Monday, April 15, 2013

The New Rhee Scandal Revelations Are A BFD

Of all the stuff I've been wrong about, I can proudly say that I saw the Michelle Rhee bullshit express coming from miles away. I've almost become numb to the countless new articles exposing her as a fraud/rightwing tool not because it isn't true, but because it's been so obvious for so long. When I finally got to take a look at the details of this most recent scandal, this should really be the one that burns her reputation to the ground forever. If you've been following the DC scandal, the revelations are absolutely jaw dropping:

Michelle A. Rhee, America’s most famous school reformer, was fully aware of the extent of the problem when she glossed over what appeared to be widespread cheating during her first year as Schools Chancellor in Washington, DC. A long-buried confidential memo from her outside data consultant suggests that the problem was far more serious than kids copying off other kids’ answer sheets. (“191 teachers representing 70 schools”). Twice in just four pages the consultant suggests that Rhee’s own principals, some of whom she had hired, may have been responsible (“Could the erasures in some cases have been done by someone other than the students and the teachers?”).

Rhee has publicly maintained that, if bureaucratic red tape hadn’t gotten in the way, she would have investigated the erasures. For example, in an interview[1] conducted for PBS’ “Frontline” before I learned about the confidential memo, Rhee told me, “We kept saying, ‘Okay, we’re going to do this; we just need to have more information.’ And by the time the information was trickling in back and forth, we were about to take the next year’s test. And there was a new superintendent of education that came in at the time. And she said, ‘Okay, well, we’re about to take the next test anyway so let’s just make sure that the proper protocols are in place for next time.’”
Lies, lies, lies.

So this is really, really really long post that looks into the memo, but the take away is insane. All this time Rhee has claimed that this memo told her to not look into the matter any further, when in fact the memo told her that the entire system was based on cheating. Holy fuck. "191 teachers representing 70 schools!" There is just no getting beyond that sentence.

We already knew Michelle Rhee is the worst, but she could legitimately be in prison by the time this is over.

Chris Hayes covered it extremely well last week with the journalist who obtained the memo. Very much worth watching:

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