The D.C. schools chancellor is little more than an Arne Duncan clone, and The New Republic’s Jonathan Cohn lists all her “accomplishments” as if they were unmitigated good — and not the controversial, largely unsuccessful tactics that they are. (Activity is not the same as actual progress, as anyone who’s ever worked in a sales department knows. But managers push for activity because it can be measured!)

Look, urban public schools are in deplorable shape. No one’s arguing that. But with the economic pressures that have been hitting the inner cities for the past 30 years, how much of this has to do with the poverty and poor education of parents, and their lack of reinforcement at home?

We do know that what Arne says works, doesn’t. But they play the liar’s game with statistics and politicians, who are always happier with the mere appearance of improvement, aren’t going to rock the boat when the Obama administration will throw more money at them for embracing these corporate values.

Oh well, children don’t really matter, anyway!

6 thoughts on “Rhee

  1. The trailer for that new doc on the failure of American public education seemed to be featuring her as a savior.

  2. Well, in answer to your question about how much of the problems of innercity schools have to do with poverty, it’s worth noting that schools in the US which serve middle-class children compare very favorably with all the high-performing nations we’re always being told about. And those countries all have much, much lower rates of child poverty than we do. So yes, the effects of poverty are being conflated with questions about pedagology.

    I’m sure I’ve listed this in other comments, but for people who are interested in the details of the movement to dismantle public education, a good site is

    ( it’s schoolSmatter, do not confuse with the schoolmatterS site — captial letters added for emphasis).

  3. Okay, I read the link and please forgive my moment of cattiness. That Sara Mead the article quotes? That’s Matt Ygelsias’s girlfriend, and that’s a little insight into why he takes the sides he does when writing about education.

  4. Versailles courtiers and their MCM sycophants are in love with the idea of privatization, especially for schools (and breaking teachers’ unions — why can’t those selfish teachers work for what nuns used to be paid??). NewsHour has been having a love affair with Rhee since before she took office.

    Ohio Mom, thanks for the link.

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