By the Schools of Thought Editors
(CNN) - CNN's Randi Kaye interviewed former head of D.C. public schools Michelle Rhee to get her solutions for some of the problems in education.
Rhee, founder and CEO of StudentsFirst, an organization focused on changing public education in the U.S., says that a recent Harvard study ranked the U.S. 25th in education internationally.
Their discussion touched on several topics including "flipping" classes (a practice where students watch lectures and presentations at home, online, and then do their "homework" with their teacher's instructional help at school), international and state education rankings and teachers' salaries.
When asked about parents moving their kids to different school districts or states, Rhee acknowledged that parents are willing to go to great lengths to get their kids the best education.
"This is the reality that parents face," she said. But she encouraged parents to work to change their local schools. "As a nation, we should get engaged and involved in changing laws that are not serving kids," said Rhee.
What do you think of Michelle Rhee's ideas? Watch the video and weigh in with your comments below.
Where is the video of the interview with Diane Ravitch?! Why is CNN showing such bias to Michelle Rhee? First in bias interview questions and now in posting only Rhee's interview? If someone finds the Diane Ravitch interview, please post the link. Thanks.
Where is the recent interview of Diane Ravitch by S. Kaye? I don't want a transcript, I want the taped INTERVIEW!
Huh, so parents are willing to move to another district to get into a 'better' school, but are unwilling to spend some time to help their child with their homework or even find out what is going on in school. The failure of American education is not only the education system but also the parents who don't take an active interest in their child's education. Personal responsibility seems to not exist in our schools anymore.
Every Kid learns differently... We need to find a way to group like minded kids and teach them they way that is more effective to them.
Some Kids you have them sit down and reach chapters out of the text book and they get the information... Other kids will need to do it... Some need more Audio Visual.... Some kids work better in groups, other get more from doing it themselves...
Some kids are just really smart and can be advanced in classes years ahead of their peers. Others are slower and need to take a longer approach.
I teach to the highest level for all kids. High expectations. I don't do grouping because I KNOW it is not necessary if you are an outstanding teacher. OUR WORLD is not grouped, hence, our classrooms should not be grouped.
Behavior problems are the issue...not one kid being a bit "slower" than another. Some of my "slower" kids have provided some of the most inspiring and amazing pieces of writing I have ever seen...Surprising the class..but in that "surprise," they learned something.
Be careful who you judge and who you try to segregate.... You may need them one day.
As I recall, Rhee taught in a class room all of two years and then went into administration. Two years of teaching is not enough time to know much about the subject. One dirty little secret about the education business is that quite a few teachers move into administration because they are not very good in the classroom; there's too much work required to be truely effective and the pay is not as good. Due to her positions on subjects such as tenure, unions and support of ultra-conservative ideology, it's clear to me she has an agenda that includes attracting as much attention as possible from right-wing groups, getting herself hired as a consultant (the bain of education) by school administrations in order to promote her deeply flawed notions. Did you notice the small cross she was wearing in her interview? That raises a bit of concern for me. I am not anti-religion, but this causes me to question her ideas on diversity. Besides that, I think she is trying to pander to Christian conservatives. Rhee is not the answer to the problems in education which she invariably blames on teachers and their representatives. She quite simply doesn't know what she's talking about.
Thank you, Dan, for speaking up. Yes, Michelle Rhee is typical of many so-called experts in education. She has had very limited classroom experience... then she made a quantum leap into admin. (There are some administrators who have had NO public school teaching experience. They stayed at uni, gathering degree after degree until they finally got a doctorate in education. Michelle Rhee is clueless... and truly an embarrassment to the US education system. (She's a typical loud-mouth American know-it-all whose meagre experience she has blown up into expertise.) She needs to put a sock in it and leave decision-making to those in the trenches: teachers.
What everyone, affluent or poor, does not seem to understand is that until we stop teaching to a TEST, a multiple choice test, we don't have an education system that can flourish. Kids need to READ in school, not complete test packets. Kids need to WRITE in school, not copy and paste book reports and research papers and fill in bubbles!
Most of us, although this is changing, were not tortured by weeks of testing. Ask your kids or teachers just how horrible testing weeks are? It breaks my heart to see so many benchmarks and tests shoved down their throats.
Testing over learning is the problem. The kids in the "better" districts have no problem passing a test, pacifying parents and teachers. The kids I taught in these AFFLUENT neighborhoods were just as "ignorant" as the kids in the ghetto, but they had and have a fighting chance when the boredom of K-12 is over. These kids can survive several or a few bad teachers or bad lessons or torturous test prep. This terrible routine won't condemn them to a life of poverty. But the effect on our "affluent" kids is this. They hate to read or write. They THINK they hate to read or write. Like many of you. You think you can't write or do math. The problem is that you never had a teacher actually teach you how to write or do math. You think you don't like to read, but you have never had anyone inspire your love of reading. There is a book our there that you and your kids would love, but you haven't found it. Sadly, you haven't even looked for it.
My affluent kids...many of them hated to read, and goodness knows, they could NOT write. But, could they PASS A TEST, a multiple choice test? You bet your bippy they could pass a test, remaining "ignorant" and numb to real learning. Writing is the VISIBLE INDICATOR of an educated human being. So is speaking. They are BOTH visible. These reading tests that teachers are forced to teach to is NOT reading, it's testing, and they are not indicative of intelligence. They are multiple choice. True reading comprehension reading comprehension is INVISIBLE folks. Just because a kid can pass a test, does not mean they are really READING. Your high performing school is not really teaching, nor giving your kids time to read in class. What a concept: A reading class where kids don't read wonderful books of choice, but a class where they read passages that suck and then take a test.
My kids in the rough and tough "ghettos" also passed these tests, but 30 to 40% of them struggled, and yes, some failed. But again, most past, just not at the 90 to 99% level of the affluent districts. Hence, the entire school is LABELED failing, even though the MAJORITY of the kids did pass the same state tests as the kids in the affluent suburbs. I used to look at my AP kids in these schools, and think to myself, "Wow, you're invisible, the world doesn't know you exist. The world thinks you are failing, but you are amazing." These kids are part of the infamous APOLLO 20 schools in Houston. Because 30 to 40% of the kids struggle, they had to stay at school until 4:30 when their counterparts down the street were allowed to leave their high-school at 2:30, taking part in opportunities, getting homework done, helping mom with the little ones. These kids that can pass the test are being pummeled with test prep, but again, like most of the kids in the burbs, they can pass it!! They just happen to live in blighted neighborhoods, where no one has the time or the energy to be their advocate. They are simply in a school where 30 to 40 percent of the kids are dragging down the entire school, but to make things worse, they are not being helped, they are being tortured with the same old test prep that makes them hate to school to begin with. It's a vicious cycle.
I am a GOOD one Jeff. So are many of my colleagues, but many of us are leaving teaching; it has become unbearable.
The system is spending so much time trying to persecute the 20% that are "bad," that they are running out the 30% that are masters and artists. The remaining 50% may be mediocre, but they just need good LEADERSHIP and mentoring to grow....
Don't you think the kids know that the adults are all squabbling about TEACHER accountability as they fly under the radar. Student and family accountability! What about STUDENT accountability–This is an issue in America, no matter what school you go to...even more of an issue than poverty....
STOP bashing teachers. Most of you think you can critique our profession so harshly because you simply sat in classrooms K-12. You truly, have NO clue. You ought to hug the next teacher you see. Goodness knows you would not want your wife or daughter or mother to DEAL with what we have to deal with on a daily basis. I love my job, but this WITCH HUNT environment is really starting to HACK me off. When you hurt teachers, you hurt kids.
It's a cliche for me to say it, but you hit the nail on the head. Excellent post.
oops.. Most passed...not past... :)
How sad it is that you are right. Even when laws are passed to ensure "good" teachers are hired, administrators find
ways around them. The education system takes eagar, bright and talented people that beleive the student should work
harder than the teacher. Yet, those teachers learn results don't matter, only who can kiss who's back side better. What is terrible is the students loose either way. I have five educators in my family and all of us have a story to tell of rotten politics. Why? I just read your post but I still can't help but ask "Why?"
I whole heartedly agree with LetUsTeach!!! I have gained a whole new respect for teachers once I began home schooling my six (yes 6 !!) children. The eldest was publicly schooled – until she failed the 8th grade because of her inability to comprehend what she read. When the school contacted me for arrangements for summer school, they were more interested in making sure she attended rather than addressing her inability to comprehend what she read. After arguing unsuccessfully with them I politely told them "No Thank You". Then pulled her out of the public school system and began the journey of "home schooling" all of my children. Thankfully not only does she comprehend what she reads, she now LOVES reading. Before I could not get her to pick up any type of book what so ever. Needless to say the first time I fussed at her to "put the book down or else!" I simply froze. After the shock wore off, we simply laughed at the irony of what I had said. My five younger children have never been inside a "class room". The main focus of our schooling is to nurture their curiosity. You can connect all subjects to anything a child is curious about. You just have to 1) get them interested and 2) keep them interested. Taking test after test after test truly bores child and adult alike.
As for my eldest she will be graduating AIT (military school to learn her particular job or "MOS") this month. The interesting part, although sad, is because she was home schooled she needed a score of 50 on the ASVAB test in order to join. Public schooled only had to receive a score of 29 – 31 (I do not remember the exact number). I just remember getting a little upset at the unfairness of it. Needless to say that because she wanted to do this my daughter passed (first time) with a score of 55!!. I say this because of the group she went to test with – all were on their second and third time!!!!! That is our public education at its finest. Truly sad.
The main focus of teaching my children is FIRST – reading and reading comprehension, SECOND – math, THIRD – communication (both orally and written), and FOURTH – MANNERS!!!! I remind my children constantly that you may be the most intelligent being on the planet however, if you are also the rudest being on the planet – what do you think people will remember first about you? And if no one wants to work with you than how will people know of your "intelligence"?
Teachers truly have a difficult and thankless job second only to stay at home parents (who don't even get paid). I question myself everyday "Am I doing right by my children?" some days I'm not so sure. Then during my daily chores I am reminded by adults paying compliments in reference to my childrens' behavior and ability to hold a decent conversation. I have had to rescue many adults from conversations with my children in reference to worm holes, lightning strikes, or some other history that caught their attention. Allot of the shows we watch are scientifically based. TV does not rot your brain – my children are living proof. However, what you watch might be a very important factor.
I've read almost all of the comments posted by the time I've responded with this post. All I have to say is, "HO~LAY"!
I am about a year out from finishing a degee in elementary education and taking a state licensure test. My education is billed at 40k right now and will probably end at 70-80k. This will allow me to pursue employment where I may crack 20k starting. I've never claimed to be a math whiz but I see that it is going to take awhile for me to payback the cost of my endeavor. Money is not the reason I've chosen this path... it's the students. My motivation is purely selfish: "Knowledge is the principle remedy for ignorance". I want less ignorance around me. I am not naive. I know not every student will embrace the love of learning, but I have to try.
A few things I'd like to point out from my limited experience:
~most kids want to learn
~it's hard to learn if you're hungry
~I will have to "invest" time, energy and money for my students to succeed
~Some admins/teachers/students/parents suck at their role in the process.. laying blame to a single component is ignorant.
~education is like placing the tips of your thumb, index and middle fingers on the table. Each can represent the school, the parents or the student. If you take away the thumb and the index however, you leave only the middle finger. In America, we know what that symbolic gesture represents. I don't have absolute solutions to this issue, but I will do my part to educate young people; it's in my best interest to do so.
"If not me then who? If not now, when?"
I love my job.
But here is a bit of advice. Teach your kids the way you would want your own taught. Count the minutes that class is being disrupted by a child who acts like an animal, no matter how hard you try to convince them in the beginning. Count the minutes being lost.... And, unlike some teachers, DON'T SACRIFICE THE LEARNING OF THE MAJORITY FOR the mis-behavior of 20 or 30 percent. It is YOUR OBLIGATION TO get them out. Get the support you need to get them out. Do not be a microcosm of entire schools who allow the hoodlums to overrun teaching. You are not being paid to be a priest or a counselor or a probation officer, you are being paid to teach.
Leave the let me "pat you on the head" paternalism at home...because, as you said, "MOST KIDS WANT TO LEARN." ALL KIDS CAN LEARN.... BUT...HERE'S THE BUT...
But...SOME KIDS SIMPLY DO NOT WANT TO LEARN. HENCE...GET THEM OUT!!!!
Rhee embodies all that is bad with this country. She lies by omission and hyperbolic assumptions.
"When the first international assessment was given in 1964, our students scored 11th of 12 nations. Since then, our students typically rank in the bottom quartile or no better than the international average. Yet we have the largest economy in the world.
We are number one in child poverty, which explains the scores of our students. The more poverty in a school, the lower its test scores; the less poverty, the higher the scores.
Almost 25% of our children live in poverty. Did Rhee mention that?" -DR
When controlled for poverty, our student's out perform every nation in the world on those international tests. And our kids in poverty equal or better those in the same plight in those countries that score higher than us. Asian countries do not test impoverished kids at all – and they coincidentally outscore most.
Rhee is using you as a tool to shame and dismantle public education in this country. Shame on you for including this propaganda without real investigative journalism. You are akin to FOX.
And you are akin to stupidity. what a worthless rant about poverty and education.
Fixing poverty is not the solution to our terrible education system. Fixing our education system is the key to fixing poverty. Education has the power to break generational poverty and lift people into better lives. It is disheartening and sickening reading all the comments on here, saying the solution to fixing our public education system is MORE MONEY. What do we have to show for the BILLIONS spent on public education in only a few short years? Let's do a little social experiment. Take a kindergartener from a low-income family with a crappy teacher and a crappy school. Give that family 50K a year to bring them into the middle class, but keep the kid in the crappy school. Do you think that child will be well-educated in a few years? Doubtful. Just money down a rathole. Now, take a poor kid and put that child into an excellent school culture with outstanding teachers. Educating that child WILL have it's obstacles but with the right support, the child can meet and exceed performance compared to his wealthier classmates.
Your 50K experiment would likely end in more successful outcomes for that family and the student. You can whip a dead horse as hard as you want, the best trainer in the world won't get the horse to be entered into a stakes race. Now take a horse of questionable blood, feed-shelter-train it well with the help of professionals...you got a chance. Your denial of the influence of poverty is evidence you've been drinking the 1% koolaid.
School do not want real teachers. I just completed my masters degree in teaching and can't find a job with 8 subject endorsements, while there are over 300 people in a district I applied in working for Teach for America with jobs. It's insulting that I put in the time, effort, and money to become licensed and there is an abundance of individuals that have done nothing and have employment while I can't find it. I also have a background in social work working with children that have mental health disabilities and I love kids. It's frustrating that people are using these kids to pad their resumes when there are hard working people that want to actually be in the education field and stay there that are unemployed.
That's reform for you. The districts are trying to save money, so they throw these Teach for America "interns" in over experienced teachers or folks like you who pout in the work and really want to educate, You are right; I've witnessed this. THe TFA folks usually end up leaving after two or even ONE year because they are not cut out to be teachers. The handful who stay either leave and go to charter schools that are able to work outside the constraints of the public school system and force the parents to do their part, or they try to move up to administration after two years, effectively monetizing their theories on education without any real experience. That's how you get folks like Rhee. Young no-nothings with a lot to say.
I would encourage you to check your grammar and sentence structures. I am discouraged that someone with a masters degree in education cannot write properly.
Please this is comments to an article not senior composition. Join the real world.
When Rhee came to DC plenty of people did not agree with her methods and what she was saying. Some teachers even filed lawsuits to fight her. But I can say one thing she did improve DC public schools and the proof is in test scores and achievements of some former failing schools. Just because the thought of some teachers being the problem hurts a few feelings doesn't mean she isn't correct in that assessment.
ANOTHER ONE with the test scores. Kids who can pass a multiple choice test are not necessarily EDUCATED... Even if you can bubble in answers does not mean you can read or even like to read or write yourself out of a paper bag.
Having watched the interview, she mainly tries to make an argument based on hyperbole and metaphor with very little substance. I don't think she has the solution.
While still in college one of my children was asked to observe an 11th grade classroom in a very poor part of a large city.
What did he see? Students running the classroom, talking, leaving the room without asking etc. The teacher just sat reading a novel and told my son she could not wait to retire in a year. I realize she may be the exception, but the fact that she was even allowed to remain in the classroom is ridiculous. The students appeared to be disrespectful and rude. I also question why any of them were allowed to be in school. Maybe education passed the 8th grade should be a privilege that is earned and not a right. Too many video games, phones, free-time etc. No expectations from anyone including the parents. Disrespect and lack of self motivation are huge problems. Self-esteem is earned not given.
Should read..... maybe education past the 8th grade NOT passed
Republicans keep STEALING money from education. So guess what? NO MORE MONEY FOR EDUCATION = STUPID CITIZENS WHO VOTE REPUBLICAN.
And the cycle goes on and on for these enemies of the average citizen.
Speaking of the "average citizen," let's outlaw school unions and allow parents to do the discipline, hiring AND firing!
Coutnry'll grow and the kids will learn.
Amazing. You watched this interview and her comments that this country has nearly tripled the spending per pupil in this country and you still think that it is the Republicans that are robbing money from the educational system? Wow. that kind of cognitive thinking will surely be valuable in Obama II, the destruction of a country.
Worthless comment, or WHAT?
You mean to tell me that ONLY Republican States are failing children? Read the comments! TEACHERS' UNIONS are failing the kids – and WHO panders to the Unions more than OBAMA? He's happy to have even more people at poverty level –dependent on HIM - and blow what's good for Progress, and for children
Teachers' Unions are happy to FIGHT to keep useless teachers in classrooms – taking a salary they HAVEN'T earned while GOOD, well qualified teachers can't find a job.
Until people like YOU grow a brain, the education will fail thousands more children. I'm a recently retired School Principal and I DO know what I'm talking about! Tell me 2 ways Obama has tackled education, and I'll call you a liar.
A major, if not the major,problem with public education today is that parents are simply not stepping up to the plate. Stop blaming the teachers! It's a learning triad: students,teachers and parents.
Exactly – like an Oil Rig with 4 legs – Parents, students, teachers and education Boards. One leg breaks, and the whole structure collapses.
I took over the Headship of 2 seriously failing schools in UK in 10 years. BOTH had inadequate teachers – abysmal test results – big discipline problems and lack of motivation. I, with the Board of Governors got rid of poor teachers and appointed staff who were PROVEN 1st class motivators: I changed the Discipline [big time] ; Parenys had to sign an agreement to do their part [as part of a Partnership deal for better Education] and in 2 years BOTH those schools were FLYING! Truthfully.
Once these "difficult" kids started SUCCEEDING they pulled as hard as WE did to keep the schools proud and improving year on year.
The key words in school success are MOTIVATION, PRIDE, PARTNERSHIP and SUCCESS.
Sorry – as you see it should be parents! [slap on MY wrist for sloppy checking!]
Of course, Michelle Rhee is right. As a former public school math teacher – who, in 1968, was the first in the state to be nominated " teacher of the year " – I have always realized that many of the teachers are woefully inadequate. Presently, the " government " school system is a joke. The agenda of the school unions is not the education of the children.
Here's something I originally wrote over three years ago about smart people changing their minds about Michelle Rhee.
Unfortunately, my timing was off then and still is, at least in relation to Campbell Brown. However other respected journalists, like John Merrow of PBS , Michael Winerip of the NYT and Roert McCartney of the Washington Post http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/01/AR2010050102974.html seem to have picked up on the real Michelle Rhee, so perhaps the phase I predicted is finally starting in earnest. If not, I’ll keep repeating this until the journalists finally catch on.
Michelle Rhee is extraordinarily skillful, but not at managing a school system. She has a rare talent for temporarily getting smart people to believe in her and support her fervently and unconditionally. These smart people wouldn’t necessarily describe their support in these terms. It’s unusual for them to get pulled in emotionally, so they don’t reflect much on the possibility that their good sense has been compromised. Journalists who are excited by the chancellor’s vision and determination reflexively and repeatedly sing her praises in the press. Other smart people leave their jobs to go to work for her. People who change their lives for a cause or publicly put their credibility on the line have an especially hard time noticing any negative reality that might interfere with their glowing first impressions.
Being smart people, however, they eventually re-engage their analytical skills and swallow their pride. They recognize that their unconditional support is not warranted. While mourning the lost of a miracle cure for the schools, they begin to curb their unwitting complicity in further injuring an already ailing system. That is the phase we’re entering now.
Rhee is wrong. Follow the money. Who wins? Who loses? Please, CNN, dig deeper. Our children & taxpayers are depending on you to share the facts.
Michelle Rhee is the biggest know-nothing ever elevated to know-something status. She's more uninformed (purposely) than Arne Duncan. ONE QUARTER of American students grow up in poverty. No one's home seeing that homework is done. No one is home to read to the kid. No one is home to make dinner. No one is home to make breakfast. No one is home to wake the kid up. And on and on and on. But all this is the fault of teachers? When you control for poverty, the United States is one of the top five nations on every international measure of student success. Why doesn't Rhee ever mention this?
How can a person who taught for just a couple of years be looked upon as an educational expert? How did DC thrive under her leadership? Exactly. . . it didn't. She demonized teachers and destroyed their careers and their lives. That's all she's accomplished.
Why don't you reporters actually do some INVESTIGATING?!!! Why don't you talk to Diane Ravitch? Forget about Randi Weingarten. . . she's a Vichyite. Why don't you talk to Karen Lewis, the President of the CTU? Why don't you talk to Norm Scott? Teacher activist Julie Cavanaugh? Talk to real educational researchers–not the ones bankrolled by the billionaires.
Rhee expects teachers to overcome the effects of poverty and if they don't they are just making excuses for their own poor teaching skills.
"As a nation, we should get engaged and involved in changing laws that are not serving kids," said Rhee
How right she is. Think she's serious? Would she join us on this mission?
I beg to differ – to assume that its poverty that is causing the parents to not wake up, not prepare dinner, not assure homework is done etc is overlooking the real problem: its not poverty its multigenerational dysfunction and disengagement from the responsibilities of parenting. Its the lack of caring enough for your children to provide and instruct – but how can you when the parents themselves are products of parents who did not care. Its not poverty its something else: drugs, incest , crime. I grew up poor and everyone I knew was 'poor'. But we had pride, we were clean and cared about education. What is poverty? Is it the lack of money or is it the lack of values and Reason (as in Kant)? ,
Cormac All of the comments are negative because Rhee offers no solution to a made up problem and real teachers know this. Many of us are tired of being silent and watching ourselves and our public school system dragged through the mud. Real educators who know statistics know that rankings are a slanted way of assessing anything because someone will always be at the bottom even if all countries are doing a fine job educating their children. Real educators know that standardized test scores barely scratch the surface of what students learn in school. Real educators know that all of their students come from different backgrounds and experiences which affect their learning in both positive and negative ways. Real educators know that there is no one size fits all solution to improving education for all students and resent anyone who is given a platform to present one of those miracle solutions. Real educators know the dismal record of charter schools. Real educators want to be able to do their jobs without scripted vacuous scripted test prep curriculum.
I see that the NEA has dispatched their trolls to post negtive comments here. Note that all the comments are negative attacks on Ms. Rhee, but acknowledge NOTHING in the video's content.
As an actual parent, not a hired union mouthpiece, I support reform efforts. We have to get the US back on track so the next generation can have a chance to prosper.
Cormac – please. Saying these comments don't address the video is ridiculous. Wishing won't make it so! Sorry, but plugging your ears and calling concerned parents "trolls" is not going to convince anyone. The proof is in the pudding, and the Rhee fad is losing its steam.
If you notice quite a few were parents as well. In reference to US rank in education you may want to do some research behind those numbers and not take it at face value. I agree reform is needed but turning it into a capitalistic cesspool is not the answer. Most didn't respond directly to the interview for the mere fact they were stating what should have been on it. Be objective in your opinion and you may surprise yourself.
Cormac – the next generation is prospering just fine - as long as they are not poor.
Did you know that Michelle Rhee thinks teachers are the entire solution to childhood poverty? Here are some quotes directly from her:
“As a teacher in this system, you have to be willing to take personal responsibility for ensuring your children are successful despite obstacles…You can’t say, ‘My students didn’t get any breakfast today,’ or ‘No one put them to bed last night,’ or ‘Their electricity got cut off in the house, so they couldn’t do their homework.” http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200811/michelle-rhee
“And the only way we’re going to get out of this situation [low achievement] is if we have great teachers. That is the only solution that we have, and so that’s why we’re really focused on it.”
"Teachers are everything. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/11/AR2007061102383_pf.html
Ok Ms. Rhee, what happens when kids do not watch the video at home and do not come into school, prepared to do their homework?
Uhhh, their grades suffer?
What happens when ANY kid doesn't do their homework?
I think you're more interested in attacking Ms. Rhee than actually using your brain.
That's easy: The teachers will get blamed.
I just read all 162 comments on this blog post, and out of 162 comments, there were ZERO that agree with or support Michelle Rhee's ideas for education reform. Zero. This isn't just a few disgruntled lefty teachers disagreeing with her- it is EVERYONE. CNN – do you read these comments? If you are having discussion about education, please consider inviting a teacher or a principal to speak about it. They are the ones who really know what is going on in the schools and how to bring about positive change.
Principals and teachers have been in charge of education and look where it has got this country. You can bicker over the numbers, is the U.S. really 25th? Okay, let's say it is 12th.....oh boy! When you consider the resources this country has, both financial and in terms of "brains", that we rank anywhere but first is a disgrace. Maybe Rhee doesn't have all the answers but for sure paying a lousy teacher the same as a spectacular teacher is ludicrous. You want great teachers that actually teach kids something? Make them compete. For sure, provide tools, training, feedback, etc. and then hold them accountable. And the really good ones that get solid results for kids? Pay them handsomely....they are a treasure.
in DC, teachers who score "highly effective on the evaluation system devised during rhee's stay here receive bonus pay. still, student achievement scores are stalled here.
Paying teacher more does not help.
Great point...pay them handsomely. There in fact is the rub. Most teachers are not paid handsomely until they have been a teacher more than 15 years. Most young people do not want to be teachers because there is NO incentive to be a teacher. Poor pay, screaming public..."off with teacher's heads". Please.....get better salaries across the board, that competes with other fields and then we can talk.
What you don't understand is that until we stop teaching to a TEST, a multiple choice test at that, we don't have an education system that can flourish. This is the problem. The kids in the "better" districts have no problem passing a test, pacifying parents and teachers. The kids I taught in these AFFLUENT neighborhoods were just as "ignorant" as the kids in the ghetto, but they had and have a fighting chance-several or a few bad teachers or bad lessons or torturous test prep won't condemn them to a life of poverty. However, many of my kids hated to read, and goodness knows, they could NOT write. Writing is the VISIBLE INDICATOR of an educated human being. So is speaking. They are BOTH visible. These reading tests are not indicative of intelligence. They are multiple choice and reading comprehension is INVISIBLE.
My kids in the rough and tough "ghettos" also passed these tests, but 30 to 40% of them struggled. Hence, the entire school is LABELED failing, even though the MAJORITY of the kids did pass the same state tests as the kids in the affluent suburbs. I used to look at my AP kids in these schools, and think to myself, "Wow, you're invisible, the world doesn't know you exist. The world thinks you are failing, but you are amazing." These kids are part of the infamous APOLLO 20 schools in Houston. Because 30 to 40% of the kids struggle, they had to stay at school until 4:30 when their counterparts down the street were allowed to leave their high-school at 2:30, taking part in opportunities, getting homework done, helping mom with the little ones. These kids that can pass the test are being pummeled with test prep, but again, like most of the kids in the burbs, they can pass it!! They just happen to live in blighted neighborhoods, where no one has the time or the energy to be their advocate.
Don't you think the kids know that the adults are all squabbling about TEACHER accountability as they fly under the radar. Student and family accountability is more of an issue than poverty....
I received an email from Student's First and after a discourse on the inferiority of US education there appeared a "Donate" sign. I immediately sent the following to Student's First –
Sent to Students First on 12-15-11
Before I donate I would like some information about how my money will be used.
Please forward to me information regarding the compensation packages for the
executives of the organization.
Needless to say I received no reply. I sent a second note. Again, no reply.
I wonder why, especially after reading the following article:
Guess Michelle Rhee's Severance Pay! (Hint: It's Not Too Shabby)
Posted by Alan Suderman on Oct. 13, 2010 at 6:31 pm
Where does the US rank with regard to healthcare? On healthy eating? On adequate housing? On access to technology? On violent crime? On access to a library? On belief in creation (anti-science)? As long as we have people who refuse to learn, are hungry, unhealthy, unsafe, and under-equipped, we're going to have an education problem. It can't be the thing you fix in isolation from everything else.
Next, the test scores, themselves. Do you want kids who do well on standardized tests or kids who can think? One is anti-thetical to the other. Isn't it interesting that public, non-charter schools are getting ladem with these mind-numbing requirements while charters and private schools can avoid them? The private arena rules in test generating and is working with states to form their requirements, not educators. Governors get praise for keeping educators out of education policy! What a racket, and the people are helping it to happen!
Wake up! The private firms have a monetary incentive. Teachers? We really just want to educate. The few of us who don't? Throw them out, but it's very few of us. Nearly fifty percent of us don't last five years, so the ones who can't, aren't, for the most part. That's why the overwhelming amount of parents like the schhol their kids go to, they just think the rest are horrible. Even when scores show the schools as "failing", most parents don't blame the school. It's the bashing that's permeating, not the truth.
Rhee is public education enemy #1. She's the spokesmodel for the destruction of education in America by those who have no other goal than gaining access to the tax dollars spent on it by any means necessary while pretending to themselves that they are offering value to us that we don't know we need. The white mans burden becomes the corporate mans burden. 9/11 like, they use the profits extorted by the politicians they own to leverage additional class and ideological warfare against those they view as no more than commodities to be exploited at will, the American citizen. As we've come to expect from the banksters, they risk nothing of their own on this hostile takeover, being more than willing to heedlessly gorge on the seed corn of others. Rhee is their Judas goat, leading those who her lies maintain as sheep to slaughter. Goebbels and Orwell would be proud.
Until parents are made accountable and until the students themselves are truly made accountable for both their academic work and behavior, until discipline is again instilled in our schools and those that want to disrupt that are removed to alternate programs properly funded and equipped to deal with them, NOTHING is going to change. We need high expectations for students both academically and behaviorally and absolutely accept nothing less and stop making excuses. Teachers need to stop being demonized and held accountable for things that are totally out of their control and treated with the respect and professionalism they deserve AND they need to be compensated at a level that is on par with others with their level of education. They also need to be supported by parents instead of parents acting like their children's defense attorneys and supported by the administration. Teachers need to be allowed to do what they have been trained to do...TEACH....not from a script, not forced to teach to tests, but allowed to use their own knowledge, experience and creativity to teach the subject matter. Teachers need to be the ones with the loudest voices in reform, not the ones told to shut up and go to the back of the room and just do what they're told. The quality of teachers I don't feel has changed over the last few decades but the quality of the STUDENTS and PARENTS have! Until that is dealt with, nothing will change in our schools no matter how many new mandates (most unfunded) are made, no matter how many tests are thrown at students. Education needs to be a top priority in this country and funded adequately and not one of the first things on the chopping block of federal and state budgets when they fall short. Education funding should be protected and should truly fund schools. We shouldn't have schools like the one I used to teach in where even the chalk and dry erase markers were in a locked cabinet and rationed because of such pitiful funding.
I agree with Michelle Rhee: people don't understand where we place in international studies. They don't know, for instance, that our middle and upper class children outscore the world. Poverty is behind most low test scores. They also don't know that in the 50's and 60's, when we set our economic BOOM in motion, the nation was in much the same ranking as now. They think instead that schools are slipping. Public schools are not slipping- skills have been growing stronger despite a weakening economy and greater societal challenges. Question the test score craze advocated by Rhee. America has ingenuity. America has creativity. Or it did until Michelle Rhee and the educational reform movement pushed testing, conformity, and narrowness.
And CNN, I am so tired of the weak media analysis of education. Go deeper yourself and work to follow the money.
I think if Michelle Rhee really wanted to help kids she'd get into the classroom and work with them. I'm not sure she was successful as a classroom teacher, so who is she to organize reform? I just love how some of these education reformers by and large don't come out of education. I realize Rhee has some background in education but she doesn't hold the magic cure. No one does. It's going to take elbow grease and hard work and all (capable) hands on deck. So roll up your sleeves and got to the hard work, Michelle, instead of looking for quick fixes to big problems.
Very disappointed Rhee and Duncan have worked to destroy public education- blamed teachers for all the nations problems – and sold out to the for profit trend. Sad CNN I'm looking for my news elsewhere
CNN – it is truly disappointing to know that journalism has no basis in truth or facts anymore. The fact that you would allow a person like Rhee to talk about education as if she were an expert just shows that you are a sell-out. Where are people's morals? Any person with half a brain can see right through Rhee's nonsense and realize she is not in this to help the children or America. How can we continue to flourish as a nation with the divide between the haves & have nots growing so exponentially. I mean really – how much is enough? How much money do people really need? How about a conscience and a heart and soul? I do not believe michelle rhee possesses any of the latter. This country is doomed if left to the devices of Rhee and her cronies. Wake up, America. Shame on you, CNN.
Get with it CNN-the discredited Rhee is no longer taken seriously by the educational community
The discussion should not be about teachers; the teachers can be removed if they are poor. The administrations are the problem. They are unqualified individuals who don't understand how to support teachers. As a result, teachers are not supported and feel like their superiors are not leading the school in the right direction. Let's have the real debate here, and disqualify Rhee's imbalanced analysis.
CNN, Disappointed (but not surprised) that your station promoted Rhee's destructive anti public education agenda. You have lost all credibility with this viewer.
The equivocate responses given by Ex-Chancellor Rhee as to how to improve public schools can only mean the monied interests behind her and the TFA are ready to launch a new monied offensive against public school teachers and public education ONLY in poor inner-cities where poor people and people of color are affected.
If anybody thinks those poor inner-city parents are going to move to give their children the best possible education doesn't know the parents or their children. Of course, "Their eyes may shine and their teeth may grit, but entry to first-class Charter or Private Schools with Vouchers they won't git."
I would feel better about what Ms. Rhee is purporting if she hadn't been such a failure at teaching in the Baltimore City Schools for nearly two and a half years.
She mocked Black Children after she took them on an after-school trip and returned after school was closed and didn't know where one of the children lived.
She declared to new (TFA) teachers in the D.C. School System during her tenure a la Paul Lawrence Dunbar, "LAWD, Miz Rhee! What you gonna do NOW?!
She eventually left the kid with a neighbor who promised to get her home.
Forget about the lack of research, statistics, science or any other measurement which has not proven Vouchers and privatization of public schools is best. Just think about how they regard the people they claim will benefit. Do they even KNOW them?
I don't see CNN interviewing Jack Abramoff and presenting him as a figure of respect in the business world. Rhee has been outed as a fake reformer. There is the shameful "taping" childrens' mouths, the public firing of a principal, huge allegations of test cheating, etc.....The list is very long. NO ONE calls her out on these actions. At least several TV stations have done extensive reports on Abramoff's decline and how he maneuvered himself to perpetrate major financial fraud. There's plenty of evidence against Rhee, yet everyone seems to be afraid to do an investigative report. Why is she getting a "free" ride from TV networks?
If Rhee cared about American public eduction, she would talk about American poverty and the children who are "left behind" the day they are born into this capitalist system. She would talk about our relative lack of upward mobility, and how our economic and political systems are failing.
If Rhee cared about American public education, she would respect hard-working teachers enough to speak to them and find out what on earth is really going on and not working.
But Rhee cares about Rhee, and Rhee's career, and Rhee's money, and Rhee's prestige, and Rhee's face all over the nedia, and Rhee's power, and Rhee's connections.
As others have said, follow the money. Who owns CNN? School "reform" is about profit. We live in a corrupt nation now. "They came for the teachers, but I did not speak up, because I wasn't a teacher..."
Oh CNN, it is so sad that you have gone hook-line-and sinker for this corporate take-over of public education. Michelle Rhee and quite a few others who know little of true educating of children, seem to be garnering most of the press. Why is that? How tied into ALEC and the charter, test-publisher corporate baddies are you? This woman and sadly, a lot of the "accountability-reward-test-driven" reformers are reforming nothing but their own bottom lines. You don't need to frame this in terms of people like her versus teacher unions. You could merely talk to any hard working teacher today to find out that they are working in a system that is currently demonizing them in an industrialized country with ridiculously high poverty and where politicians and these so-called reformers simply take advantage of the situation and offer nothing in the way of real help. If you pull out the poor kids, we are still at the top of the International scores. Hmmmm. Get Diane Ravitch or Linda Darling-Hammond or real teachers at real public schools or at least someone who is not trying to make tons of money by syphoning public school dollars away from real children. The real crisis is that this nonsense with more and more testing and less and less true teaching will cause our nation to be reduced to an extremely low level of thought capability...is that really what is best for our democracy?
I watched the video tape where Rhee admitted duct taping her students mouth shut. I heard her laugh as she described how her students bled when she ripped the tape off. Rhee acts like she hates children even more than she hates teachers, principals & schools. Anyone who really cares about our young people will be against Rhee & her efforts to line her pockets at our childrens expense.
Rhee's education ideas are ruining public schools. Schools have become test factories and as a result, our kids aren't learning much of anything.
As a parent with kids in the public schools, it is interesting to see the rich dumping money into schools so that their reform ideas are implemented even though most of them have never been in public schools, nor do their kids attend public schools. They experiment on our kids while theirs are safe in a private school that doesn't subject their kids to testing and test prep 20-40 days per year. They never ask for advice from parents who have kids in public schools, nor do they ask for advice from the teachers who are IN the public schools and are experts in education. I'm tired of it. Thank goodness my youngest one will be a senior in high school this year.
All I ask is that you investigate this woman. I guarantee you will not like what you see.
As long as Michelle Rhee is given a forum, she will continue to throw public education under the bus in favor of corporatizing it. Please present a more balanced view.
The fact that CNN even chose to interview a confirmed cheat and loser like Michelle Rhee, is a pretty good indicator of why CNN is about as credible as Fox News, which is to say not at all.
Why in the world would you listen to this woman, what she did in D.C. is a shame!
Gerard what facts are you speaking about because if you look at the state of the schools in DC before she came and the results after and you can't deny it has been an improvement.
This interview made me cringe. How on earth this woman has ended up in the position she has is a mystery. She is no educator. She picks cliches and spouts them. Children need smaller classes, exercise, recess and the arts rather than more low quality testing. These 'luxuries' are not up for discussion but more testing and accountability are? Geez. My son described school in America as a prison – we escaped back to Europe because of the dire state of affairs over there. CNN you should hold your head in shame. Do some research. Do none of your researchers have children or are they all happily settled in private schools? Wake up for goodness sake and give American children the education they deserve.
It is interesting that both journalism and public education have suffered as a result of profiteerring! She was a terrible teacher herself, set up an environment in DC that encouraged cheating, and still people listen to her? How about some good old fashioned critical thinking, CNN? Your viewers would appreciate more information and less propaganda from this puppet!
I am amazed at how ill informed the interviewer was. She basically sat there while Rhee spewed her nonsensical rhetoric and challenged nothing she was saying. Not one thing Rhee said can be backed up with facts.
CNN – You suck. There is a battle on right now to save public education. You just gave free airtime to the right wing fundies. I hope you redeem yourself and give time to Diane Ravitch, a historian on education, a person who actually speaks to facts about public education.
Rhee says the number one most important factor is the teacher when any informed educator, or person for that matter, knows the real research reveals it is the parents/home life and socioeconomic factors. Her other "facts" are wrong, too. She taught for two years, her classroom management was to put duct tape over students' mouths(she should have been arrested for child abuse) and the country should be listening to her thoughts?!?!?
This woman is a mouthpiece for those whose goal is to end public education in the US. It is amazing how far someone can go with so little; maybe that's the point, take someone who knows nothing and mold her to look like a supposed expert. All she has is the knack to be a well trained propagandist.
All of this "new" nonsense in education is just that, nonsense and deliberate propaganda to kill the public schools.
CNN needs to do some real investigative research and reporting and expose the truth!
I would have asked Ms R about her time as a classroom teacher and if she still thinks it is a good idea to put duct tape on students mouths to keep them quiet. Thank heavens she is no longer in the classroom!
It is unfortunate that CNN has no credible educators on its staff to report the real issues in U.S. schools. Segregation, poverty and federal overreach would be a good place to start with some real reporting.
Michelle Rhee should by no means be considered an expert in education. What she has done is managed to capitalize on the "reform" movement and become a very wealthy woman spreading worthless ideas that will do nothing but hurt our children and public schools.
First of all, I am a teacher in an extremely high poverty area. The myth is that teachers out there are against reform. While we may not agree with the completely horrible popular reform ideas, we see many things about our public schools that need to change. However, no one seems to ask the education professionals that are in this field each and every day. Instead, we go after billionaires' opinions, people who have taught for two years, or politicians. What we fail to stop and realize is that these people have something to gain by making testing the priority for our students...money! In addition, attacking the teachers instead of addressing the real issues in education is far easier. The issues that really need to be addressed are no easy fix...therefore no one in the current "reform" movement wants to touch them. While I agree that there are some poor teachers in our schools today (just as their are poor doctors, lawyers, nurses, etc. in their fields), simply cutting everyone's pay and/or firing them is not the answer. Soon, we are not going to be left with anyone competent to teach our children. The best educators will leave for a profession that treats them with some dignity and respect. We care about the children much more than these "reform" experts ever will. Remember, we aren't in it for the money, nor will we ever be!
Why is anyone surprised that a) CNN offers up Michelle Rhee as an education expert, and b) that the interview was full of popular sound bytes with very little substance. Virtually none of what Rhee offers is grounded in research or has any track record of success. But that won't stop CNN from giving her a forum to speak.
As with MSNBC and their supposed forums on education that were in actuality pep rallies for Rhee, Duncan, Gates, Klein ad nauseum, CNN reporting lacks any real substance. None of the major news media are in the least bit interested in what true reform would look like – too busy shilling dollars for the profiteers looking to turn public education in a cash cow.
If CNN were really interested in education reform, they would be calling Rhee and Klein out on their test manipulation shenanigans, would call out Duncan on his disastrous Chicago Public School policies, and Gates out on using his millions for influencing public ed with a very private agenda. They would be encoraging policy makers to adapt what works in Finland and other successful countries here in the U.S., and recoginzing that parents and teachers are the heart of any school reform.
But don't hold your breath waiting for any real reporting on education from CNN or anyone else...the C in CNN stands for corporate control.
Apologies for the typos...fingers were going too fast...
CNN, why are you doing this? Who is paying you off? Is this "news story" a sceme to get more viewers or did you really not do your research before asking this "sometimes controversial" Michelle Ree to join your show? In the future, if you're going to ask a corporate-backed individual like Michelle Ree on the show, at least balance her out with an educator or someone knowledgeable in the field.
CNN’s Schools of Thought blog is a place for parents, educators and students to learn about and discuss what's happening in education. We're curious about what's happening before kindergarten, through college and beyond. Have a story to tell? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org