Author Topic: FRONTLINE: Michelle Rhee Documentary( Oprah's personal pal)  (Read 6808 times)

Offline jefferson L.O.B. sergeant

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FRONTLINE: Michelle Rhee Documentary( Oprah's personal pal)
« on: January 08, 2013, 07:56:44 pm »
FRONTLINE usually does a great job on documentaries and they continued that streak here. If you want to see what abject fraud looks like when it is bolstered by Billionaire proxys, watch the documentary THE EDUCATION OF MICHELLE RHEE.

My only criticism is that there was no mention of Eli Broad in the entire episode.

Offline Battle

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Re: FRONTLINE: Michelle Rhee Documentary( Oprah's personal pal)
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2013, 09:14:10 pm »
I saw Ms. Rhee promoting her new book on MSNBC's Morning Joe yesterday but then,  I accidentally deleted it today. :-[


%#$@ >:(
« Last Edit: February 09, 2013, 06:35:43 am by Battle »

Offline Metro

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Re: FRONTLINE: Michelle Rhee Documentary( Oprah's personal pal)
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2013, 07:04:44 am »

Has anyone heard about 'flipped classrooms' or 'Khan Academy?'  I'm curious about what you think about these approaches.
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Offline Curtis Metcalf

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Re: FRONTLINE: Michelle Rhee Documentary( Oprah's personal pal)
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2013, 08:04:52 am »
I have been a fan of Khan Academy for a good while now. (I think I posted Salman Khan's TED Talk on the HEF somewhere.)

My children have both made good use of KhanAcademy.org. They attend/ed a Montessori school and I introduced their teachers to KA. They used it appropriately as another resource.

While I don't believe the flipped classroom is the panacea it's sometime billed as (nothing really is), I do think it has tremendous potential. It will be interesting to see what happens in Los Gatos and other places where they are trying it out. I think it's a great application of technology in education. Of course, it will need some time to mature and develop a set of best practices. The devil is always in the details.

That said, I believe that the Copernican revolution in education lies in switching the mindset and practices from teaching to facilitating learning. Maria Montessori was a visionary in that regard. The flipped classroom fits and supports that philosophy in my view.
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Offline jefferson L.O.B. sergeant

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Re: FRONTLINE: Michelle Rhee Documentary( Oprah's personal pal)
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2013, 08:33:58 pm »
FRAUD. LIES. EXPLOITATION. THEFT.

Don't forget all of this happened in DC with Rhee as the chancellor.

DISCUSS!

Offline Curtis Metcalf

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Re: FRONTLINE: Michelle Rhee Documentary( Oprah's personal pal)
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2013, 06:00:25 am »

Has anyone heard about 'flipped classrooms' or 'Khan Academy?'  I'm curious about what you think about these approaches.
By the way, Metro, why do you ask?
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Offline Metro

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Re: FRONTLINE: Michelle Rhee Documentary( Oprah's personal pal)
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2013, 05:40:49 am »

I've used 'student-centered' educational techniques since the mid1980s.  My problem with K-16 education is mainly about the interference of administrators and politicians (as well as funding disparities, especially in the northeast and midwest).

I like Khan and MOOC approaches, but they lack the kind of transformational accountability across scale that is necessary in my view.

My question was basically to get feedback about how other folks who consider the issue want to move forward.
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Offline Reginald Hudlin

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Re: FRONTLINE: Michelle Rhee Documentary( Oprah's personal pal)
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2013, 05:34:15 am »
WASHINGTON POST:

Book review: ‘Radical: Fighting to Put Students First’ by Michelle Rhee
By Jennifer Howard, Published: February 8

Jennifer Howard, a former contributing editor of Book World, is a senior reporter for the Chronicle of Higher Education.

If you are, have been or might soon be the parent of a school-age child in Washington,you have an opinion about Michelle Rhee, who ran the city’s public schools from 2007 to 2010. In a town full of divisive personalities, Rhee polarized opinion more than any other public figure I can remember, with the exception of a handful of officials. (Here’s looking at you, Marion Barry.) Either you admire her do-whatever-it-takes attempts to overhaul a system that had become a national embarrassment, or you loathe her as a power-mad, union-busting, school-closing dictator who trampled over teachers, parents and public servants.

I’m a Washingtonian with school-age children who are not currently enrolled in D.C. Public Schools. I watched, closely but from the sidelines, as Rhee set about the overhaul she describes in “Radical.” Her supporters and detractors could probably agree on one word to describe her: formidable. There’s no whiff of regret in “Radical.” By her reckoning, Rhee came in to do a difficult and politically dangerous job, and she did it the way she thought it needed to be done. Once she couldn’t do it effectively anymore, she moved on to bring her message of “radical improvement” to the national stage.

“No more mediocrity,” she writes in what could be a career slogan. “It’s killing us.”

I’ll leave it to others to argue whether Rhee did the right thing here in D.C. But even the fiercest Rhee-haters among my friends and neighbors agreed with her that DCPS needed help. Some schools, especially in the richer parts of town, enjoyed good test scores and high graduation rates. Elsewhere, in my Southeast neighborhood and in other wards, students trailed far behind their peers nationally in math and reading. Many kids didn’t stay in school at all.

“The dropout rate was above 50 percent,” Rhee writes. “The achievement gap was a canyon.” Teachers weren’t sure they’d have the textbooks and other materials they needed. School buildings suffered from a lack of maintenance and repairs. The system was a mess — “a whole different level of bad,” Rhee calls it.

Rhee rode into town in 2007, hired by another lightning rod, then-mayor Adrian Fenty, to clean things up. What she did and how she did it take up about half the book. For all the dust she kicked up, the story as she tells it is not a rodeo of drama. Radical change apparently involves a lot of meetings and negotiations, punctuated by surprise visits to schools, pep talks with confidantes and reminders that kids should come first.

Before Rhee gets into all that, she revisits her first-generation childhood in Toledo as the daughter of strict Korean parents. Respect for teaching ran in the family; close relatives were educators in Korea, a country Rhee’s father calls “education crazy.”

The family emphasis on education sometimes went a little far. Rhee remembers when her little brother, Brian, came home with a lackluster grade. “My mother immediately grounded me,” Rhee writes. Why? “It is your responsibility to make sure that he is doing what he needs to do.”

She tells the story to get at the imbalance of gender roles she grew up with, but it’s tempting to see in that moment the beginnings of her insistence that schools and teachers be held accountable for how their students perform.

In public, Rhee has never lacked for confidence. Those put off by her ego might be surprised by the uncertainties she felt in her early career as a teacher. The word “struggle” turns up a lot. She nearly flamed out during her first year as a Teach for America fellow at an inner-city Baltimore school in 1993. “Day in and day out, I struggled with my students,” she writes. “They simply wouldn’t listen. I would routinely spend the day alternating between screaming at the children, bribing them, and giving them the silent treatment for their misdeeds. None of it worked.”

She stuck it out. From more experienced teachers she learned how to manage a classroom and keep students engaged. “It was then that the light went on for me,” she says. If her students didn’t achieve, it wasn’t “about their potential or their ability or anything else. It had to do with what I was doing as a teacher, what we were doing as a school, and the expectations that we set for them.”

After teaching for three years, Rhee founded a nonprofit called the New Teacher Project, which worked with school systems to recruit more and better teachers. That’s where she got her first taste of DCPS. “The school system was one of the worst bureaucracies we’d run across,”she remembers. Last-minute hiring and staffing decisions made DCPS almost impossible to work with, Rhee says, and the New Teacher Project canceled its contract with the system.

When Fenty offered her the chancellor gig, friends warned her about D.C.’s racial and social politics, its administrative swamps. “You know this city and its school district are on a completely different level of dysfunction. Don’t do it,” one told her. To which Rhee replied, in one of many take-the-podium moments in the book: “We always sit around lamenting about what superintendents aren’t doing. This is a chance for us to put our money where our mouths are. We could walk the walk!”

For Rhee, walking the walk meant running full speed ahead. Lukewarm at first to Fenty, she quickly came to admire his willingness to put his political career on the line to support her reforms. Early on, already hearing concerns about what those reforms might cost him, Fenty called his staff together. “There’s only one person who’s allowed to say no to the chancellor and that’s me,” he told them, according to Rhee. “Anyone else who does will be looking for a new job.”

Fenty’s leadership style didn’t make for a smooth introduction to the D.C. scene. Fairly or not, some residents thought that the mayor catered to younger, whiter, richer voters and that he cared more about bike lanes than about the city’s long-standing racial and economic divisions. Both Fenty and Rhee cared more about getting things done than about being diplomatic. “There would be no opportunity to mend fences or smooth ruffled feathers,” she says.

She was right. Her first act, after getting the schools open on time, was to take on the DCPS bureaucracy. The new chancellor gave the central-office staff a straighten-up-and-fly-right speech. “Some clapped. I froze hiring,” she reports. “In March 2008, I handed out ninety-eight pink slips.”

There was a lot more pink-slipping to come. Rhee closed 23 under-subscribed schools in her first year. She fired principals and teachers identified as underperforming or worse. She took on the tenure-and-seniority system protected by the Washington Teachers’ Union and the American Federation of Teachers. In 2010, after what sound like painful negotiations, the union approved a new contract that eliminated tenure in exchange for merit pay. That achieved one of Rhee’s long-held goals: to do away with what she calls “the dance of the lemons” — the shuffling of union-protected, subpar teachers among classrooms and schools.

This sweeping approach earned her enemies and admirers. It landed her on the cover of Time magazine holding a broom — a notorious image Rhee plays down in “Radical” as a photographer’s last-minute experiment. She starred as “the educational Joan of Arc,” to borrow a Washington Post columnist’s phrase, in the 2010 documentary “Waiting for ‘Superman.’ ” She’s been on “Oprah” and “Frontline.”

As the founder and chief executive of StudentsFirst, an advocacy group that gets involved in political campaigns, she continues to seek and get national attention for education reform. (In “Radical” she takes pains to reaffirm her Democratic leanings and defend herself against charges that she’s gotten too cozy with conservatives.)

“We’ve gone soft as a nation,” she warns readers in the book’s final section, “A Radical’s Vision.” “We are not doing our kids any favors by teaching them to celebrate mediocrity, to revel in the average, and to delight in merely participating.”

Did Rhee go too far? Many Washingtonians thought so. Their anger helped defeat Fenty when he ran for a second term. But I hear other parents, even some alienated by her style, give her credit for getting something done rather than just talking about the need for reform.

Rhee started something the city is still playing out. Kaya Henderson, Rhee’s deputy, succeeded her as chancellor under the current mayor, Vincent Gray. Henderson has a quieter style than Rhee did. Although debates still rage over individual schools, charter alternatives, test scores and the occasional cheating scandal, fewer feathers seem ruffled these days. But the new chancellor seems just as willing as the old one to close schools and hold accountable a system that for too long let too many Washington students and their parents down.


Jennifer Howard , a former contributing editor of Book World, is a senior reporter for the Chronicle of Higher Education.


27% The increase in school funding between 2007 and 2011, or about $3,700 per student. 53% Share of DCPS parents who approved of the school system in May 2011, according to a Washington Post/Kaiser Family Foundation poll — the first majority in more than a decade.

25 Number of D.C. schools closed during Rhee’s tenure, which began in June 2007 and lasted until October 2010. Twenty-three schools were closed in 2008 alone. 1/3 Share of the 4,000 teachers on the DCPS payroll on Sept. 1, 2007, who were gone by 2011, through firings, layoffs and attrition.


Offline Battle

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Re: FRONTLINE: Michelle Rhee Documentary( Oprah's personal pal)
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2013, 06:54:51 am »
From the article:
Quote
For Rhee, walking the walk meant running full speed ahead. Lukewarm at first to Fenty, she quickly came to admire his willingness to put his political career on the line to support her reforms. Early on, already hearing concerns about what those reforms might cost him, Fenty called his staff together. “There’s only one person who’s allowed to say no to the chancellor and that’s me,” he told them, according to Rhee. “Anyone else who does will be looking for a new job.”

Fenty’s leadership style didn’t make for a smooth introduction to the D.C. scene. Fairly or not, some residents thought that the mayor catered to younger, whiter, richer voters and that he cared more about bike lanes than about the city’s long-standing racial and economic divisions. Both Fenty and Rhee cared more about getting things done than about being diplomatic. “There would be no opportunity to mend fences or smooth ruffled feathers,” she says.

She was right. Her first act, after getting the schools open on time, was to take on the DCPS bureaucracy. The new chancellor gave the central-office staff a straighten-up-and-fly-right speech. “Some clapped. I froze hiring,” she reports. “In March 2008, I handed out ninety-eight pink slips.”

There was a lot more pink-slipping to come. Rhee closed 23 under-subscribed schools in her first year. She fired principals and teachers identified as underperforming or worse. She took on the tenure-and-seniority system protected by the Washington Teachers’ Union and the American Federation of Teachers. In 2010, after what sound like painful negotiations, the union approved a new contract that eliminated tenure in exchange for merit pay. That achieved one of Rhee’s long-held goals: to do away with what she calls “the dance of the lemons” — the shuffling of union-protected, subpar teachers among classrooms and schools.

This sweeping approach earned her enemies and admirers. It landed her on the cover of Time magazine holding a broom — a notorious image Rhee plays down in “Radical” as a photographer’s last-minute experiment. She starred as “the educational Joan of Arc,” to borrow a Washington Post columnist’s phrase, in the 2010 documentary “Waiting for ‘Superman.’ ” She’s been on “Oprah” and “Frontline.”



Rhee-Structure


I remember that issue of TIME magazine.  A fascinating read...

Offline jefferson L.O.B. sergeant

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Re: FRONTLINE: Michelle Rhee Documentary( Oprah's personal pal)
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2013, 03:02:21 pm »
From the article:
Quote
For Rhee, walking the walk meant running full speed ahead. Lukewarm at first to Fenty, she quickly came to admire his willingness to put his political career on the line to support her reforms. Early on, already hearing concerns about what those reforms might cost him, Fenty called his staff together. “There’s only one person who’s allowed to say no to the chancellor and that’s me,” he told them, according to Rhee. “Anyone else who does will be looking for a new job.”

Fenty’s leadership style didn’t make for a smooth introduction to the D.C. scene. Fairly or not, some residents thought that the mayor catered to younger, whiter, richer voters and that he cared more about bike lanes than about the city’s long-standing racial and economic divisions. Both Fenty and Rhee cared more about getting things done than about being diplomatic. “There would be no opportunity to mend fences or smooth ruffled feathers,” she says.

She was right. Her first act, after getting the schools open on time, was to take on the DCPS bureaucracy. The new chancellor gave the central-office staff a straighten-up-and-fly-right speech. “Some clapped. I froze hiring,” she reports. “In March 2008, I handed out ninety-eight pink slips.”

There was a lot more pink-slipping to come. Rhee closed 23 under-subscribed schools in her first year. She fired principals and teachers identified as underperforming or worse. She took on the tenure-and-seniority system protected by the Washington Teachers’ Union and the American Federation of Teachers. In 2010, after what sound like painful negotiations, the union approved a new contract that eliminated tenure in exchange for merit pay. That achieved one of Rhee’s long-held goals: to do away with what she calls “the dance of the lemons” — the shuffling of union-protected, subpar teachers among classrooms and schools.

This sweeping approach earned her enemies and admirers. It landed her on the cover of Time magazine holding a broom — a notorious image Rhee plays down in “Radical” as a photographer’s last-minute experiment. She starred as “the educational Joan of Arc,” to borrow a Washington Post columnist’s phrase, in the 2010 documentary “Waiting for ‘Superman.’ ” She’s been on “Oprah” and “Frontline.”



Rhee-Structure


I remember that issue of TIME magazine.  A fascinating read...


Yeah, look at that pompous, lowlife, lying, opportunist on the  cover of TIME.

When will they have the students that Rhee sold out on the cover of TIME?

When will TIME have Adell Corthorne on their cover?

There is a jail cell that should have Rhee as a tenant along with Fenty.

Offline Curtis Metcalf

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Re: FRONTLINE: Michelle Rhee Documentary( Oprah's personal pal)
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2013, 06:28:52 am »
Yeah, look at that pompous, lowlife, lying, opportunist on the  cover of TIME.

When will they have the students that Rhee sold out on the cover of TIME?

When will TIME have Adell Corthorne on their cover?

There is a jail cell that should have Rhee as a tenant along with Fenty.
What is with you on this one subject? You are rational and reasonable about nearly everything except charter schools and Michelle Rhee.

There is much to debate in public school and education policy and about Ms. Rhee's tenure in particular. But here in the DC area, not even her harshest detractors are as extreme as you. Despite the objections to her style and the conflicts with the teachers union, nearly everyone concedes that she significantly improved the abysmal administration bureaucracy and shook up the pervasive complacency of the system at large. I'm not even a Rhee defender, that's just the facts as I understand them from people in the school system.

Try to remember, this is not a conflict between good and evil. For the most part, folks in the education system have good intentions and differing ideas on the best way to go about it. That's a subject worthy of thoughtful public debate, not name-calling and rants.
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Offline BmoreAkuma

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Re: FRONTLINE: Michelle Rhee Documentary( Oprah's personal pal)
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2013, 06:57:29 am »
Khan academy is a great resource for anyone whom needs a refresher. Shoot it is great a resource if you need practice on the GMAT
With these choices, I felt that the American black man only needed to choose which one to get eaten by; the liberal fox or the conservative wolf because both of them will eat him.

Offline Vic Vega

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Re: FRONTLINE: Michelle Rhee Documentary( Oprah's personal pal)
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2013, 07:19:42 am »
You want to improve the educational experience of the kids? Improve the lives of the parents, economically.

The amount of drama that goes on in the life of a family who is REALLY up against it can and will effect their children. Progressive advocates with an interest in education should probably focus thier effort of advocating for 10 dollar an hour national minimum wage.

Everything else is just a turf war between parents, unionized teachers and management.

We've had a decade of Charter schools and the results aren't kncking anybody off thier feet. Nobody wants to admit that academic education isn't for everybody. Until somebody has the guts to say to certain parents that thier kids would be better served learning auto repair or something and until there are insititutions that accomodate this, we aren't gonna get anywhere.

You ask me, the whole Charter school craze is more that half a real estate scam (the other part is a Union busting scheme). You put schools in an "iffy" neigborhood that the middle class arrivistes actually want to send thier kids to and they get to charge more rent and higher morgages for those area.

In related news, Eve Moskowitz is trying to bring her Charter schools to Williamsburg, (the poster child neighborhood for sucessful gentrification). But she isn't having an easy go of it there.

Why? Those Hipster parents actually have money and no outsider is going to tell them how their local schools should be run.   

From all accounts thier schools work great already and have been noted for excellence (funny how good schools co-inside with the parents having dough). The only reason Moskowitz has any traction at all is because newcomers to Willamsburg who have school age kids, tend to be shook at the prospect of sending thier kids to Public School with the poor kids and the minorities and don't even check to see what the neighborhood has to offer.

Offline Metro

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Re: FRONTLINE: Michelle Rhee Documentary (Oprah's personal pal)
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2013, 07:53:21 am »

Bureaucracy is the core problem throughout American education, but especially in higher education.  Most of the cost increases over the last 30 years have gone into expanding administration and reducing responsiveness of quality instruction.  The layers of supervision from Superintendent to Principal (and sometimes between Principal and Teacher) need to be reduced by 80% to control costs and increase teacher/student accountability.

I disagree with the premise that good schools come with higher household incomes, though.  Better facilities, probably?  More competitive applicants for staff positions, maybe.  However, student performance is often overstated (or assumed to be greater than) when compared to lower-income districts.  Worse, higher-income districts often do not invest in teacher professional development.  This failure almost guarantees a low ceiling on student achievement.
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Re: FRONTLINE: Michelle Rhee Documentary( Oprah's personal pal)
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2013, 10:50:12 am »
Yeah, look at that pompous, lowlife, lying, opportunist on the  cover of TIME.

When will they have the students that Rhee sold out on the cover of TIME?

When will TIME have Adell Corthorne on their cover?

There is a jail cell that should have Rhee as a tenant along with Fenty.
What is with you on this one subject? You are rational and reasonable about nearly everything except charter schools and Michelle Rhee.

There is much to debate in public school and education policy and about Ms. Rhee's tenure in particular. But here in the DC area, not even her harshest detractors are as extreme as you. Despite the objections to her style and the conflicts with the teachers union, nearly everyone concedes that she significantly improved the abysmal administration bureaucracy and shook up the pervasive complacency of the system at large. I'm not even a Rhee defender, that's just the facts as I understand them from people in the school system.

Try to remember, this is not a conflict between good and evil. For the most part, folks in the education system have good intentions and differing ideas on the best way to go about it. That's a subject worthy of thoughtful public debate, not name-calling and rants.

I am rational and reasonable about ALL things, in particular as it pertains to Michelle Rhee and Charter schools.

Since you think I am an illegitimate critic and engaging in a rant, lets see what you make of these individuals and their opinions of Rhee.

GF Brandenburg, Mary Levy, Adell Corthorne and Dr. Diane Ravitch.

When you've taken the time to see what these noted experts have to say about Rhee, Broad and the privatization movement get back to me.

Your final assertion is the most irrational.

It is a struggle between good and evil. Anyone that would seek to exploit the most vulnerable among us as a means of enriching millionaires/billionaires is an evil person. Anyone who acts as a demagogue while disenfranchising those they rail against is an evil person. There is no degree of relativisim that can be applied to what is taking place in the privatization movement.