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Michelle Rhee
Photo: Iris Harris - U.S. Department of Commerce

Education blogger At the Chalk Face has obtained an internal briefing document from Michelle Rhee's Students First, and makes clear just how extensively Students First collaborated with Michigan Republicans on four education bills targeting teachers, including one limiting collective bargaining. The 30-page PDF is available here.

The crucial take-away is that although Rhee has claimed publicly that eliminating collective bargaining is not her end goal, and although Students First didn't publicly support Michigan's bill limiting collective bargaining for teachers, the document leaves no doubt that in fact the organization privately supported the bill, saying:

StudentsFirst did not work directly with the House on the collective bargaining bill and we have not expressed public support for the bill. However, many of the things they included in the bill came from our policy agenda and pave the way for implementing a new eval process, mutual consent and performance based RIFs.

However, even the claim that Students First did not work directly on this bill is contradicted elsewhere. In fact, the discussion of the legislation begins:

The [Republican House Education Committee chair] Rep. Scott and the House Republicans worked closely with StudentsFirst to develop four* bills.

Elsewhere, the document notes that:

It’s important to understand that all four bills work TOGETHER and they are a precursor to upcoming legislation that will completely change Michigan’s current evaluation process and establish merit pay. All of the bills are tie-barred to each other so that none could go into effect unless the others were also enacted into law.

Additionally, the document ends by thanking a Republican House aide:

Also, if given the chance, you should thank Jason Mancini who literally ran every amendment by me before deciding to allow it in committee. He also sent me multiple drafts of the bills during the drafting process.

So: Students First did not publicly support the bill limiting collective bargaining, and their most direct claim is that they did not work on it. But many things in the bill came from their policy agenda, it paves the way for a fuller expression of their agenda, they worked with the chair of the House Education Committee on four bills, none of the four bills can go into effect without the others, and a House aide ran every amendment by Students First before allowing it in committee.

No difference between their public and private positions at all, is there? None at all. And that's saying something, given that their public position is in support of a bill that changes the standard for teacher demotion from requiring "reasonable and just cause" to allowing it as long as the reason isn't "arbitrary and capricious." Anything short of arbitrary and capricious, yet not reasonable or just, is apparently just dandy.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Jun 23, 2011 at 08:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by A Fighting Chance.

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Comment Preferences

  •  She's a union-busting piece of shit (23+ / 0-)

    Period.

    "Lash those traitors and conservatives with the pen of gall and wormwood. Let them feel -- no temporising!" - Andrew Jackson to Francis Preston Blair, 1835

    by Ivan on Thu Jun 23, 2011 at 08:02:28 PM PDT

    •  An exact rerun of what she did in Ohio (4+ / 0-)

      There's no plausible denial that union destruction is this piece of shit's goal. Once might have been coincidence. This is not coincidence. She is completely in bed with the privatizers and has clear contempt for teachers. I think she considers herself above them. I just read an article about how, even if their teachers don't show any clear superiority to regular teachers, Teach for America should be considered a success because it produces "innovators" like Rhee. The article strengthened by sense that TFA is destructive and should be banned because the "innovators" it cited were mostly people who stoked their own ambitions by supporting big-money driven privatization schemes.

      Jennifer Brunner for Governor of Ohio 2014

      by anastasia p on Fri Jun 24, 2011 at 05:53:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've said it before (14+ / 0-)

    and I'll say it again.

    Michelle Rhee is scum.

    The Republican Party is now the sworn enemy of the United States of America.

    by TheGreatLeapForward on Thu Jun 23, 2011 at 08:04:24 PM PDT

  •  Michelle Rhee's true (19+ / 0-)

    motives need to be exposed far and wide.

    Thanks for this diary.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Thu Jun 23, 2011 at 08:05:02 PM PDT

  •  "performance based RIFs" (11+ / 0-)

    For anyone not familiar with the term, RIF means "Reduction in Force." Once known as "firings".

    Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

    by Nowhere Man on Thu Jun 23, 2011 at 08:06:19 PM PDT

  •  Said it before and will say it again, (19+ / 0-)

    Michelle Rhee is to public education what John Yoo is to international law.

  •  What a cheap opportunist (12+ / 0-)

    The woman has no principles but will hop on whatever bandwagon appears popular, just so she can collect a paycheck and get her name out there.  She would not be able to achieve the standards she sets for others.  She is the Paris Hilton of "reformers"..no substance but really good at making herself famous.  yuck.

    We all have photographic memories. Some people just don't have any film.

    by fireflynw on Thu Jun 23, 2011 at 08:09:21 PM PDT

  •  Unfortunately, the bandwagon is Obama's. (10+ / 0-)

    And what is he? The Elmer Gantry?

    He has created a climate with his horrid neoliberal ed agenda whereby these horrendous Rheeforms and Rhee types can and do make their mark.

    He himself called her a "wonderful" chancellor. Corey Booker oculdnt gush enough: "ny hero" ... "superwoman" Fenty loved her, of course. Duncan, ditto ditto ditto.

    Not one Republican takes issue with Obama's education agenda, which took the right wing moves, put in play by Bush (and go along Dems on NCLB - thanks, Teddy!) to the next level.

    Rather than complain, they helped Obama and his Democratic teammates vote odious new Rheeforms into 34 states' ed laws (for the meager and useless Race to the Top grants).  - a feat Bush couldnt have achieved, given that he lacked the Dem support and the Dem-tied union hacks like Weingarten who helped Rhee and so many others with her sellout mediating... on behalf of Obama/Duncan's agenda. She dashes around the country urging locals to cave.

    Oh, and George Parker, former head of that DC union that was 'wrangling' with Rhee? He is now on her fricking payroll, at Students First!

    It is fine and dandy to illuminate Rhee's dastardly deeds, and the Republicans who love her.

    Just ought to ask, while we're at it, where are all the loud, countervailing Dem voices out there?

    Crickets shall be thy response, alas.

    That should tell us something.

    Should a "progressive" Dem blog dwell in the safe zones of a lame party, or should it drive a lame party to break out? If it cant, should it break out?

    by NYCee on Thu Jun 23, 2011 at 08:27:58 PM PDT

  •  It strikes me as weird. (8+ / 0-)

    It strikes me as weird that a few years ago, Michelle Rhee found herself on the receiving end of the gaze of Republican investigators, and then later, once she shed the nonpartisan act and started carrying water for the hard core GOP slashers, became their darling and BFF.

    That's... a weird coincidence.

  •  It really burns me that Republicans (8+ / 0-)

    have a secretive policy agenda that they never campaign on. I think it's a safe bet that not one of them mentioned Michelle Rhee or Students First prior to the election. I really can't imagine how anyone can trust them after these last few months.

  •  Does Obama support Snyder's Rick Snyder's (0+ / 0-)

    emergency managers, education reform?

    http://www.annarbor.com/...

    Via : madfloridian
    http://journals.democraticunderground.com/...

    NYT reader comment (via Susan Ohanian) : Arne Duncan great example of peter Principle. Failed in Chicago; then promoted so he could repeat failure on national scale.

    by Funkygal on Thu Jun 23, 2011 at 08:55:12 PM PDT

  •  Wonder if she still (7+ / 0-)

    lies about test scores or tapes up kid's mouths - I would not trust that person around any kids or education meetings.

  •  Do you really believe shes not trying to help? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    orange dog

    The four bills:

    Together, they do the following:
    • Require each school district's performance evaluation system to rate teachers as "highly effective," "effective,"
    "minimally effective," or "ineffective."
    • Modify the number and consequences of probationary periods.
    • Revise tenure hearing procedures.
    • Establish the permissible grounds for the discharge or demotion of teachers on continuing tenure.
    • Limit the length of time a teacher's salary continues during a suspension.
    • Make "effectiveness" (rather than seniority) the determining factor when a workforce reduction is necessary.
    • Establish and require a mutual consent policy for teacher placement.
    • Add six additional subjects that would be prohibited from collective bargaining, including (1) placement of teachers; (2)
    personnel decisions when conducting a reduction in force, a recall, or when hiring; (3) performance evaluation
    systems; (4) the discharge or discipline of employees; (5) the format or number of classroom observations conducted
    during performance evaluations; and (6) the method of performance-based compensation.

    StudentsFirst believes in performance based compensation, I think they have been very clear on that.  Besides that it looks like the bills make it take longer to get tenure and make it in general easier to get rid of low performing teachers.  Those don't seem like bad things to me.  is there something that all of you are really opposed to?

    The bills only appears to limit collective bargaining to the extent required to accomplish those goals above.  Which StudentFirst believes will help students.  This is a complicated problem, and the current system does not allow for experimentation in any way.  Are there some other proposals out there to fix this is some way that does not limit collective bargaining in some way?  Are charter schools better?

    •  Hook, Line, and Sinker (4+ / 0-)

      N/t

      Medicare 2011 - Better Dead Than Red

      by dehrha02 on Fri Jun 24, 2011 at 02:44:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You mean performance-based, just like (7+ / 0-)

      Wall Street bonuses and executive golden parachutes?

      First of all , some of these things might sound good in "business" but public education is not a "business." If teachers received salaries on the same system executives do, there would be many millionaire teachers in "failing" districts.

      Second, bullet points are not implementation.

      Third, the bullet points say nothing about the enormous and expensive administrative bureaucracy that's been erected on top of teachers themselves.

      That is the problem, not unions or contracts. Lifers in administrative jobs combined with mountains of paperwork.

      Thump! Bang. Whack-boing. It's dub!

      by dadadata on Fri Jun 24, 2011 at 02:57:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Still trying to understand where it is really at (0+ / 0-)

        Like NJTom, I am still trying to get a better handle on the whole M Rhee thing. Call me naive if you like, but I can't see this as a black & white issue. I have the perception that there are some real issues in public education, and it seemed to me M Rhee was attempting to upset the apple cart in a good way, with good motivations, attacking sacred cows and trying to make some changes that really improved kid's chances.

        But I am not an expert, nor do I have kids of the age to be in public school, and maybe i am gullible.

        I always like to assume the good will of people, even my opponents, so I am trying to bridge the gap between the image of M Rhee : 1) as heroic slayer of dragons and savior of public education from entrenched teacher union bureaucracies protecting wasteful slothful leeches on the system and 2) cynical autocrat busting unions for the pure pleasure of doing so

        I have yet to see something that presents a rational critique of her approach & recommendations, acknowledging the problems that she is trying to fix,  and providing alternative proposals that would really improve things for public schools in a way that is fair and effective. Most of criticisms directed that I have seen come across as territorial and defensive as if more interested in protecting the positions of ineffective teachers than the interests of the kids we are supposed to be educating. In other words, the counter attack seems to be usually focused on her management style (admittedly a bit abrasive, but that is not necessarily a bad thing when things need to be shaken up), and come across as preaching to the already-convinced.

        anyway that's my general gestalt, so any thoughtful and impartial analysis would be interesting to better understand

        •  One of the problems (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mostel26, pengiep, ToeJamFootball

          Well, one of the problems is that often the people determining a teacher's "performance" are administrators who have never had any educational/teaching experience themselves.

        •  No "maybe" about it (4+ / 0-)
          But I am not an expert, nor do I have kids of the age to be in public school, and maybe i am gullible.

          She's not trying to get rid of "ineffective" teachers. she's trying to get rid of EFFECTIVE teachers, who are effective because they ORGANIZE!

          This has been documented so many times and in so many places that if you haven't seen it, either you just got off the spaceship from Mars, or you haven't been looking very hard.

          "Lash those traitors and conservatives with the pen of gall and wormwood. Let them feel -- no temporising!" - Andrew Jackson to Francis Preston Blair, 1835

          by Ivan on Fri Jun 24, 2011 at 03:56:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  There are teachers' unions. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mostel26, NancyK

          There are support staff unions.

          There are administrators' unions.

          There are local school boards (which aren't always filled by intelligent people) and state school boards and state education bureaucracies.

          There is a federal education bureaucracy.

          No question a massive bureaucracy has been erected around public education.

          Don't blame one out of a half-dozen players.

          Typical boondoggle:

          "Race to the Top" would net the Md county I live in about $400,000 over 3 years.

          It will cost $1 million.

          When the state's (newly-retired, facelifted) Supt Nancy Grasmick decided to involved the state in the program, my county's schools bought a pig in a poke. The financials were not revealed.

          The state has no intention of providing the million bucks and the schools can't withdraw. And we have a better than average school board. They were pwned too.

          There's one example.

          Thump! Bang. Whack-boing. It's dub!

          by dadadata on Fri Jun 24, 2011 at 04:26:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And in your neighbor Delaware (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mostel26

            At least half of the RTTT money has remained in Dover at the DoE to staff positions created by our governor for his business buddies. Many of whom have ZERO experience in education.
            I had a long, frustrating conversation with one "liaison" to our district trying to explain why having a state test that is normed was important. He couldn't understand why teachers cared that it isn't.

            "If they give you ruled paper, write the other way" Juan Ramon Jimnez

            by Teiresias70 on Fri Jun 24, 2011 at 06:43:01 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  yep, thanks (0+ / 0-)

            see my post below, it's starting to come into focus

        •  Even if what you say is true (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mostel26

          Rhee has been exposed as corrupt and cynical and so is not an appropriate spokesperson for change anymore. Whether or not the evil teachers unions (sarcasm) are the alpha and omega of the problem or a scapegoat isn't the issue and there's nothing to be bridged here between them and Rhee. Rhee is discredited Rhee should not even be part of the discussion. She is dishonest and manipulated facts to try to create a false reality in the service of her agenda. When her name crops up, the discussion is already tainted.

          Jennifer Brunner for Governor of Ohio 2014

          by anastasia p on Fri Jun 24, 2011 at 06:00:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Replace the union with administrators.... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mostel26

          is that the plan?

          Doesn't sound like anyone will really want to be a teacher anymore with the micromanaging going on by the admin at the school. Feels Paternalistic all this evaluation and merit pay stuff, makes me think teachers are all rogues that need to be controlled.

          •  When (4+ / 0-)

            teachers are rated on "performance," that frequently means test scores.  If that is the rule, no one will want to work with special ed students or those from homes of poverty because they don't score as highly on tests.  Those are the students who really need caring teachers to work with them.  

            Public schools take every student who enrolls.  Charters may say they do, but then they quietly counsel out the ones that will make the scores lower.  Less than 20% of charter schools do better than public schools.  They are no magic bullet.

        •  Really? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          iTeachQ
          I have yet to see something that presents a rational critique of her approach & recommendations, acknowledging the problems that she is trying to fix,  and providing alternative proposals that would really improve things for public schools in a way that is fair and effective.

          Washington Post on-line. Val Strauss. Answer Sheet Blog.

          Most of criticisms directed that I have seen come across as territorial and defensive as if more interested in protecting the positions of ineffective teachers than the interests of the kids we are supposed to be educating.

          Where have you seen these criticisms? And "ineffective" according to what and/or whom? Exactly how many ineffective teachers to you believe there to be?

          •  Washington Post on-line Val Strauss Answer Sheet (0+ / 0-)

            thanks for this answer which was very helpful... googling that i fiound alot of well-thought analysis & critique that goes deeper into all this

            While I didn't have time to dig into everything, Debating Michelle Rhee and the myth of charter schools gave some more insight.

            i think my impressions are mostly my own gestalt after watching the movie itself and then reading the comments in this blog, like "she's been discredited" which assumes that the reader has the whole background of the story & arguments pro & con, refutations, etc.. (which i clearly don't)

            overall i can see - M Rhee definitely did take on an abrasive style, which some argue was unnecessary, others argue was inevitable given that she was shaking things up. My observations & questions remain :

            - there definitely some propagandizing going on and the anti-public education folks - to what degree did she actually agree with this agenda, vs to what degree did she perhaps unwittingly become a tool for them?

            - was the overall sum of good+bad stuff done by M Rhee's tactics & decisions during her tenure in DC schools positive or overall negative? i.e. did she do more harm than good?

            - was the closing of 23 schools useful or necessary in balance, and could there have been a better way of going about it even if it was needed?

            - what would be the most effective response that teacher's unions could use to respond to the negative portrayal of their role in the "superman" movie? -
            >> do what degree are the allegations in the movie accurate about the role of unions protecting ineffective teachers? and to the degree they are accurate, what is the appropriate response that the teacher's unions can take ? and to the degree they are NOT accurate, what is the most creative way that teacher's unions can respond. my take is that this risks falling into the classic pitfall for the left :
            - right attacks with falsehood, but wins the battle because the argument , true or false, resonates at gut-level with the unsophisticated public
            - left responds accurately with reason and rational argument, which gets no where because the unsophisticated public is immune to reason and is operating purely at instinctual gut reaction level.

            anyway, thanks to you & all others who replied - just trying to make sense of this all myself

      •  Agreed. (0+ / 0-)

        Nothing else to say.  

        "Nothing is more real than nothing." Beckett

        by rx scabin on Fri Jun 24, 2011 at 09:40:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Among the many problems ... (4+ / 0-)

      What is performance?

      Do you think people are really going to sit in classrooms for extensive periods, see how teachers interact with their students, how the students respond to them, how well their kids do once they've left that classroom, and so on?

      Or is it all going to be reduced to test scores?  Forcing some of the best teachers into boxes that don't fit them, distorting the teaching process for most of the rest, and encouraging corruption?

      •  Imagine being posted at a troubled school (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mostel26, ToeJamFootball, NancyK

        with kids whose homes are negative places and never being able to get any merit pay because you have the toughest cases and no amount of caring and love can get them to do homework in a violent home.....those teachers get no good evals based on tests, but what about humanity?

        •  I have (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          karenc13, ToeJamFootball, NancyK

          worked in a school with supportive, educated parents with nice incomes and am now in a low-income school where the homes are less supportive.  Let me tell you:  it takes HARDER work to get the mediocre scores in the low income school than it was to get the good scores in the high income school.  

          Poverty has a big effect.  

          Do we want the students who rely on us to help them to be thrown under the bus because their test scores are lower and they enter school already behind the other students?

        •  And (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          karenc13, NancyK

          Not being able to transfer to another school to avoid the unfair eval because:

          Add six additional subjects that would be prohibited from collective bargaining, including (1) placement of teachers
          •  Mutual Consent (0+ / 0-)

            That line is talking about collective bargaining, not the ability of an individual teacher to move.  The Mutual consent law says that a teacher can't be placed without their consent.  

            It also says that if a teacher can't be placed with mutual consent they will be placed on unpaid leave, but I'm not sure what a better rules would say about that type of a situation.

        •  I don't think it would come to that (0+ / 0-)

          The situation your imagining is just worst case thinking.  Sure they could come up with a testing system which is unfair, but the people creating these systems want the same thing you do: The best teachers for the money we can afford to pay.  It is simply preposterous to believe that a well performing teacher in a low socio-economic system would not be rewarded for their performance.

          Your blaming the kids if you think that there it is impossible to have them improve over the course of the year.  There have been many succes schools and stories in these types of districts, and I believe that any system which rewards teachers for improving their students ability will foster an environment which helps their ability to learn.

          There are other ways to argue against the proposal here, but this is not it.

    •  First education article here? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      iTeachQ, ToeJamFootball

      I'll assume that you're new to education discussions, but let me comment on a few things:

      StudentsFirst believes in performance based compensation, I think they have been very clear on that.

      Performance based pay for education assumes that it is a competitiive venture. It is not. Teaching kids in a school is a collaborative venture. Performance based pay kills collaboration.

      Besides that it looks like the bills make it take longer to get tenure and make it in general easier to get rid of low performing teachers.  Those don't seem like bad things to me.  is there something that all of you are really opposed to?

      Low performing according to what measure? If you're talking the Montgomery County, Maryland system:

      NY Times article on teacher eval

      But Rhee and Republicans don't want that. What they want to use junk science to link teacher pay and evaluation to sutdent standardized test scores. That is called "value added assessment" and very innacuarate.

      Value added article in Washington Post

      also, Rhee's trashy IMPACT evaluation system in DC was rife with problems. Care to guess what her organization is pushing for evaluations in other places?

      IMPACT

      Another strong set of comments on tests

      tests, rankings, etc.

      If you want to learn something about education policy and be directed to links that use real studies, etc.; follow Teacher Ken on here.

      •  I'll agree with you on one thing (0+ / 0-)

        That we can't just say this teacher performs well or poorly based purely on test scores.

        But at the end of the day, we know that students in the united states, on average, do not perform well when compared to students elsewhere.  I'm sure there are a variety of reasons for this, but I strongly believe that one of the reasons that some students don't perform well is because of poorly performing teachers.  I believe this from personal experience of my own education in a public school and from working with my classmates in school, and later tutoring students.

        If a student can't perform well on a test, they will not perform well in college.  If a student can't perform well in college it will be tough, in a so called "flat world" for them to perform against an increasingly global workforce.  

        So while, we can't just entirely say this teacher is good or bad from test scores, it does have an important role in judging a teachers performance.

        Everyone in this thread is imagining a terrible system where all school districts will fire teachers for some evil nefarious reason.  That is simply unture, and I see no reason to believe that the prinicpals and school boards of Michigan will do that.  Schools will not want to get rid of good teacher so they won't, but now that they can get rid of bad teachers, they will.  And before, they couldn't, thats what this bill is supposed to correct.

    •  and (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ToeJamFootball
      The bills only appears to limit collective bargaining to the extent required to accomplish those goals above.

      Really? The following things in the bill do NOTHING to help kids:

      Add six additional subjects that would be prohibited from collective bargaining, including (1) placement of teachers; (2)
       personnel decisions when conducting a reduction in force, a recall, or when hiring; (3) performance evaluation
       systems; (4) the discharge or discipline of employees; (5) the format or number of classroom observations conducted
       during performance evaluations; and (6) the method of performance-based compensation.

      These 6 items only exist to drive vetern teachers from the ranks.

      Republicans have ONE goal in mind. Drive all career teachers out of the classroom, gut the ability of the public school system to produce a middle class that understands how to be critical thinkers, and in general allow on people who can afford to pay access to a good education for their children.

      •  What, by your standards would help kids then? (0+ / 0-)

        All of those things say keep the well performing teachers.

        allow only(sic) people who can afford to pay access to a good education for their children.

        This is the situation as it stands today, not some future nightmare brought onto us by republicans.

    •  Where are the kids? It's just fire teachers. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mostel26, ToeJamFootball

      I go to the website. First, thing, save teachers. Really, is that how the economics and how Republicans will work. Break the union and we'll save teachers. No! They've fire long standing, older teachers first, to push dollars into the hands of executive, and I'm going to curse now, into the hands of jackass liars like Rhee! This is about reshuffling resources to executives, privatization, dilution of resources. These charters schools with a handful of students are one of the stupidest things ever.

  •  See, I have to wonder why she is taken seriously (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    anastasia p, ToeJamFootball

    at all.  As far as I'm concerned, her whole schtick has long since been thoroughly discredited from one end to the other.

    How is it that she gets an audience of any kind, let alone some sort of influence?  Who is propping her up?

    •  If I (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z, ToeJamFootball, JC from IA

      put tape on my students' mouths that made their lips bleed when removed, I would be fired and I should be.  She laughs about having done it and is telling teachers how to teach.  

      Her test score increases are very suspect with many erasures that seem limited to wrong answers being changed to right answers.  That is a red flag for cheating by people after the tests are completed before they are sent in.

  •  What! Another liar pulling down a huge (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    iTeachQ, ToeJamFootball

    salary!

    I am SHOCKED!  S H O C K E D!

    Thump! Bang. Whack-boing. It's dub!

    by dadadata on Fri Jun 24, 2011 at 02:50:38 AM PDT

  •  I was horrified when I read that Rhee was in (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ToeJamFootball, Mostel26

    Michigan "helping" our legislators revise the teachers' tenure law.  The four tied-barred bills are HB 4625, 4626, 4627, and 4628.  In a nutshell:

    4625: increases probationary period to 5 yrs., reduces notification of dismissal from 60 to 15 days, allows board to be sole determiner of teacher evals and observations

    4626: allows a tenured teacher to be dismissed for a reason not "arbitrary and capricious", limits time suspended teacher receives salary, revises the definition of "demote" including reduction of pay

    4627: allows principal sole discretion when hiring teachers back due to reduction in force, teacher is on unpaid leave if they cannot find an assignment for the teacher, length of service cannot be used as determining factor in keeping teachers

    4628: limits collective bargaining subjects, especially policies governing teacher placement, performance eval. system, discharging/discipline teachers, classroom evals., and performance based method of compensation

    On the surface, these don't look so bad. But they are gradually eroding collective bargaining rights and going toward merit-based salary. An unbiased summary of these bills states "the fiscal impact of the state is indeterminate and . . . would see increased costs . . .

    In addition, there is other pending legislation regarding education in the Michigan legislature limiting teachers' rights and increasing board of ed control. They seem to assume teachers are what is wrong with education today and need to be fixed. No accountability is spelled out for administrators.  

    Liberal (from Webster's Dictionary): tolerant of views differing from one's own; broad-minded

    by 50sbaby on Fri Jun 24, 2011 at 08:58:30 AM PDT

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