Michelle Rhee and StudentsFirst Push Agenda 21: Communizing America’s Schools
Who is Michelle Rhee?
Michelle Rhee was the Chancellor of the Washington DC School System. She was given free reign by then Mayor Fenty. She implemented many changes including a controversial program call IMPACT which used standardized testing results to evaluate “value-added” teachers. Her successor has sought a probe into a possible cheating scandal involving a high rate of erasure markings on student tests. One has to wonder what impact IMPACT had on the testing results. hmm.
Who is Mayor Kevin Johnson?
Kevin Johnson is a retired NBA player turned Mayor of Sacramento. He and Rhee were recently married. Among his varied business dealings he founded the St. Hope Academy in 1989. In 2003, St. Hope formed St. Hope Public Schools, an independent charter school system. In 1995 he was accused of Sexual assault and tendered a proposed settlement agreement which would have paid the girl’s family $230,000. The DA decide not to prosecute the case on the grounds that a conviction was unlikely. Another charge involving a 2007 incident with a high school student caused a teacher to resign over the investigation tactics employed by the school administrators which included intimidation of the victim and inappropriate requests of the resigning teacher in whom the student had confided. In 2009, St Hope Academy agreed to a settlement involving payment in excess of $400,000 amidst allegations that it did not appropriately spend AmeriCorps grant money.
The third objective under StudentsFirst’s own Policy Agenda pushes Agenda 21’s Sustainability angle.
Districts should use resources efficiently to ensure sustainable spending that puts students first. Districts should be managed through structures that ensure a focus on student results rather than adult interests.
Let’s take a look at these new governance structures. She wants to implement mayoral control or state-run charter schools. Both of these suggestions remove parental control by dismantling the local school boards in favor of management by politicians who are less accessible or by private corporations. The name of the game is to remove your ability to impact change and to normalize the system. When I say normalize the system, I mean, make sure that any districts within the current system that have active parental involvement and have been successful in protecting the students from harmful policies will be stripped of their power so that the advantage can be neutralized. Agenda 21 is all about sacrificing individual rights in favor of collective rights. While the Wetlands program implements this philosophy in the industries involving raw materials, the Rhee Solution implements this same philosophy in the education arena.
School Choice is pushed as a solution to inequality. It is argued that wealthy parents have a choice but the poor do not. Rhee is only interested in a choice among government sanctioned institutions. Her organization seeks to pour public funds into private institutions, to promote voucher systems, and to build charter (corporate) schools. This is a facade. It looks like choice but it is the federalization of all the existing options and it is a communization of the entire system. Once all school options share a common funding source, they will also share a common curriculum and a common regulatory and legal liability.
Some of StudentFirst’s Impact Around The Nation:
- ALABAMA: Charter schools will be priority for Alabama lawmakers, House Speaker Mike Hubbard says
- CONNECTICUT Charter schools to get boost under Malloy plan
- FLORIDA Point of View: Student vouchers are no threat to public education
- GEORGIA Legislation Would Allow Parents to Ask School Boards to Convert Tradtional Schools to Charter Schools
- INDIANA In Indianapolis, district overhaul needed to accelerate change
- IOWA Advocacy group says Iowa charter school laws are among the worst
- MAINE Our View: Education proposals deserve consideration
- MICHIGAN Michelle Rhee: Michigan lawmakers need to focus on reforms to help students, not the adults
- MINNESOTA A mixed bag of education proposals
- MISSOURI St. Louis Public Schools to sponsor charters
- NEVADA Governor directs P-16 council to review existing data systems
- NEW JERSEY Opinion: The Charter School Controversy — Much Ado About Nothing
- PENNSYLVANIA Pennsylvania makes it too hard to start charter schools – GE Foundation set to make ‘major announcement’ on education Wednesday – School voucher debate continues to simmer – Andre Agassi to celebrate Philly charter school