- RheeForm promises are too good to be true
Without the use of evidence or facts, RheeFormers will promise miraculous results—the RheeForm term was coined to dishonor Michelle Rhee, the witch-queen of the corporate reform movement.
For instance, Michelle Rhee and Kaya Henderson boasted they would achieve 78 goals to improve the Washington D.C. public schools, but they only achieved 1.5 or 2.8% of the total of the first 54 goals assessed—that is a failure rate of 97.2% that the corporate media never reported on the cover of Time Magazine and/or the front page of every major newspaper in the United States.
– Did ANY of Michelle Rhee’s promises actually work in DC?—click the link and read the story.
What happened to these two Fraudsters? Kaya Henderson still has a job running DC’s public schools, and Michelle Rhee is a multi-millionaire whose every word is still breathlessly repeated as gospel truth by most of the corporate media.
- Beware of fancy titles linked to any RheeFormer
RheeFormers will name their corporate charter schools and/or organizations with words that promise success, mom, apple pie and the flag. These titles help fool parents and children who think that whatever alchemy the RheeFormers use, it means their children will end up in college, never go into debt and land a great job leading to wealth and happiness for life.
For instance, a chain of New York Charter schools called “Success Academy” with Eva Moskowitz as their highly paid CEO, who is a serious a candidate for Michelle Rhee’s witch-queen crown.
“We were hoping for academic rigor. Instead we found a school that was overly strict, cold, and insensitive to the overall needs of the young children entrusted in their care. My son wet his pants for the first time since he was three years old because the school did not let him go to the bathroom when he asked. The school was incapable of recognizing that he had also developed anxiety around going down the hall to the bathroom.” – Business Insider
“I spent a lot of time on the phone with the author, Daniel Bergner. When he asked why I was critical of Moskowitz, I said that what she does to get high test scores is not a model for public education or even for other charters. The high scores of her students is due to intensive test prep and attrition. She gets her initial group of students by holding a lottery, which in itself is a selection process because the least functional families don’t apply. She enrolls small proportions of students with disabilities and English language learners as compared to the neighborhood public school. And as time goes by, many students leave.” – Alternet.org
- RheeFormers blame public school teachers and the democratic teachers’ unions for failures that do not exist and/or is not their fault.
RheeFormers will convince any gullible fool who will listen that it is the fault of the public schools and teachers’ unions that your child isn’t doing well in school and doesn’t read. They will never mention that the real culprit is the child’s environment that has little or nothing to do with the public school or its teachers. To a RheeFormer, everything is the public school teachers fault unless they are a TFA recruit.
If the public education system in the United States is broken as the RheeFormers keep claiming in their relentless media propaganda, then why is U.S. ranked #5 as one of The Most Educated Countries in the World. There are 196 countries in the world. That means the United States is in the top 2.55%. How much closer to number one does the United States have to be?
The 1966 Coleman Report: Coleman himself later argued that the most important research findings of the study were twofold. First, it showed that variations in school quality (as indexed by the usual measures such as per pupil expenditure, size of school library, and so on) showed little association with levels of educational attainment, when students of comparable social backgrounds were compared across schools. (Differences in students’ family backgrounds, by comparison, showed a substantial association with achievement.) Second, a student’s educational attainment was not only related to his or her own family background, but also (less strongly) to the backgrounds of the other students in the school.
- RheeFormers will boast that corporate Charters are and will be better than democratic public schools.
However, several studies have revealed that corporate Charters are about the same as the public schools they are replacing, and other studies and investigations across the country agree. When these studies look closer, they find that the corporate charters are attempting to stack the deck in their favor by getting rid of the most difficult children to teach—something public schools can’t do.
A piece in The Washington Post reveals, “The primary findings of the CREDO report show that charter school students’ test performance is basically the same as the performance of students enrolled in traditional public schools.”
Then why is the corporate education reform movement working so hard to demonize public school teachers, their unions and get rid of the democratic, transparent, non-profit public schools and replace them with opaque, for-profit corporate Charter schools run by mangers and CEOs?
The UGLY Answers:
“A new report released today reveals that fraudulent charter operators in 15 states are responsible for losing, misusing or wasting over $100 million in taxpayer money.”
“There is so much news from place to place about the financial and management scandals in particular charter schools and charter management organizations that it is hard to keep track. Schools are taking public money—and too frequently finding a way to make a profit—while failing to serve the children they enroll or neglecting to enroll particular groups of children with special needs.”
- The leaders of the RheeForm movement do not put their children in the same schools they are reforming, robbing or getting rid of.
In the case of Rhee, some find her choice to send one of her children to a private school hypocritical because, as Ravitch explains it in her blog post, Rhee “advocates that other people’s children should have large classes, inexperienced teachers, merit pay, evaluations based on test scores, and nonstop testing” and she’s sending her daughter to a school with “small classes, lovely facilities, a rich curriculum, and experienced teachers.”
Conclusion: Moyers & Company reports that the “reformers” say they want excellent education for all; they want great teachers; they want to “close the achievement gap”; they want innovation and effectiveness; they want the best of everything for everyone. They pursue these universally admired goals by privatizing education, lowering the qualifications for future teachers, replacing teachers with technology, increasing class sizes, endorsing for- profit organizations to manage schools, using carrots and sticks to motivate teachers and elevating standardized test scores as the ultimate measure of education quality. …
The “reform” movement is really a “corporate reform” movement, funded to a large degree by major foundations, Wall Street hedge fund managers, entrepreneurs and the US Department of Education. The movement is determined to cut costs and maximize competition among schools and among teachers. …
The reformers are Republicans and Democrats. They include not only far- right Republican governors but some Democratic governors as well. They include President Barack Obama and Secretary Arne Duncan, as well as Democratic mayors in such cities as Newark, Chicago and Los Angeles. Elected officials of both parties have signed on to an agenda that threatens the future of public education. …
The corporate reform movement has a well- honed message: We are the reformers. We have solutions. The public schools are failing. The public schools are in decline. The public schools don’t work. The public schools are obsolete and broken. We want to innovate. We know how to fix schools. We know how to close the achievement gap. We are leading the civil rights movement of our era. We want a great teacher in every classroom. Class size doesn’t matter.
Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).
Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).
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