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March 5, 2009 at 1:01 PM

By: Paul A. Moore

Beyond Chicago

Recent Washington Post article on teacher union busting Chancellor Michelle Rhee and a comment.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/02/AR2009030202785.html

To sum up then, the Chancellor with the fairy tale three year stint in the classroom has a phantom financial consultant from once upon a time who will vouch for the fiscal sanity of her union busting plan. The top corporate enemies of public education from Gates to the Waltons are on board but they don't know it yet. And finally, the hardboiled newspeople at the Washington Post, the newspaper of Graham, Bradley, Woodward, and Burnstein, the newspaper that demanded answers from a president of the United States in the Watergate scandal, is going to continue to play along with this public official's obvious charade.

So the Washington Post is going to leave it to us teachers and amateur journalists to explain this madness. Ok then, here goes.

Rhee looked around the other day and her financial backers were gone. Gates, and Broad, and Dell, and Robertson went to see about their own survival. Rhee still longs to be a superstar in the dismantling of public education. She will miss the Time magazine covers and the mention of her name in presidential debates. And she still dreams of smashing teachers seniority rights and thus their unions but that whole project is being shutdown before you can say the Icelandic banking system or you can count the number of taxpayer bailouts of AIG.

When the history of Michelle Rhee's brief tenure in Washington, D.C. is written it will go something like this. Lacking any discernible qualifications, her shocking appointment as Chancellor of D.C. public schools, can be understood only when you realize that Rhee was brought in to inflict maximum damage on the district's public schools and its children. And as a cultist (Teach For America, New Teacher Project) and true believer she came at a bargain basement salary. Really qualified superintendents were courted (Mayor Fenty visited Miami with several members of the D.C. commission to interview Dr. Rudolph Crew) but those candidates would have asked questions. They could not be counted on to mindlessly take a club to D.C.'s public schools. The havoc and chaos that Rhee caused was no accident. It was the plan!

But Michelle Rhee appeared on the scene because and when the "global economy" was riding herd on this planet. Globalization is at the very foundation of business model for schools, charters, vouchers, data driven instruction, merit pay, standardized testing, and most perversely of all, paying students to consume their version of education. It was the reason the Business Roundtable and Bill Gates were interested in public education at all. The CEO's wanted a profit making private school system and Gates wanted visas for Indians and Taiwanese who will do Microsoft's high tech work for less than MIT grads.

The last chapter is being written in stories like Turque filed today. Michelle Rhee got furtive and obtuse and then she disappeared as the global economy crashed and burned.

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