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Comment Preferences

  •  a friend and her daughter did this (113+ / 0-)

    and for a whole lot of images, take a look at this earlier diary - be sure to scroll through all the comments.

    I am putting this up as a separate post so I can tweet and promote this particular picture.

    Take a look at ALL of the text on the cover.

    Peace.

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 05:03:20 AM PDT

  •  Brilliant! (11+ / 0-)

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 05:55:58 AM PDT

    •  Ok, guys... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RJDixon74135

      ...what I'd like to hear from the Rhee-bashers is what should she have done?

      She had pretty good evidence that some teachers and principals were cheating. But she didn't have enough evidence to fire anyone. She couldn't even identify specific culprits.

      (Remember that in Atlanta, it took a government sting with a teacher wearing a wire to catch the crooks.)

      If she goes public with the memo, she's accusing a large group of people many of whom are probably innocent of fraud. It's a tough call. What should she have done?

      Michell Rhee was naive. She didn't understand how low the Entrenched Educational Establishment would stoop to protect their empire. She reminds me of Obama in his first term (and maybe his current) term.

      OF COURSE, there will be some who will say that Rhee should have stopped using the tests and just trusted the subjective evaluations of teaching professionals to measure if the kids were learning. But there's a problem with that.

      If we know that teachers and principals will erase test answers, how can we trust their subjective professional judgement? How can we trust them ever again?

      •  anyone who believes Rhee should read Kozol (4+ / 0-)

        a comment by Kathleen Bates:

        Anyone believing that America is the land of opportunity for our young people should read this book. Anyone convinced that America is not the land of opportunity for our young people, but wants statistics to back this belief, should read this book too. In chapter after chapter Kozol dispels the myth that all children in this country are provided with an equal opportunity for education. The stark contrast he provides between neighboring schools in some of our countries major cities is haunting and unbelievable. The conditions that some of our children face day after day, and year after year would break the spirits of even the strongest adults. For example: The children of Martin Luther King Junior High in East St. Louis have experienced repeated school closing due to sewage back-ups. Students in DuSable High School's auto mechanics class have waited 16 weeks before learning something so basic as changing a tire because of no instruction. "On an average morning in Chicago, 5,700 children in 190 classrooms come to school to find they have no teacher."(p. 52) At Goudy Elementary, in Chicago, there are two working bathrooms for 700 children and toilet paper and paper towels are rationed. In New York City's Morris High the black boards are so badly cracked that teachers are afraid to let students write on them, there are holes in the floors of classrooms, plaster falls from the walls, and when it rains waterfalls make their way down six flights of stairs. In Public School 261 in District 10 in New York 1300 elementary students attend school in a converted roller skating rink. The school's capacity is 900 and there are no windows, which Kozol describes as creating feelings of asphyxiation. In Camden, New Jersey, at Pyne Point Junior High, students in typing class learn on old typewriters not computers. The science lab has no workstations and the ceiling is plagued with falling tiles. At Camden High only half the students in 12th grade English have textbooks. Kozol's book is filled with statistics of this nature. Repeatedly there are inadequate supplies, untrained personnel, dilapidated facilities, and impoverished conditions.
        As alarming as these conditions are, so too are the attitudes of those who are on the other side. Kozol shared conversation wtih senior high students in suburban Rye, New York. When asked if they thought "it fair to pay more taxes so that this was possible" (i.e., opportunities for other children to have the same opportunities they had)(p.128) one student expressed the lack of personal benefit this would provide. An attitude like this wouldn't have surfaced even in the wealthiest schools in 1968, according to Kozol. Implying we have passed on the self-seeking attutitudes so prevalent among the upwardly mobile in this country. The Supreme Court cases that have addressed this notion of equal opportunity have consistently supported the system of separate but "unequal."

        What Kozol demonstrates so profoundly is what little progress has been made toward providing equal educational opportunities for all children since Brown vs. the Board of Ed. This book is a must read for anyone in local, state or national politics, administrators of all schools, teachers, and teachers in training, education professors, and any citizen wanting to understand one of the profound causes of what's wrong with schooling in America. I don't know what it will take or when we will share the idea that "All our children ought to be allowed a stake in the enormous richness of America." (p.233)

        http://www.amazon.com/...

        •  I don't believe Rhee. (0+ / 0-)

          Rhee was wrong.

          Rhee thought that she could trust principals and teachers to administer a test without erasing answers.

          She was naive and proved wrong. Now she is paying the price.

          The lesson: When administering a test, don't trust the teachers and principals. Have strong, third-party security.

          •  She told the principals and teachers that THEIR (4+ / 0-)

            future employment and compensation was riding on these test results. If you truly believe she was naive in not expecting them to cheat, as opposed to fully understanding the nature of the environment SHE created, then I would suggest that it is you who are naive.

            Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

            by kbman on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 01:13:56 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  sorry, but she was not naive (7+ / 0-)

            she created the environment, and then when it blew up she covered it up.

            Stop excusing her.  She was not competent for her job in the first place.  She was incompetent and vindictive in how she ran the district.  After more than 5 years of Rhee and her chosen number 2 who succeeded her Henderson, DC schools perform WORSE by every conceivable measure.

            "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

            by teacherken on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 01:23:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Stop excusing... (0+ / 0-)

              ...the principals and teachers who actually did the cheating.  That's what the real issue is here.

              When I worked on Wall Street, our jobs depended on producing good results. In fact, for most Americans, this is the case.

              If these teachers had been Banksters writing fraudulent mortgages, we'd be (rightfully) calling for jail time.  Yet because we share political sympathies with Teaches, we instead choose to blame "the environment".

              Parents and taxpayers see this double standard and it makes us look really bad.

              Rhee didn't erase anything. Teachers and principals did.

              There (and only there) is where the blame lies.

              •  People NEVER respond to pressure or threats! (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                misterwade

                Is that really your argument? Seriously?

                Crime boss: If somebody doesn't get that pest out of my hair, I'm going to start start ruining lives.

                Underling: (kills pest)

                MM: The person responsible is the UNDERLING! The crime boss obviously had no influence on the situation at all, and it just makes all underlings everywhere look bad to pretend the crime boss had any responsibility at all!

                Are you sure you want to go with that argument?
                •  If you cannot see... (0+ / 0-)

                  ...how your analogy is wrong, you've got a problem.

                  1) The crime boss is threatening violence and murder.

                  2) Michelle Rhee threatened a loss of bonus cash or the (possible) loss of a well-paid white-collar job.

                  The sense of entitlement among the Entrenched Educational Establishment has grown so great that they feel that they should keep their jobs even if they don't make the scores.

                  Defending this attitude of entitlement makes us look really bad.

                  •  I think maybe your time on Wall Street has (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    misterwade

                    skewed your perspective on well-paying.

                    Particularly in this economy, in a profession that is under systematic attack by those who think - well, basically like you do.

                    But that's not the point, actually. No analogy is perfect, and by concentrating on the details you admit the general truth, which Harry Truman knew quite well:

                    The buck stops here.

                    Remember that one? Kind of quaint, I'm sure, in a Wall Street era, but one whose ring is still true.

                    •  If you think... (0+ / 0-)

                      ...that teaching is not well-paying, you've never worked retail. Or food-service. Or as a CNA.

                      That doesn't mean teachers aren't underpaid. They are. But they do much better (and with less accountability and more job security) than most Americans.

                      If your kids are not learning anything, the moral thing to do is to stop teaching. Just stop.

                      The immoral thing to do is to cheat.

                      •  So, when the directives of their superiors (0+ / 0-)

                        require cheating in order to be fulfilled, you believe every teacher should go get a job in fast food.

                        Got it.

                        We're not even going to get into your evident belief that teachers control every facet of students lives that pertain to learning, and are therefore solely responsible for the accomplishments (or lack thereof) of their students. It's just too idiotic for rational discussion.

                  •  not all that well paid job (0+ / 0-)

                    and one where most teachers work far more than the alleged 9 months

                    Power to the Peaceful!

                    by misterwade on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 08:27:49 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  I give up - you read selectively (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                misterwade, Mostel26

                and seem to only look at things through narrow silos

                Wall Street gave out bonuses on manipulated statistics while in some cases (Goldman) cheating their clients

                so don't justify Wall Street to me.  I know too many people in too many positions there over the years to accept that kind of blather

                By your reasoning, Hitler didn't gas any Jews.

                And yes, I am deliberately invoking that image because I need to show the reducto ad absurdum of your reasoning.

                Rhee BENEFITED from what happened, did nothing to fix it, covered it up, and still denies any responsibility.

                If you accept that, if you are willing to excuse her, then you and I have NOTHING to say to one another about anything.

                Goodbye.

                "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

                by teacherken on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 02:32:25 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'm not excusing Rhee... (0+ / 0-)

                  ...I'm just asking what should she have done?

                  Do you think she should have attempted to root out and fire the teachers? She had no evidence pointing to any specific people.

                  We know (from Atlanta) that such evidence is very hard to get!

                  The best outcome would have been to blacken the names of hundreds of innocent teachers who happened to teach at schools with suspicious scores.

                  The worst outcome? She fires the wrong people based on bad evidence, suspicion, or stereotypes.

                  •  Hard to improve upon the response below by (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Mostel26

                    steep rain:

                    What should she have done? How about a real, independent investigation? How about strict exam security measures? Do you really think she didn't know that the scores were being fudged all over? And that if they were being fudged,it would be a major scandal, and ultimate responsibility would fall on her, and tarnish her golden image, the one she would need to cash in on after her tenure in D.c.? The cheating was not a plot by the "Entrenched Educational Establishment", it was terrorized teachers with no power in fear of their jobs and under an impossible mandate.The only plot out there was the one to make Michelle Rhee's reign of terror look like an educational success, supported by conservatives, corporatists, testing companies, and limousine liberals.
                    I will add that apparently you believe that what she actually did do, sweep it all under a rug and go on to undeserved fame and fortune, was just fine and dandy. Really says a lot about both Rhee and you, doesn't it?
                    •  I've been in this position... (0+ / 0-)

                      ...myself as a manager.

                      Unless you have specific dirt on specific people, you can't fire anyone.


                      "How about a real, independent investigation?"
                      They brought in the Feds and the DC City Government.  

                      The problem is that this kind of cheating is very hard to catch! It took the friggin' FBI to catch the teachers in Atlanta. They had to go undercover and get people to wear wires!

                      Test security? I had heard (no link, hearsay) that they increased their security for the 2010 test by adding a sticker-seal that had to be intact. But even so, serious measures cost money. If that money had been spent would not the anti-reformers be howling about how DC is "not trusting teachers" or "spending more money on testing"?

                      Wouldn't they?

                      •  Here's a nice story on the investigation by the (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Mostel26

                        Feds:

                        Sad failure of two inspectors general in D.C. schools

                        A few paragraphs:

                        They never studied the answer sheets. When test scores plummeted at Noyes Education Campus and other high-flying D.C. schools, it never occurred to the IGs to ask whether erasures also declined. Noyes educators blamed the declining scores on an influx of new students from low-performing schools. A computer check of enrollment rolls would have told the IGs whether that was true.

                        In his response to McDuffie, Willoughby also dismissed evidence from Adell Cothorne, a principal at Noyes Education Campus who reported suspicious behavior at her school. Cothorne said she found three staffers loyal to a former principal holed up in a room, after-hours, with answer sheets and erasers in their hands. She said she believed they were erasing wrong answers and penciling in the right ones on a D.C. preliminary exam.

                        Cothorne says Willoughby’s people never tried to interview her. Willoughby told McDuffie that Cothorne’s attorney said the principal didn’t want to talk. You decide who is telling the truth. The fact that Willoughby stopped his investigation after looking at just one school, Noyes, suggests little interest on his part in getting at the truth.

                        Is that really your idea of a genuine, thorough investigation?

                        No wonder Wall Street is steaming ahead full speed.

                        •  No, on Wall Street... (0+ / 0-)

                          ...we can fire someone for any reason (or no reason).

                          But in public service, you need proof. Hearsay, or statistical evidence doesn't cut it.

                          If Rhee had tried to fire teachers based on erasure marks she would have been hauled into court for Wrongful Termination.

                          And I am certain, guys like you would be defending the "innocent, wrongly accused teachers" against the Tyrant Rhee and her circumstantial evidence.

                          (And, in some cases, innocent teachers actually would have been tarred by the firings, or actually fired. Can you prove that you didn't erase answers?)

                          But America is learning. Atlanta has taught us that bad teachers need to be attacked withe the same tools used against drug dealers and terrorists. That lesson came to late to save Ms. Rhee, though.

                          •  Still ignoring the main points. Why is that your (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Mostel26

                            main tactic?

                            Or have you simply decided that since your claim that there was a genuine, thorough investigation simply because they brought in the Feds etc. was full of crap, you need to focus on something else?

                            Oh, wait - that's the same thing, isn't it?

                          •  They brought in the Feds! (0+ / 0-)

                            The Feds signed off and said there was nothing more to see. Once that happened, Rhee's hands were tied. Any further investigation becomes harassment. Can you imagine the fallout when a teacher (who may well be guilty) says:

                            "Two government agencies couldn't find anything yet Chancellor Rhee won't leave me alone...clearly Rhee hates teachers and is out to get me...!"
                            Basically you guys are being purity trolls and Monday Morning quarterbacks. You say that Rhee should have done more, but you know that if she had, she would have been busted for harassment.
                          •  "Her hands were tied." (2+ / 0-)

                            She had no choice except to ignore the warnings contained in the memo which stated that

                            1.    OSSE says to respond to the Erasure letter but does not give specifics – e.g., do we have to tell them how many or who we are planning on targeting for action? Or, do we only have to say that we’ve studied the list and are taking action? Or, do they plan on monitoring us or telling us in detail what to do?
                            2.    We have NO idea what kind of penalties that OSSE might impose regarding recomputation of school or distract AYPs or other possible sanctions. If all 70 schools wind up being compromised AND OSSE want AYP blood, the result could be devastating with regard to our reported gains in 2008.
                            3.    What happens to the TEAM money paid to teachers if infractions are confirmed?
                            4.    What legal options would we have with teachers found guilty of infractions?
                            5.    How does the “teacher contract” language impact possible actions against teachers guilty of testing infractions?
                            6.    The timing of this thing couldn’t be worse – right before 2009 testing.
                            7.    What is the effect to AYP if we back out the excess WTR erasures from our existing AYP computations? And, can we even determine which erasures are likely to be excess?
                            8.    How do the test security regulations in effect (both de jure and de facto) affect all this?
                            9.    Given the statistical test results given to each implicated teacher by AIR, what is a reasonable Cut Point for sorting offenders from non-offenders?
                            10.    Could the erasures in some cases have been done by someone other than the students and teachers?
                            11.    Do we have access to source documentation? Right now, as the analyst, I’m handicapped by only having second hand information and not raw data that I can confirm and inspect. This concern is included in one of my questions to OSSE.
                            No choice for poor Michelle, at all, at all, except to pursue a career based on what she knew to be lies.

                            No point in further investigation. Her hands were tied. How sad for her.

                            And how convenient that you want teachers involved to be punished, while absolving Rhee herself, because "her hands were tied."

                            How convenient that she should not have to pay the price you want her inferiors to pay, for actions which she herself set in motion.

                            And, most interesting of all, that you focus solely on her prospects for firing teachers, rather than investigating issues which might show how her tactics didn't, in fact, improve schools, quite the reverse - a giant falsehood that she has subsequently used to great effect in her subsequent career of undermining public education.

                            Purity trolls, indeed. Look in a mirror for a prime example of hypocrisy.

                          •  Pulling Weeds (0+ / 0-)

                            Ms Rhee was no shrinking violet when it came to employee terminations. During her tenure she fired 36 principals, 141 office workers, and 241 teachers. The vast majority of whom needed to go, but not all.  One principal actually met her targets. Reason? Who knows, but that isn't the point.

                            Her reluctance to take appropriate action had nothing to do with  legal challenges.
                            www.washingtonpost.com › Education › District Education
                            www.washingtonpost.com › Education

                  •  sure sounded like you were excusing her to me (0+ / 0-)

                    Power to the Peaceful!

                    by misterwade on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 08:30:12 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  let me add one more parallel (2+ / 0-)

                The US executed a Japanese General named Yamashita because his troops committed atrocities in the Philippines.  No one alleged that he ordered it, or even that he knew about it ahead of time, but under the doctrine of command responsibility he paid with his life.

                that DC continues to have problems with test security and cheating should be an indication that Rhee and Henderson bear culpability -  we are now talking about tests in 2012 when tests from 2008 were the original issue.  And now it is ONLY 11 schools?

                Rhee created an environment of fear and intimidation.

                She promoted people who cheated, she gave them bonuses.

                She did nothing after the extent of the cheating was brought to her attention to either rescind the promotions or claw back the bonuses.  She did not even attempt to seriously investigated.

                For you to attempt to excuse her is in itself inexcusable.

                "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

                by teacherken on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 02:37:51 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Pulling Weeds (0+ / 0-)

                I don't know if the "London Whale" was directed by, or had the express approval of his supervisor, BUT it strains credulity that in an industry as data-driven as Finance, supervisors can ever claim plausible deniability for a long running criminal activity.  The phrases "risk analysis and corporate governance policy and procedures" come to mind.

                Regarding Rhee, one her principals has gone on camera stating that she informed The District of the eraser party she witnessed but was never contacted, much less interviewed, regarding the criminal activity she witnessed. Some of these people  were teachers and were dealt with by that principal, not simply excused.  However, as in any profession, there remains incompetent parctitioners. Sine qua non.

                MUCH more is now coming to light.  The best one can say about Rhee, keeping in mind she had NO experience as a school administrator (former grade/middle school teacher and pres of a stafing agency), is that her strategy was not only misguided and short sighted but overall her daily tactics were incompetent.

                Submitted for general education (pun intended).
                http://video.msnbc.msn.com/...

          •  she wasn't naive (2+ / 0-)

            she was pushing an agenda, damn the results that may have been contradictory to her desired outcome.  Plus she was threatening teachers and principals with "early retirement" if their scores didn't go up.
            Pathetic attempt to whitewash her putrid record.

          •  Pulling Weeds (0+ / 0-)

            I agree that she will be proven wrong in a very public, humiliating way.  Her error was due to a stupendously simplistic understanding of the issues.  A real irony when you consider the high regard she held for herself as proponent of realistic solutions. That is, when teachers are made solely responsible for a problem that has, an actuality, multiple causes the survival instinct of those at risk will kick in. Those who can, will resign and find a better district.

        •  if you prefer audio-video (0+ / 0-)

          Jonathon Kozol is on youtube.

      •  you are more than a little off (6+ / 0-)

        1.  Rhee demanded specific performances on tests

        2.  when she got back scores that should have raised re flags she gave out bonuses

        3.  when given the memo warning of possible widespread cheating rather than investigate that cycle further she basically covered it up

        4.  when she hired Caveon to "investigate" she tied their hands, strictly limiting what questions could be asked and not allowing them to use the tools they had which could have conclusively demonstrated cheating

        from when she got the scores back the first year anyone with any understanding about testing would have ordered an immediate investigation without restrictions.  So either she has no understanding of testing, or she deliberately chose not to question or even conceivably both.  Your choice - she was incompetent, she was dishonest, or both.  Neither is not an option.

        Also be absolutely clear -  the memo talks about less than 200 teachers - 191 in 70 schools.  That is less than 3 teachers for each of the schools.  At the time DC had over 4000 teachers, so you are still talking a small percentage.  

        Based on what later happened at another school when the principal was promoted and his replacement - who came from outside the district - came upon a small group of teachers cheating and reported it and what happened to that principal, it is rather clear that either Rhee knew or didn't want to know, all she cared is that higher scores were reported back to her and she did not care how they were obtained.

        Does that excuse those who cheated?  Of course not, but when you have that much pressure that focuses solely on scores to the isolation of almost anything else, that is going to happen.  We have seen it in Wall Street, with Police making or not making arrests, in so many different areas. It is precisely about what Donald Campbell warned almost 4 decades ago.

        There is NO EXCUSE for Rhee not following up, and the most probably explanation is that  she knew it would discredit her claims for success - whether or not she was responsible for the cheating - and she was unwilling to have that happen.

        "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

        by teacherken on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 01:19:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Hey, we could bring in more of these fine NY (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mostel26

        charter schools!

        Here's a few paragraphs of the story, just to whet your appetite:

        The city approved a politically connected charter school — whose founder went to prison and principal was once accused of fixing grades — to issue up to $23 million in tax-exempt bonds to relocate to a former Bronx strip club...

        Assemblywoman Carmen Arroyo, whose grandson founded the nonprofit school in 2005, and her daughter, Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo, urged BuildNYC, an arm of the city Economic Development Corp., to authorize the sale of bonds.

        The school’s founder and former board chairman, Richard Izquierdo-Arroyo, left in 2009 after he was caught embezzling nearly $200,000 from an Arroyo-connected housing nonprofit. He served a year in prison.

        Izquierdo-Arroyo spent the stolen funds on his grandmother’s Assembly campaign office and staff, according to court papers. He also treated her and his councilwoman aunt to dinners, shopping and trips to Puerto Rico.

        •  Please bring them! (0+ / 0-)

          From the article you selectively quoted:

          ...the charter school...“continually outperformed” other public schools in District 7. Over 62 percent of the charter’s students passed the city’s standardized reading test in 2012, compared to on 39 percent of students at neighboring PS 49. In math, 68 percent of the charter’s kids met standards, above the 62 percent at PS 49.
          But of course, if you don't want to send your kids to this charter school, you can choose not to. With charter schools, you have a choice, you see.

          There are some who don't think you should have a choice. They think that They Know Best and they want to force you to do what they want.  But I believe you should get to choose where your kids go to school.

          The Bush Family got to choose where to send their daughters. Now many families in the South Bronx will get to choose also.

          Why does this scare you? Why?

          •  Here's another quote you left out: (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mostel26
            The school is helmed by Principal Evelyn Hey, who was accused by then-Special School Investigator Ed Stancik in 1999 of inflating grades at PS 234 by giving students help on test day. Scores rose 22 points in one year when she was principal. The charges were dropped in 2002.
            And before you claim that since the charges were dropped, there clearly is no merit to the accusation, remember that Rhee's "investigation" found no  problems in the DC schools, either.

            Kind of tricky to base your support on the "Improved test scores" of a school that is being run by someone who may well have been inflating test scores, don't you think?

            Further quotes to help fill in the blanks you left in your quote:

            Izquierdo-Arroyo spent the stolen funds on his grandmother’s Assembly campaign office and staff, according to court papers. He also treated her and his councilwoman aunt to dinners, shopping and trips to Puerto Rico.

            Robert McLaughlin, an attorney for the school, said Izquierdo-Arroyo has no current ties to the school.

            His lawmaker relatives touted the achievement record of the charter school, saying it “continually outperformed” other public schools in District 7. Over 62 percent of the charter’s students passed the city’s standardized reading test in 2012, compared to on 39 percent of students at neighboring PS 49. In math, 68 percent of the charter’s kids met standards, above the 62 percent at PS 49.

            Why don't you simply raise a sign that says, "I am in favor of killing off public education and selling it to the highest bidder!" It would at least be honest of you.
            •  Stop accusing me... (0+ / 0-)

              ...of promoting privatization.

              NYC charter schools are public, open to all students, and are required to accept students by lottery.

              I choose to send my child to an NYC public school. But I am glad that the choice exists.

              •  Here's a nice article on how NYC "non-profit" (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Mostel26

                charter schools are extremely profitable - to someone other than the public.

                A couple choice paragraphs:

                Gonzalez reported that a number of Albany’s charter schools have fallen into debt to the Brighter Choice Foundation. He wondered why the schools’ financial problems hadn’t raised eyebrows with state regulators or caused concern for the charters’ school boards. He noted that the powerful charter school lobby had “so far successfully battled to prevent independent government audits of how its schools spend their state aid.” He added that “key officers of Albany’s charter school boards are themselves board members, employees or former employees of the Brighter Choice Foundation or its affiliates.”

                Gonzalez said that the city of Albany is “exhibit A in the web of potential conflicts that keep popping up in the charter school movement.” It appears Gonzalez is correct about Albany being just one example of what’s going on in the movement. Brighter Horizons isn’t the only “foundation” or company making profits off of charter schools.

                You'd think an ex-Wall Street guy would be well aware of these kinds of opportunities...
                •  Nice misdirection attempt, though. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Mostel26

                  I notice you (again) failed to address the substance of my comment.

                  •  This Diary is about... (0+ / 0-)

                    ...public school teachers and principals cheating in Washington, DC.

                    You have posted an link about charter school funding in New York City.

                    Who is misdirecting?

                    •  I wasn't misdirecting, I was pointing out your (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Mostel26

                      long-standing advocacy of privatization efforts, to which you replied that

                      NYC charter schools are public, open to all students, and are required to accept students by lottery.
                      which is clearly an attempt to misdirect attention from the fact that you support channeling public dollars to private hands.

                      Then I gave evidence that your "public charters" are ripe for profiteering at the expense of public funding for public schools -- and you apparently don't want to recognize that.

                      For a guy that worked on Wall Street, you sure can't seem to put together a monetary trail. Is that why you don't work there anymore? Or did you just move on to greener pastures, like privatizing public education?

                  •  Pulling Weeds (0+ / 0-)

                    Yo, Daddy. If I am reading the posts correctly, it would appear that you are the one who raised the issue of charter schools in this thread. thoughts?

                    •  MM has a habit (going back years on DK) of (0+ / 0-)

                      promoting charter schools and denigrating public schools and teachers unions. He never engages honestly, preferring to constantly find some minor point to focus on while ignoring any primary arguments made against his hobby horse.

                      In replying to MMs comment

                      If we know that teachers and principals will erase test answers, how can we trust their subjective professional judgement? How can we trust them ever again?
                      by suggesting we dump public schools in favor of charter schools, I was in effect ironically pointing out how MMs comment was yet another in a long, long, long list of his public school bashing comments that would inevitably lead to him advocating for charters.

                      I usually ignore MM, except when he dives into education diaries to promote privatization. Since he is so dangerously wrong in his views on how to "fix" education, I don't like to leave his advocacy unchallenged. I've also pretty much given up being polite to him, because his tactics never, ever change, no matter how much evidence is provided refuting his views or claims. He is not seeking better understanding or offering genuine improvements, he is promoting an ideology -- one that is detrimental to society as a whole.

              •  if you are promoting "charter" you are promoting (0+ / 0-)

                privatization. By definition.

                Power to the Peaceful!

                by misterwade on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 08:39:56 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  Naive? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mostel26

        Inexperienced, yes, but then what was she doing running the D.C. schools? She is not naive, though, a product of the "reform" establishment with no prior supervisory experience. You are working off some kind of vision of Rhee as a noble crusader whose high ideals were brought down by entrenched corruption. That's kind of laughable. When you walk in the door boasting about all of the "crappy teachers" you're going to fire, nobility is the last word that applies to you.  

        What should she have done? How about a real, independent investigation? How about strict exam security measures? Do you really think she didn't know that the scores were being fudged all over? And that if they were being fudged,it would be a major scandal, and ultimate responsibility would fall on her, and tarnish her golden image, the one she would need to cash in on after her tenure in D.c.? The cheating was not a plot by the "Entrenched Educational Establishment", it was terrorized teachers with no power in fear of their jobs and under an impossible mandate.The only plot out there was the one to make Michelle Rhee's reign of terror look like an educational success, supported by conservatives, corporatists, testing companies, and limousine liberals.

        Bold at inappropriate times.

        by steep rain on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 02:57:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Scores *weren't* being fudged... (0+ / 0-)

          ...all over.

          It was only a very small percentage of teachers in only some schools. And there was no evidence as to which ones they were.

          "...terrorized teachers with no power in fear of their jobs and under an impossible mandate."
          If the job is "impossible" for you, then maybe you should find another job. But what you should not do is cheat.
          •  Here's a link to the actual memo: (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mostel26

            memo

            A couple tidbits:

            There are schools in DCPS with high percentages of the total students tested affected by teachers implicated by the study…

            This means that approximately 88% of tested students were students of implicated teachers.

            An obvious question is, “If almost all of the teachers involved in 2008 CAS testing at Aiton had high levels of WTR (Wrong to Right) erasures, could a separate person have been responsible?”
            "A very small percentage of teachers in only some schools" does not mean a very small effect, nor does it mean a lack of responsibility from the top down.

            You want people to lose their careers over this? Great. Let's start with Michelle Rhee.

          •  that's Rhee talk (2+ / 0-)
            If the job is "impossible" for you, then maybe you should find another job.
            But I didn't say the job was impossible for them, I said the mandates were.  Do you want to see an example of an impossible mandate: 100% of students will be proficient in reading and math by 2014. That's NCLB. How'd we do on that, and who is going to lose their job because it didn't happen? Arne Duncan lose his job? Joel Klein lose his job? Michelle Rhee lose her job? Of course not, only "crappy teachers" lose their jobs. In response to that impossible mandate, state systems all over cheated because they were in control of the exams - cut points were changed, the same questions were used over and over, questions were made easier, and so on. Maybe it wasn't a legal crime, but it was cheating, and a crime against their students. Teachers shouldn't cheat on exams, and while I have sympathy for those put in an impossible ethical and economic position, those that do should lose their jobs. But before you get all holier than thou on us, let's see some of those cheating officials experience some accountability of their own.

            Bold at inappropriate times.

            by steep rain on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 05:15:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  on 100% proficiency (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              misterwade, Mostel26

              everyone involved in putting together NCLB knew that was impossible unless the standards were set ridiculously low.  But politically they did not think you could say 90% proficient.  So they went ahead with 100% presuming it would be fixed when the bill was reauthorized.

              But it was never reauthorized.  And what you got as a result of Continuing Resolutions funding the Federal government was the worst of both worlds -  the clock on AYP on the glide path towards 100% proficiency in all subgroups in all grades continued to advance, but meanwhile the funding was held steady (that what a CR does) even though the buying power had decreased due to inflation and the size of the student population had increased, so you now had money with less buying power to serve more students.

              "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

              by teacherken on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 05:58:08 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Just like the corporate world (0+ / 0-)

               The CEO takes all the credit when the numbers are good, and when those numbers are found to be fudged says "It wasn't me," despite instilling a culture where cheating is condoned as long as it makes the CEO look good.

                Given that the Duncans and Rhees are privatization freaks who like denigrating unionized teachers any chance they get, it's no surprise that they would adhere to this corporate ethos.

          •  Pulling Weeds (0+ / 0-)

            "...impossible mandates.."

            Hmmm. Lets say you have two school districts, in 2013, one has a reading at grade level score of 85% and the other at 40% (read Detroit).

            Further, lets say the Federal Govt requires a 100% proficiency rate by 2014.

            I would say that an air of impossibility has wafted over our schools.  

            AS part of a normal school system, less than competent practitioners should not be re-hired.  However, that measure alone will not guarantee success.  The students must be able to learn (an illiterate 6th grade student will fail 6th grade no matter what).
            The parents must "parent" (some are drunk, high, otherwise absent). The school district must provide books and prevent sewage back ups (within the limits of their tax base-Detroit vs Scarsdale- not rent superfluous buildings and pad payrolls).

            But that isn't the point.  The elephant in the room is what shall we do AFTER the standards aren't met (as many surely will not). The question goes beyond disbanding school administrations/boards and raises the terrifying question of what REALLY is remedial education and what are its limits?

      •  Pulling Weeds (0+ / 0-)

        Well, for starters, a formal investigation should have been started...immediately.  Instead, an effort to improve test security was deemed appropriate.  If memory serves, the Principal from the Noyes school who discovered the "erasor party" advised the DC Central admin as well as changing locks, accessibility to tests, and moving some of those seen with erasers out of the testing process.  According to an interview of that principal, she was never interviewed as part of any "audit" much less deposed as part of an honest-to-god investigation. When Rhee was asked (on camera) to explain why the security company (which she hired) was not told to "investigate" the erasures, she replied, words to the effect, "I thought they were supposed to".  Why, then, when their report left out any mention of WHO the bad actors were (not to mention the scope of the problem over the entire District), didn't she THEN authorize an investigation?  After all, if the people responsible aren't removed from the testing process, wouldn't it just continue?

        This is an interesting datapoint.
        http://video.msnbc.msn.com/...

        IMHO, Ms Rhee had a tactic (use test results to measure teacher effectiveness), but no strategy (improve instruction, and THEREFORE results).

  •  Michelle Rhee, like Clarence Thomas, is (9+ / 0-)

    emblematic of the negative consequences of the tokenism that infects the culture of obedience. We end up with icons that undermine excellence itself. We end up with incompetents being promoted out of a sense of guilt to validate the nation's baser instincts.
    Thomas and Rhee are both victims, sacrificial lambs offered up by a mean-spirited culture of obedience. What fuels the meanness? Jealousy. The icons are created so they can be knocked down.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 05:58:44 AM PDT

    •  Fascinating comment, thanks. (9+ / 0-)

      I am old enough that I was fully adult back when Thomas was confirmed, under Bush I. And I can remember marveling at the time, given the talented  African Americans eminently qualified for the role, why Thomas was selected. Hell, if Bush I had wanted a talented, qualified, fairly conservative AA judge, he likely could have that. And he chose Clarence Thomas. Thomas is a nudnink. He can't reason. His career on the SCOTUS has been decidedly undistinguished. Apparently, his fellow justices will do anything not to have Thomas writing their opinions, because the man can't put sentences together.

      It does make me wonder about tokenism, and a cynical preservation of notions of white entitlement, at work.

      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 Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 07:10:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Interesting insight on Thomas (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        karmsy

        Do you have any references or links?  I'd love to read more about how even the conservatives have no respect for him.

        •  No, my opinions were formed watching his (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          karmsy, Denver11

          confirmation hearings where his reputation as a bully was confirmed by his attitude towards the committee and his grand-standing pronouncements. He came across as lacking in humility and a judicial temperament and I'm not aware of any evidence since that would counter that impression.
          Presumably, his memorization skills are quite good and he was able to memorize a lot of law. That's probably useful to his colleagues. What seems to be missing is the ability to process information.
          Promoting people up and out is a common pattern. From a corporate perspective, it's probably the cheapest alternative.
          At the time, I thought to my self that all groups are entitled to dumb representatives from time to time. Now I realize that was mean-spirited.

          We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

          by hannah on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 08:51:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I am going to be perfectly straight with you. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Denver11

          I SHOULD have said as much in the comment above: I am going on hearsay, strictly. It's lore that Clarence Thomas is only barely competent, at least in the culture of this place, and perhaps in progressive culture, generally.

          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 Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 09:19:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Me, too. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        karmsy
        Do you have any references or links?  I'd love to read more about how even the conservatives have no respect for him.

        We must drive the special interests out of politics.… There can be no effective control of corporations while their political activity remains. To put an end to it will neither be a short not an easy task, but it can be done. -- Teddy Roosevelt

        by NoMoJoe on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 08:12:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Old enough too (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        karmsy

        I am. The whole first paragraph of your comment works, but I am quite puzzled by the second, maybe because I don't quite understand tokenism. Does it necessarily mean the "token" is underqualified? Would well-qualified minorities also be tokens? I guess you are implying that the power structure knowingly raises unqualified minorities to powerful positions in order to, cynically, preserve notions of white (and male) entitlement?

        Since Nixon, at least (and I am not old enough to go back much farther, but know Ike appointed Earl Warren), Republican presidents seem to appoint with ideological purity as the first test and mediocracy as the second. Not always, on the second, but maybe 40% of the time? I'm not sure Thomas is more of a nudnik than Miers or (was it) Haynsworth? I keep thinking the next Republican president will elevate Jeff Sessions.

        •  I think of tokenism as being in line with (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          karmsy

          the thought, "well, give 'em one, so they'll shut up. It doesn't matter which one because appearances are all that count."

          And I do think instinct-driven people go largely by appearances, if only because what people actually do is hard to see. They are directed by superficial optics. Though it is common knowledge that "appearances are deceiving," I suspect that the instinct-driven have little else to go on. Some other sensory inputs may be deficient.

          Poor Jeff Sessions. It's my understanding that he was in line to be nominated but that Bush I, concerned about his electoral chances, settled on Thomas and promised Sessions the next one, which never came. So, Sessions is a bitter man.

          We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

          by hannah on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 08:59:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sessions was nominated by Reagan for a federal (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            hannah

            judgeship and was rejected by the Senate on the basis of racists statements he had made.

            (This is from Wiki, but in its defense it is well footnoted.)

            At Sessions' confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, four Department of Justice lawyers who had worked with Sessions testified that he had made several racist statements. One of those lawyers, J. Gerald Hebert, testified that Sessions had referred to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) as "un-American" and "Communist-inspired" because they "forced civil rights down the throats of people."[7]

            Thomas Figures, a black Assistant U.S. Attorney, testified that Sessions said he thought the Klan was "OK until I found out they smoked pot."[8] Figures also testified that on one occasion, when the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division sent the office instructions to investigate a case that Sessions had tried to close, Figures and Sessions "had a very spirited discussion regarding how the Hodge case should then be handled; in the course of that argument, Mr. Sessions threw the file on a table, and remarked, 'I wish I could decline on all of them,'" by which Figures said Sessions meant civil rights cases generally. After becoming Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee, Sessions was asked in an interview about his civil rights record as a U.S Attorney. He denied that he had not sufficiently pursued civil rights cases, saying that "when I was [a U.S. Attorney], I signed 10 pleadings attacking segregation or the remnants of segregation, where we as part of the Department of Justice, we sought desegregation remedies."[9]

            Figures also said that Sessions had called him "boy." He also testified that "Mr. Sessions admonished me to 'be careful what you say to white folks.'"

            Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

            by kbman on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 01:26:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I was thinking of the mentality (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chimene

          of privileged older white men, who "benevolently" give opportunities to members of traditionally disfranchised groups in society, e.g., women and minorities.

          "Heh, nudge-nudge, wink-wink, we still know they're basically inferior, right? I mean, WE have the track record of accomplishment in society, NOT their kind."

          They cynically pick candidates from marginalized groups who reinforce their own preconceptions of their inferiority.

          "See, this is what happens when you appoint a (fill in the racial or gender epithet) to what's really a white man's job."

          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 Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 09:30:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  It makes one sick to think (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chimene

        A piss ant like Clarence Thomas replaced a giant like Thurgood  Marshall.  

        Then again, to the RW and the GOP, any ** is a substitute for any other ** be it an AA, a woman, a Hispanic, and so on.  

      •  Sadly... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chimene

        ...he filled the seat of a giant, Thurgood Marshall.

      •  I really don't thing GHWB had.... (0+ / 0-)

        Any other prominent African American judges to choose from who were the kind of blatantly ideological conservatives the conservatives were demanding after the (for them) fiasco that was David Souter.  As Thomas was, by most accounts, not a particularly distinguished jurist before he was selected in any case, he really does seem to be a fairly blatant case of conservative tokenism.

        I don't know very much about Rhee at all, but I think we need to tread lightly with charges of tokenism against people we dislike where the evidence is less than 100% crystal clear, because, frankly, it can sound like we're using her ethnicity against her -- and that's a nice way of putting it. We don't want that.

        It's a vastly different situation because Asian Americans have, as a group, made a lot of big strides and there are numerous cabinet level appointees and so on. I don't know Washington DC politics, but it doesn't seem surprising to me than an Asian woman would get into that position. What I'm trying to say was that Thomas was only the second African American on the Supreme Court and black Republicans are, then and now, pretty rare phenomenons. Asian Americans as a group lean Democratic, but politically they fall pretty much all over the spectrum and there is no shortage of Asian people in pretty much any political strata you can find and, at least where I come from, they are certainly very involved and prominent in the education field. Let's just say I'm skeptical tokenism was in play here but maybe there's something I'm missing.

        Now residing in Van Nuys, but "LaBobsterofVanNuys" isn't funny and besides, Van Nuys is really part of Los Angeles

        by LABobsterofAnaheim on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 12:01:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  actually, he didn't care if Thomas got confirmed (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LABobsterofAnaheim

          his people, including Boyden Gray, half expected he wouldn't, and had a backup nomination ready in Lawrence Silberman.

          The intent was to try to undercut the Democratic coalition with the nominations -  either they accepted somebody very conservative - and in Thomas's case almost certainly not qualified - and then use that as a political weapon during reelection to try to peel away otherwise Democratic voters.

          "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

          by teacherken on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 01:25:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Pulling Weeds (0+ / 0-)

      Rhee is the victim?
      How so?

      Rhee's staffing company was supplying teachers to the DC district.

      Rhee was hired by the new major of DC to be the Chancellor.

      Rhee quit the Chancellor job, after her political sponsor was defeated and set up a national education org, StudentsFirst.

      Not really the "victim track".

  •  logged in to comment and rec.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    karmsy, teacherken, MRA NY

    ...and now updating my facebook pic...

    What are the skills and capacities needed for an organic democratic social order?

    by DeweyCounts on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 06:31:14 AM PDT

  •  Clever headline. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    karmsy

    Shouldn't you add a "parody" or "snark" to the tags?

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 06:47:13 AM PDT

  •  She clearly doesn't get it (13+ / 0-)

    The obsessive focus on "data driven" decisions is creepy.  

    My most recent experience with heavily data driven teaching was enlightening.  

    It's all well and good to keep constant track of the progress of students. It's important.  Part of that process is collecting appropriate data to be used in appropriate ways. Some of that is going to be standardized testing.  I have no real issue with an appropriate level of standardized testing.  

    When we would sit there in the meeting room and discuss the data points we had, it was clear that raising the test scores was the goal, not educating the kids.  Luckily, I was in a building with decent folks.  

    The problem with data in education is that it is seductive.  If you are single minded about it, then you really can become convinced that the data collection and data analysis is real work.  

    And you can be convinced that whatever increase you see in a test score is a true indication of the success of your program.  

    One of the tests we used was called DIBELS.  It was essentially a book full of word parts.  Many of the word parts were nonsense words that would not be encountered in reading, anywhere.  You would see things like "Nuc."  Kids were supposed to read that, you mark it as correct or whatever and move on.  

    There is simply no way that the data could be reliable, because we had para educators, teachers, principals, and other school personnel giving them to all of the students.  

    THe problem, of course, is that the data became the end goal.  The secondary problem is that when you get data on a chart like we were given, it looks like something important.  You are given some very important informationm, and you are so certain of the accuracy of the information that you make policy decisions on it.  

    All of the rest of the stuff went out the window.  

    The problem was that people were focused on this one thing- test data- as if it held the answers to all the great questions about public schools.  

    Streichholzschächtelchen

    by otto on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 06:48:37 AM PDT

    •  I share similar experiences (9+ / 0-)
      When we would sit there in the meeting room and discuss the data points we had, it was clear that raising the test scores was the goal, not educating the kids.  Luckily, I was in a building with decent folks.  
      The data is used to determine which students will receive extra resources.  While this sounds good on its face, when the resources are limited, the extra resources go to the kids who are more likely to boost a school's test scores rather than to those who are the most academically needy.  We spent many summer meetings looking at scores and identifying those students who were within 1 or 2 points of moving from basic to proficient or from proficient to advanced (as well as those who were 1 or 2 points of falling into the lower category).  Those kids would get the extra resources as we need to ensure that they moved into the higher category or that they didn't fall into the lower one the following year.  Those that were really low?  Well, they already get extra help and they probably wouldn't move up anyway.  Sadly this doesn't seem to be the way to leave no child behind.

      “It is the job of the artist to think outside the boundaries of permissible thought and dare say things that no one else will say."—Howard Zinn

      by musiclady on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 07:25:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  bizzactly (6+ / 0-)

        We had three categories of results- I don't remember the exact names, but they were like failing, succeeding, almost succeeding.

        You had kids who were just a few points short.  They got the attention, because they would raise the scores.  It didn't do anything for other kids.

        The other part that was so aggravating was the amount of money they wasted from grants that were the result of NCLB.  

        Seriously, they had a federal grant, and they bought pretty much ever single series of curriculum  they could get their hands on.

        We had cupboards full of all of these different books that had focus on one letter combination or another.  It was near impossible to figure out which ones to start with.  

        Streichholzschächtelchen

        by otto on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 07:30:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  the entire rationale behind learning disabilities (0+ / 0-)

          is that intervention services ( special ed ) works best with kids who have higher IQ than their grades. if you have a low IQ and low grades you don't qualify as LD, because you are essentially not capable of doing better. These kids are often denied services, unless you can come up with an emotional or other disorder to get them classified.

      •  ah, the bubble kids (8+ / 0-)

        the ones on the bubble that you either want to keep from slipping below the cut score or raise above it.  The kids oing well?  NO need to challenge them.  And the really needy kids?

        It is a mentality similar to doing whatever is necessary to boost the quarterly stock performance even at the expense of the long-term health of the corporation.

        "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

        by teacherken on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 08:12:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The thing is (5+ / 0-)

          We teachers didn't want to do it that way.  We wanted the really needy kids to get the help they needed to get them on grade level.  While they did get extra help, they needed more.  We knew who needed acceleration and who needed remediation but the data determined who actually gets the help and it's always the kids who will affect the schools' scores.  No one at the local school level wants to do this.  It's merely a survival tactic.  We need to go back to letting the local school have some autonomy in determining how best to serve its students.

          “It is the job of the artist to think outside the boundaries of permissible thought and dare say things that no one else will say."—Howard Zinn

          by musiclady on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 08:18:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Rhee's Background? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chimene
          It is a mentality similar to doing whatever is necessary to boost the quarterly stock performance even at the expense of the long-term health of the corporation.
          I wonder what is in Michelle Rhee's background that engendered her fixation on standardized testing? What did she do prior to emerging as this so-called "education reformer?'

          "No child's behind left ," as Randi Rhodes is fond of saying...

          You meet them halfway with love, peace and persuasion, and expect them to rise for the occasion ~ Van Morrison

          by paz3 on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 09:08:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  she went to private high school in Ohio (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            aliasalias

            then went to Cornell

            then spent 3 years in TFA teaching in an Edison SChool in Baltimore

            then with Wendy Kopp's blessing founded

            "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

            by teacherken on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 09:18:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  An addition (0+ / 0-)

              BA Cornell in Government 1992 and Havard
              M.P.P. (Masters in Public Policy)

              But it's still really lacking, to say the least.

              Plutocracy (noun) Greek ploutokratia, from ploutos wealth; 1) government by the wealthy; 2) 21st c. U.S.A.; 3) 22nd c. The World

              by bkamr on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 10:20:05 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  This is the same in most schools (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chimene

        I remember when NCLB was new there was a commitment made not to teach to tests or focus resources and attention on students based on whether or not they would improve our school's performance. That became a difficult commitment to keep when people were faced with negative job performance reviews based on the data from standardized tests. There were also economic sanctions placed on our schools to force them to conform.

        Infidels in all ages have battled for the rights of man, and have at all times been the advocates of truth and justice... Robert Ingersol

        by BMarshall on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 08:58:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  *Dark laughter* (0+ / 0-)

    Jesus this is awesome.

    "Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. By non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is a law eternal."

    by sujigu on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 07:05:34 AM PDT

  •  Pencil entendre much? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wintergreen8694, orphanpower

    Is that a #2 or are you happy to fill in me?

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 07:29:37 AM PDT

  •  Send This To Bill Maher (3+ / 0-)

    teacherken, consider sending this image to Bill Maher at his Real Time link. He might have some more pointed questions next time she appears on his show...

    Tipped and Recd!

    You meet them halfway with love, peace and persuasion, and expect them to rise for the occasion ~ Van Morrison

    by paz3 on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 08:41:38 AM PDT

    •  Yeah, Maher did not do (0+ / 0-)

      his homework with that interview. She has a lot of people fooled. She knew about the erasures and covered it up and gave out bonuses. Her whole career is based on lies but people are afraid to attack her. Arne Duncan didn't do his homework either.
      Isn't she tied in with one of the Bush brothers and some testing or teaching scam?

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. - Elbert Hubbard -9.62/-8.15

      by GustavMahler on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 12:21:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  your sequence is a bit off (0+ / 0-)

        she had already given out the bonuses by the time she was briefed by Fay and later received the memo.  She should have been suspicious BEFORE she gave out the bonuses.

        "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

        by teacherken on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 01:26:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Rhee and the "reformers" (0+ / 0-)

        Being of a certain age, I can't help but think of the whiz kids around Robert McNamara back in the Vietnam era. Many of them--though not McNamara in his most private moments, when he knew the war was hopeless--believed strongly that better data could defeat communism in Asia. Bring in IBM and other tech companies to track body counts. Use computers to analyze the kill data. Focus everything on quantifiable achievements (x villages cleared of Viet Cong, y communists killled, z bonbs dropped per metro of jungle, etc). Victory is assured.
         The problem was that when you focus on statistical reports, when you make careers dependent on them, you have to be sure that (1) the statistics are being compiled honestly and (2) the statistics measure anything significant and (3) other factors not so easily quantified are given serious and sustained attention. The Tet offensive showed that most of the body counts and other statistics were invented, the statistics of body counts only mattered if you believed communist morale in Vietnam was fragile, and there were infinite factors we were ignoring (see Fitzgerald, Fire in the Lake).
        Rhee is McNamara without the inner anguish.  She enjoys destroying villages to save them, and she doesn't really care if any light is at the end of the tunnel as long as the unions are lying there in a crumpled heap.

    "Something has gone very wrong with America, not just its economy, but its ability to function as a democratic nation. And it’s hard to see when or how that wrongness will get fixed." Paul Krugman and Robin Wells

    by Reston history guy on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 12:37:09 PM PDT

    •  but there is an important subtext on McNamara (0+ / 0-)

      he had been part of the original whiz kids, the young brilliant thinkers around Tex Thornton who had been the statistical brains behind a lot of stuff in the Army Air Corps -  after the war he offered the whole team to corporations, and Ford opted to bring them in.  McNamara was part of that team.  Thornton only stayed at Ford a couple of years, but McNamara was on his way.

      "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

      by teacherken on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 01:29:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I guess as a feminist I have my failings (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jake formerly of the LP

    but I love to see arrogant, mean, crooked, selfish, "successful" women fail.  

    They are bad PR for the good women who do succeed but don't get the attention.

    Rhee deserves to be put in the town stocks so the parents and children and fired teachers she has harmed can bury her in the rotten eggs she has laid.

    Unfortunately her legacy of how to do education really badly has been widely spread and will take a long time to displace.

    Next time a POTUS, or governor or mayor talks about closing down a school that does poorly on a canned test, just start calling them Mr./Ms Rhee.

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