Grab a soothing drink (or set that VCR or DVR) because this is going to be good - Frontline is showing a special on Michelle Rhee. It will be on KCTS 9 at 10 pm Tuesday night.
Rhee, the poster girl for all that is wrong in public education reform today, has had this discussion long coming. Given Frontline's hard-hitting reporting, I'm sure they will be thorough and frank.
Coincidentally, Rhee just released a report card of sorts, through her "group" StudentsFirst on how states are doing. Diane Ravitch calls her out on it here.
This comes on the heels of a number of staffers at StudentsFirst, all Democrats, who abruptly left the organization recently.
From the Huffington Post:
"There were known to be some significant differences on political
strategy and policy matters, especially in StudentsFirst's approach
toward unions and partisanship," said a source close to the education
reform community who declined to be named in order to preserve working
The shake-up is significant because if SF is less concerned about its
positioning among progressives, that could decrease its credibility
among Democrats, imperiling the bipartisan appeal of the group.
As Diane Ravitch said in her piece about this:
Think about how frequently Rhee has allied herself with rightwing
governors like Mitch Daniels, John Kasich, Rick Scott, and Chris
Christie. She has advocated for for-profit charter schools and
for-profit universities. She supports vouchers. She was honored along
with Governor Scott Walker by the far-right American Federation for
Children, which is passionate for vouchers and privatization of public
What part of her agenda is bipartisan?
Update: From Esquire:
One problem with the education "reform" industry is not
merely that it generally looks at "education" as though it were a
commodity, like soybeans, and that the problems with how we educate a
great many children of our fellow citizens can be solved if we just
refine the delivery systems for the product. In other words, most
education "reform" proponents treat "education" as though it exists in a
vacuum unaffected by the factors — like, say, joblessness and poverty —
in the real world outside the classroom.
Thus do we come to the second problem with the education "reform"
movement — it is shot through root and branch with patent-medicine
remedies pitched by for-profit grifters and hustlers.