As she explained last week on Fox & Friends, Michelle Rhee only mostly
supports what Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is trying to do to teachers in his state. Repeated attempts to wholly decertify a union she thinks "may be a little gratuitously anti-union."
But slashing pensions? Fantastic! Limiting collective bargaining to "basic things like the salary"? Why, that's the Michelle Rhee program!
I think that, you know, unions can collectively bargain over basic things like salary but they don't have a place in getting involved in policies and so I think that the move to try to limit what they bargain over is an incredibly important one.
If teachers are restricted to bargaining over salary and pension issues, how long do you think it will take the Michelle Rhees of this world to start screaming about how teachers are only in it for themselves, and all they care about are their salaries? What's that you say? That's already what she and her ilk are saying? Huh. Funny. It's almost like she's suggesting policies that will give her an excuse to do more of what she's already doing.
For generations, teachers—and their unions—have fought for increased education funding, smaller class sizes, and other resources. But so-called reformers like Rhee want to squash teachers' ability to advocate for their students. Her attacks on teachers helped lay the groundwork for what Scott Walker is trying to do. They've helped create the atmosphere that's made talented, dedicated teachers say I don't want to be a teacher any more.
She may have risen to prominence as the appointee of a Democratic mayor. But Michelle Rhee's agenda is just a step or two away from Scott Walker's—and if what he's doing makes her uncomfortable, it seems that's less because she's opposed to his policies and more because she worries he's being a little too blatant about his end goals.