Michelle Rhee to meet with governor, lawmakers next week

Michelle Rhee

Michelle Rhee

The House Education Committee and Gov. Nathan Deal will meet with former DC chancellor and education reformer of the moment Michelle Rhee next week.

Rhee now heads StudentsFirst, a group dedicated to education reform beginning with “evaluating teachers based on evidence of student results rather than arbitrary judgments.” With Georgia poised to reform its teacher evaluations as part of its Race to the Top commitment, Rhee will likely be talking about how best to do that with legislators.

Just received this formal announcement:

In lieu of our regular weekly meeting next week, the House Education Committee members are invited to a luncheon to meet Michelle Rhee, the former Chancellor of Washington, D.C. public schools and leading proponent of education reform in the United States, on Thursday, February 10, at noon at the Capitol.  Prior to our luncheon, Ms. Rhee will be meeting with Governor Deal at 11:00 a.m.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

92 comments Add your comment

catlady

February 3rd, 2011
11:25 am

“Education reformer of the moment”–I love it. The personification of cure du jour.

oh dear god

February 3rd, 2011
11:37 am

if the signs of the apocalypse haven’t appeared to you yet, then I’d say this is the big one.

Old Time Educator

February 3rd, 2011
11:40 am

Brilliant, This is just what we need. (NOT!) If I had to name one person that would be at the top of the “do not waste your time with” list, it would be Ms. Rhete. What a waste of time, money, and effort. How clueless can they get? (Please don’t answer that!)

catlady

February 3rd, 2011
11:45 am

OoH! Ooh! Maybe Erin Hames will be there, too! Too much in one room!

atlmom

February 3rd, 2011
11:46 am

I wish she would come in and reform the Atlanta public schools. we certainly need it.

Maureen Downey

February 3rd, 2011
11:48 am

@catlady, Erin Hames is appearing today at 3 in front of a joint House and Senate session to talk about RTTT.
Maureen

HStchr

February 3rd, 2011
11:52 am

I read an interview Rhee did with Time mag, I think it was, and she openly admits that she should have done a better job of communicating the passion for reform and done the job more positively. I wonder if she’ll share that bit of wisdom with the ed. committee. A lot of the reform ideas, which may or may not work, will depend on getting the support of educators, not just public approval.

JB

February 3rd, 2011
11:53 am

@atlmom how would she reform ATL Public Schools?

JB

February 3rd, 2011
11:55 am

Rhee is a disaster. Next!

Lynn43

February 3rd, 2011
12:01 pm

I certainly hope that those to whom she speaks will let her folly go in one ear and out the other. If she is so “sold” on her brand of reform, let her go into the classroom for about three years and then let us know if it works.

WHAT IS

February 3rd, 2011
12:05 pm

SHE SELLING?

Lynn43

February 3rd, 2011
12:11 pm

I’m sure she has come up with a plan to earn her a little extra pocket change just like Apple and their I-pads are going to rescue our schools.

Math Maestro

February 3rd, 2011
12:11 pm

The problem with evaluating teachers on student results is that any teacher can be made ineffective with increased student loads.

A high school teacher with 100 students with 1 prep will look more effective than a teacher with 200 students with 4 preps with the same level of students. It is a common practice among administrators to increase the load on the teacher that they don’t want and wait for them to quit.

Bullfrog

February 3rd, 2011
12:18 pm

Unlike many teachers, I am in favor of many of the reforms Rhee represents. While her communication skills and relationship with teachers was lacking, her belief that teachers can make all the difference shows a tremendous respect for the power of teachers. We teachers need accept the responsibility that the greatest thing we can do each day is impact student learning, and we need to stop whining about how our students can’t learn.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kevin P. Chavous, Ramiro Garcia. Ramiro Garcia said: "@asoutherngirl: @m_rhee to meet with Georgia governor, lawmakers next week http://t.co/9xhzyHn // YES!" @kevinpchavous @CharterStarter [...]

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Fericita

February 3rd, 2011
12:43 pm

“Evaluating teachers based on evidence of student results rather than arbitrary judgments”

The CRCT is not exactly a well designed test. In fact, one might call it an arbitrary judgment.

chris

February 3rd, 2011
12:46 pm

The blind leading the blind. We will move from low to last in education in USA, with her. She could not be more clueless. She made a nice living off the backs of DC students and teachers. She most love going on all those shows like Good Morning America and such. This is the kinda reform that is for the special kinda stupid. Make the test the end all be all. Just clueless.

James

February 3rd, 2011
12:54 pm

One thing I know for sure. Teachers and administrators don’t like this woman. A close friend in DC works for the NEA she almost spit fire when I mentioned I looked at the Student First website. I learned early in life when the masses are charged up about one individual you probably should listen to that individual for yourself.

GA Teach

February 3rd, 2011
12:56 pm

Really…..If she did such a great job in DC then tell me why Obama did not send his kids to DC schools?

Stop blaming the teachers and look at the problem through a bigger lens. We need POLITICIANS, parents, teachers, admins, and students to work together. The funny thing is people want one person to blame because it is easier that way. There are many things that test fail to measure……mainly success…..How many of you take multiple choice and essay tests to measure your success….Few if any. Just wondering?

ATLShawty

February 3rd, 2011
12:59 pm

All the media (including you Ms. Downey) sees is this smart, pretty, Asian American woman – ha – she must be smart and must know what she is talking about. Well she doesn’t. Ask just about any teacher what they think of Rhee and her policies and they will tell you that it’s all BS. Shame on you Governor Deal for meeting with her. He’s probably just trying to show that he supports diversity by meeting with her.

Fayette Teacher

February 3rd, 2011
1:23 pm

Hang on to your jobs! Here it comes!

GA Teach

February 3rd, 2011
1:29 pm

The questions should be how can we best educate a population so large? We are the 3 largest country in the world by population. We also mandate that all school age children attend school. Most countries have not such mandate…that is paid for by the tax payers, which means they do not provide an advanced education for all their children. Just wondering….I guess we would be the best country in the world if we could choose the students we wanted to tested…Hmmm. I wonder if military dictatorships pick who is tested and even let accurate scores leave their country so they can be measured against the rest of the world.

Tonya C.

February 3rd, 2011
1:33 pm

And yet…no call for teacher feedback and involvement. She is a voracious supporter of Dr. Hall and her brand of ‘reform’ yet we still continue to hear from her. Never mind…

historydawg

February 3rd, 2011
1:46 pm

Rhee only considers quantitative data legitimate. Too bad schools are about people, rather than numbers.

Linda Johnson

February 3rd, 2011
1:52 pm

I hope these people are smart enough to ask some questions, such as:

How much of the StudentFirst money will you keep for yourself?
Why do you use unprofessional and offensive language such as “suck?”
Why did you hire inexperienced teachers from The New Teacher Project when you had the opportunity and the money to hire fully qualified, experienced teachers for the District of Columbia schools?
Why is it that you and all other “reformers” refuse to teach, except maybe for two or three years?
If your students went from the 13th to the 90th percentile on standardized tests, why don’t you share your methods with other teachers?

Michelle Rhee is part of a huge educational hoax being foisted on a public distracted by the recession. She is to education what Sarah Palin is to politics. Soon, I hope, everyone will know.

catlady

February 3rd, 2011
1:57 pm

And what about the continued travesty that makes the rest of us pay taxes to cover the amounts individuals and corporations “give”, on a dollar for dollar basis, to scholarships to private schools instead of supporting the infrastructure of the state which they use. If you redirect $48 million out of tax receipts and into private school scholarships who makes up that money? The common people, who are taxed more to pay for the roads, dept of agriculture, prisons, water treatment plants, etc.

Let the legislators make up, on a dollar for dollar basis, the missing tax money out of their pockets and businesses!

EnoughAlready

February 3rd, 2011
1:58 pm

I believe most of you would be satisfied if school systems went back to the days when you didn’t know anything about how well students were performing. FYI…. the good old days aren’t as GOOD as you would like to believe.

What if

February 3rd, 2011
2:08 pm

Maureen, you sure know now to ruin someone’s day – - -. Let’s let them bring her in to replace Ms. H. – At least we’d know how it CAN get worse. Sad part, @Enough, is that the CRCT/EOCT/GHSGT/ETC. tests DON’T tell us anything about how well students are performing. But the big low-bid testing company contractors certainly have you buffaloed into thinking we do. (BUT, you’re right – the good old days weren’t!)

What if

February 3rd, 2011
2:11 pm

wow – @Linda, well done, except you have the expectation that we’ll be smart enough to see the hoax. I fear that the emperors will never face the reality that they have no clothes.

2 cents

February 3rd, 2011
2:25 pm

@bloggers

I believe Rhee has exactly THREE years teaching experinence. It takes longer to become a plumber or electrician than she took to become an “EXPERT”. The business model she attempted to apply to public education cannot and can never work in public education.

Firing your way to better test scores is a farce. The Teach America has a turnover of something like 90% after 3 years if I remember correctly.

“reformer of the moment” is dead on. its like what was stated earlier: the blind leading the stupid

Dr NO

February 3rd, 2011
2:46 pm

I love Rhee. Bring her down and let her clean house. Fire some people the fire some more of them.

Question

February 3rd, 2011
2:54 pm

“Make the test the end all be all.”

I read only yesterday that Rhee has proposed that 25% of a teacher’s evaluation be based on standardized tests, which, of course, is nowhere near 100%. Was what I read wrong? Can someone provide a link or cite?

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Augusta

February 3rd, 2011
2:57 pm

Hope that House Education Committee Chair Coleman invites his senate counterparts, Dr. Barge and a representative sampling of seasoned, effective classroom teachers to the luncheon with Ms. Rhee.

EnoughAlready

February 3rd, 2011
3:03 pm

What if

February 3rd, 2011
2:08 pm

Actually the current test do tell us something; whether or not you agree is your problem.

However, one thing is consistent on this blog and that is teachers complaining about someone who actually has a suggestion for improving education. If you don’t agree with Rhee, Duncan and others; the least you could do is come up with a counter suggestion for improving education in this state and/or country. I keep hearing that she has only 3 years of classroom experience; doesn’t sound like much. But, all you experience 10 years or more educators don’t seem to have the initiatives to put together a strategic plan to improve education. You have the best network in the education business (your co-workers); all you need to do is start putting a plan together.

If a group of teachers (elementary, middle and high school) came together and put forth a plan to improve education; I’m sure the rest of us would be all ears. Yet, I continue to hear silence. We are waiting…… you have my support.

Penny

February 3rd, 2011
3:28 pm

To be honest, I do not have an opinion on this one today.

Monica

February 3rd, 2011
3:29 pm

From the StudentsFirst website: “…Specifically, governors in Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Nevada and New Jersey have recently called for the elimination of tenure. Not coincidentally, StudentsFirst is working closely with several of these governors to ensure that when state legislatures meet later this spring, tenure reform bills gain not only momentum, but passage.”

Gee, I wonder what’s on the agenda for the meeting with Rhee and Deal?

d2

February 3rd, 2011
3:30 pm

I have a counter suggestion–WHY NOT MAKE THE CRCT COUNT 25% of the students total grade–then lets see what happens! They are doing 20% for the EOCT why not the CRCT–And those of you who think that the CRCT is easy–How do you know since teachers are not allow to see the test?

d2

February 3rd, 2011
3:33 pm

I love reformers–they ruin schools when they do something then get hired by a so called education company–There is a saying when you fail at something turn to a brief case, travel and call yourself a consultant.

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Augusta

February 3rd, 2011
3:36 pm

d2,

Students do need “to have some skin” in the testing process.

catlady

February 3rd, 2011
3:39 pm

Enoughalready: Teachers DO have ideas, ideas that would work. We have no POWER to see that the ideas we have are implemented, however.

Courtney

February 3rd, 2011
3:46 pm

Yes, Let’s bring in people who have failed everywhere they went. This Governor is a failure!

dd

February 3rd, 2011
3:57 pm

Why are so many teachers afraid of being measured using student tests scores. You all know fellow teachers who are awful, and yet continue to both hang on to their jobs, and damage students. And nothing is done, year after year.

Good teachers clearly add value to their set of students, and this value has got to be reflected in better scores. Otherwise, they haven’t truly added value. Whether we like it or not, the SAT is key to getting into college. Bar exams, medical exams, and other professional certifications all require passing a test. “Motivating a student to learn” is valid, and should without fail result in improvements to test scores (across the population of a teacher’s students).

If you are a good teacher, you won’t be afraid of this approach to measuring teacher value add. The teachers on this blog seem to be VERY afraid of this approach. Draw your own conclusions…..

rightofcenter

February 3rd, 2011
4:02 pm

An NEA official in DC didn’t like her? Well, that’s about a good as endorsement as I can imagine. It’s interesting that all of you teachers are distraught because the governor and the legislators are going to listen to this woman. What’s wrong with trying to get as much information as possible? My problem with most of those who post on here is that you seem to think the status quo is acceptable. Well, it is not. So come up with a plan to get better results and I’m sure the governor and others would be excited to talk to you about it.

Tonya C.

February 3rd, 2011
4:04 pm

EnoughAlready:

I think you are well-intentioned, but have VERY little idea how the education bureaucracy works. A teacher who is vocal and creative, pushing the boundaries and requiring results from students places themselves in an often precarious position. Many administrators have little interest in the type of innovation that many teachers suggest, not necessarily because they don’t care but because it puts their own positions at risk.

Teachers unions are hyped for their power, but for the most part it is only at the negotiating table. Everyday teachers around the country successfully teach a plethora of students from multiple backgrounds and those students go on to be productive citizens. Those crux of those techniques in many cases is holding both students and parents responsible for their part in the educational process. Reformers don’t like that notion, because as stated by many it requires EVERY stakeholder to have some skin in the game.

I thought a lot like you until I was unfortunate enough to have a behind-the-scenes tour. The consultants make MEGA bucks providing strategies that MAY work with a few students, but in classes of 30-40 with varied learning styles and intellects, are just not very feasible

Bruce Kendall

February 3rd, 2011
4:04 pm

@dd and others like dd who just do’t get it or don’t want to.

Teachers do not want to be measured based on student scores because they know what the parents are like, and their children. Considering some of the parents I know, I would not want to be measured based on them either!

JB

February 3rd, 2011
4:06 pm

I am so surprised by the comments here. Rhee is not a failure. She recruited thousands of new teachers, improved test scores and graduation rates and expanded early childhood education and arts programs in DC. She did have to ruffle some feathers – firing lackluster teachers and administrators to do it. On one interview she was asked about this and she said “This is the age old question. Do I do what’s best or do I do what will please people so I can keep my job and continue to do good things. I chose to do what was best for the kids, whether it cost me my job or not.” If we had more administrators and school board members with that attitude, we’d probably have great schools.

Springdale Park Elementary Parent

February 3rd, 2011
4:08 pm

You know, our family is very pro-teacher. We’ve embraced every teacher our child has had and provided them with anything they asked for–and lots of stuff they didn’t. But I have to say–too many teachers who show up on this blog are really unimpressive thinkers and writers. Talk about the don’t-move-my-cheese crowd!

Michelle Rhee is a great teacher’s ally and a lousy teacher’s enemy. If you’re scared of her, or if she annoys you, I’ll bet you’re the latter. She doesn’t have to win any Miss Congeniality awards. Bev Hall is a cupcake, but she has (according to the AJC’s Kyle Wingfield) robbed half a generation of Atlanta schoolchildren of a good education. Give me demanding and abrasive over mediocre and unprincipled any day of the week.

Bullldog and Enough, at least you two get it. But that’s a sad ratio. The rest of you–you’d better start to realize that many parents are not with you on this one. We need a Rhee precisely because we just had a Hall.

Tonya C.

February 3rd, 2011
4:10 pm

To posters who say come up with other plans:

Many of the teachers on this blog have tried to contact their local representatives and state officials to offer alternatives to the status quo. They have been met with contempt and and dismissed like children. And because the general public has little real-world knowledge of the current state of education besides what the mass media publishes (and the information that led to those conclusions) it’s easy to write the entire system off as a failure.

And firing teachers IS NOT HARD (at least in GA). Write-up, PDP, counseling, termination. Not very different then what takes place in most of corporate America.

Bruce Kendall

February 3rd, 2011
4:12 pm

@ Tonya C. You know the deal. From a Parent who volunteered in the classroom as a aid. Some of those angles aren’t.