Monday, April 15, 2013

A Well Taught Child Can Move Mountains

Michelle Rhee is a very interesting young lady. She is a public figure dedicated to improving urban education, at the expense of any people that get in her way. Her aggressive manner of management created a battleground in the Washington, DC schools, to the point where in-fighting, dirty politics, and shocking rates of student failures never really improved. She is part of the current education culture of testing before anything else, which feeds my notion that some people look for ways to promote the best, shoot the rest rather than educate to the learner's ability.

In a recent story about her presentation in South Carolina where she lambasted and put down teachers, the following comments were made by her:

"The bottom line is: 
the system did not become the way that it is by accident.
It operates exactly the way it was designed to operate,
which is in a wholly unaccountable, dysfunction manner.
So, when you seek to change that dynamic including going
after low performing teachers 
you're gonna have a whole lot of unhappy 
people on your hands. When you stop that gravy train,
somebody is going to be unhappy." (1)

The interesting thing about this attack on teachers and teacher unions is that it is indeed hypocritical of her very comments since she was paid $50,000 for the presentation. So, speaking of a gravy train, she has hooked an audience of "Kool-Aid" drinking political bigots into accepting her brand of educational change at the expense of their pocket books. 
The fact is, politicians should remove themselves from attempting to run schools as corporate machines with bottom-lines and "zero" tolerance for mistakes. Schools are learning environments about children,  like a perfect stew, need time and quality care to become a successful contributor to the future.
I would put my money behind the teacher that gets poor test scores, yet inspires children to move mountains!

(1)     Thomas. @TheChalkFace, "Rhee's "Gravy Train" of Hypocrisy." Last modified April 14, 2013. Accessed April 15, 2013.