Anyone who has kept a close eye on our public education system will no doubt be familiar with the strange and terrible case of Michelle Rhee. The point of this post is not to encapsulate her efforts to improve the DC Schools. That case is brilliantly made by the talented Katherine Mangu-Ward of Reason Magazine and I invite you to familiarize yourself with her account of this situation.
The intent of this post is to show the evidence that the WTU (Washington Teachers’ Union) along with the AFT President Randi Weingarten had set her (Michelle Rhee) up for defeat. What is more sinister is that they were not protecting the interests of students and improving their education but rather the salaries of the teachers themselves. Lets get started.
When Michelle Rhee assumed her responsibility of Chancellor of the DC school system Washington Teacher’s Union President (George Parker) along with AFT President Randi Weingarten sent out the following letter: (Click image for full DocStoc file). The “comprehensive” plan that the Teacher’s Union has proposed plainly states, and lists first, that “improved salary and benefits” are necessary in order to close the achievement gap. In other words, an already bogged down system, salary raises and additional benefits of members, are instrumental in raising test scores. But Rhee agreed and offered a $10,000 bonus and 20% raise if they sacrificed tenure. In hopes of filtering out non-performing teachers. WTU took the deal
Parker seems quite pleased. After all, his schools were scheduled to receive cash and teachers via the ARRA (Stimulus). The problem came when Mrs. Rhee started to cut the non-performing teachers. Just like in many other cases (i.e. NYC) once the teachers are hired they can never be let go.
The Commercial Campaign against Michelle Rhee
Shortly after Michelle Rhee began to shake-up the public education system by improving test scores and letting go dead weight teachers and administrators, the AFT and the WTU started their campaign against Michelle Rhee with local radio commercials.
First is the “rough edit” of a commercial. Notice the WTU calls their new proposal “groundbreaking” when in fact it is really budget breaking (refer to above letter) It was an Offer she Had to Refuse
The newly appointed Chancellor seems to be too effective. Now the destruction of her career begins with all Union cronies on deck
You dun Goofed
George Parker tried to cover his ass and issued the following letter in September to follow suit on the planned attacks. How do we know the attack was planned? The commercial said she started to make cuts 6 weeks in–the below letter was sent out in the 4th week of the school year. I believe they (Parker and Weingarten) owe everyone an explanation. Seems like they had no intention of ever giving Mrs. Rhee a fair shot. They took the pay raises and began to wage war against her after cuts were made.(Please click image to DocStoc full file)
So the fix was already in long before Michelle Rhee was assigned the responsibility of Chancellor to D.C. Schools. The intention was never to improve education; it was to implement any and all means to improve teacher’s salaries and benefits, even if it hurt the children and destroyed a promising administrator.
Other Notes of Interest and Flashbacks
Obama’s and Congress’ current alliance with the Teachers Union
This shouldnt surprise anyone. Immediately after taking the office the first thing Obama did to help his allies in the Teacher’s Union was to cut-off charter school vouchers in D.C. to minority children. (Remember: the unions have a shared goal with Obama-keep the unions more profitable so they can give 98% to his campaign) Forcing minority children back into their destitute public schools seems to be the desirable option. However, we knew this would happen. Anyone paying attention to his address to the Teachers Union in July of 2008 could see this coming: (Full Transcript-Click picture)
Further Damage against Charter Schools and pay raises
They also were able to successfully lobby Congress and control Voucher School funding. (I know some charter schools are unionized so I am not entirely sure if that is what they are referring to) However, Increased Compensation is the first item suggested under “Early Childhood Education” and they were “particular pleased”. This bill, HR 3221 is still has not yet passed the Senate but a lot of the goodies ended up in the Health Care bill. (Student loans, additional funding, etc) So I don’t think they need this to pass-It can probably be shelved or shredded
(Click Image for full file)
What kind of thank do we get from the Teacher’s Unions after all these concessions? We get scenarios like this: “Fuck them”, we can even call little black kids “niggers” and not get fired! Welcome to the Democrat Party!! Thanks for your vote and your money. “Ha Ha Ha, we’re playing video games on their [your] dime!”
(James O’keefe’s latest project of undercover videos)