifford Janey, and the public schools wildly outperformed the charter schools. Yes, you read that correctly: the traditional public schools did much, much better on the [test] than all those supposedly wonderful charter schools Rhee has been promoting.

Her three main actual accomplishments to date, it seems to me are:

– bringing about the largest single-year percentage drop in student enrollment in DCPS;

– making union-busting seem like a progressive idea in education; and

– promoting the myth that it doesn’t take any experience or training to be a wonderful teacher.

It is an outright lie to say that the reason that the contract that Rhee proposed has not been brought to a vote of the membership is because of a ‘meltdown’ in the Washington Teachers’ Union leadership, and that the WTU leadership is preventing an eager union membership from voting for the contract. . .

When teachers heard some of the details of the outline of the contract that Rhee [and the head of the teacher’s union] had been working on – in total isolation from the rest of the bargaining committee – the vast majority of the rank-and-file teachers thought that the central ideas were no good and that our leaders needed to go back to the negotiating table and start over.

Teachers overwhelmingly are rejecting the idea of doubling, tripling, or quadrupling their own salaries. Can you imagine the CEOs of any corporation doing that? In my opinion, teachers are rejecting that idea because they don’t trust the leadership of our school system, pretty much at any level.

Most teachers know quite a bit about favoritism, nepotism, and politics, and are quite happy to have unions representing them so that there will be due process when complaints or problems come up. We have seen our often-clueless administrators leave incompetent teachers in classrooms because the administrators didn’t care, while harassing teachers they felt to be troublemakers.

Teachers also know how extremely difficult it is to work in what is euphemistically called “inner-city” schools, and how much easier it is for your students to achieve at a high level if they already come with an excellent background. Just about every method I have seen proposed for judging teachers and by student achievement levels will not account for that, and will deem as “successful” the schools where lots of parents have PhDs, LLDs, and MDs, and will give the “failing” label to schools where lots of the parents have jail records, high unemployment, little education, and so on.

Quite a few of my fellow-teachers don’t even believe that Rhee actually has the money to pay those huge salaries.

Rheeform, all union busting, all the time

Former DC teacher Harold Cox is the definition of a dedicated teacher. A twenty-one year teaching veteran, Cox worked hard inside and outside the classroom, frequently staying late after class to work with students and lobbying DC City Council to address problems in the schools. So Cox was shocked when he was fired, without any explanation, at the beginning of the school year. Like hundreds of other summarily-dismissed teachers, aides and principals, Cox was forced to reapply for his position as part of DC School Chancellor Michelle Rhee and Mayor Adrian Fenty’s controversial plan to fix the ailing DC public schools. But Cox now says that he thinks “Rhee was brought in to break the union” and that the “hiring process had little to do with guaranteeing teaching standards and everything to do with strong-arming teachers to make concessions union have fought off for years.” For example, when Cox re-applied for his job, he discovered that the principal of the school was insisting that teachers “sign an agreement which included extending teaching hours,” a clear violation of their union contract. When Cox refused to sign, he “was sent packing.”

Edit –
Rhee affects us all! Read how she wants to privatize the schools! We are on our way!