Home > Education "reform", Truthiness > The pains of being pure at heart

The pains of being pure at heart

No one should be surprised when former DC schools boss Michelle Rhee is caught not telling the truth about education “reform.” After all, her whole career was pretty much built on claims about what a great teacher she wasclaims that turned out not to be true, according to actual facts.

So it’s wise to pass the salt when Rhee claims the mantle of pure intentions for herself and the rest of the “reform” crowd spawned by the Billionaire Boys Club’s venture philanthropy. Sadly, though, an NPR anchor bought her spiel hook, line and sinker.

Thanks to Observational Epidemiology for catching Rhee on her high horse while being interviewed “by the painfully credulous Guy Raz” over the weekend:

“Over the last 30 years, the education policy has been driven in this country by lots of special interest groups, including the teachers union,” she says. “I think that one of the missing pieces is that there is no organized national interest group that has the heft that the unions and the other groups do who are advocating on behalf of children.”

As Mark at OE points out, it’s pretty typical of the folks spending Bill Gates’s money to act as if only they are “advocating on behalf of children” and anyone who disagrees must be driven by self-interest or impure motives. Remember, too, the “reform” crowd is being underwritten by some of the richest men in the country!

OE also discovers how Michelle Rhee behaves when her “principles” (keep good teachers) are in conflict with her patrons (Florida Gov. Rick Scott, for one) — her patrons call the tune. In deference to Scott and the Florida GOP, Rhee opposed a provision aimed at holding on to teachers who perform well by her own metrics and definitions.

“If Michelle Rhee were concerned solely with the interests of children, she would have been actively lobbying for rules like the one in the amendment, rules that furthered her stated goal of having more teachers in the classroom whom she considered competent. But, of course, Rhee has to balance the interests of children against the interests of those she represents, an alliance that includes, among others, educational entrepreneurs who stand to make a great deal of money from proposed reforms and conservative Republicans….”

Bill Sez: Rochester isn’t immune from the Billionaire Boys’ influence; Supt Brizard is a Broad academy alumnus, and he often talks as if only he and his allies are motivated by concern for children’s well-being. As Mark at OE says, everybody has mixed interests but their advice should still be considered, as long as they extend the same credit to those they disagree with.

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