The Bee Writer Has This to Say

Richard Whitmire (RW) wrote a fawning book on Michelle Rhee (MR), entitled “The Bee Eater.” It reads like a book on the Lives of the Saints. It seems to me like RW uncritically accepts just about everything that MR has to say, which makes it for not very pleasant reading. I’m reading it so you don’t have to. I will try to finish it soon and will have a review then.

RW came to Politics and Prose and got an earful of objections from local DC teachers who thought that Michelle Rhee was a disaster. Naturally, RW’s response was to call all of us conspiracy theorists. Earlier, he had compared those of us who tried to figure out exactly what MR had done in Baltimore, to Obama ‘birthers.’

Here is a recent email exchange between RW and some other folks:

===============================================================

—– Forwarded Message —-
From: richard whitmire <richard.whitmire@gmail.com>
To: Phillip Marlowe <phillipmarlowe@verizon.net>
Sent: Wed, February 23, 2011 8:14:19 AM
Subject: Re: Politics and Prose

phil…or whatever your name actually is. i didn’t respond before because i have simple rule in life: spill contents of my emails, i cease communications…don’t bother writing back.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On Tue, Feb 22, 2011 at 10:44 PM, Phillip Marlowe <phillipmarlowe@verizon.net> wrote:

Dear Richard,
I didn’t make it out to P&P, but I’ve read a few reviews.

This one was reposted on Guy Brandenburg’s blog:

I appeared at Politics & Prose yesterday, “the” bookstore in D.C. located in upscale NW, and encountered a steady stream of Rhee detractors — all of whom offered up bizarre conspiracy theories about Michelle, but not a single person had any thoughts on why low-income African American kids in D.C. are as much as two years behind comparable kids in other urban areas. Pretty sad, really.

You live in some strange world. You look at those who have a problem with lying as “birthers”.

I think you had the answer in your book when you wrote of Dunbar that no one has a sure-fire way to fix urban public schools, especially high schools.

Well, Bob Somersby, who write the dailyhowler.com, has some ideas  about the low income AA kids and he was at P&P.

And, if you had done your research and read dailyhowler.com and the links he provided back in July 2007, you would have found that UMBC report on EAI that shows it would have been damn near impossible to have 63 students scoring at the 90th percentile.

Well, regarding birthers, they found the “birth certificate” and Michelle has retracted her claim. (until she meets another sycophantic media person or symposium audience).

 

Yours in honesty,

PM

 

 

Published in: on February 23, 2011 at 8:54 pm  Comments (6)  

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I wonder who provided the funding for RW to write this book? Why did he select MR? Did he ever discuss MR’s time serving on Kevin Johnson’s Board and how does he justify her actions and involvement in KJ’s in proper behavior with employees. Does he reveal that MR’s first publicity stunt as DC Chancellor (bringing press with her as she toured the DCPS warehouse) and that this action mirrored a similar stunt by the former Brooks Brother executive who served as Superintendent in New Orleans for 2 years. I have been puzzled by the fact that of all the educators (I use that term loosely when referring to MR) she with no experience made headlines. Someone invested a lot of money in her. I suspect that she like Walker is a puppet for corporate funders. Follow the money, the MR media miracle is an enormous story.

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    • The book was funded by the Broad and Kauffman foundations. Broad, rhymes with toad.

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      • What rhymes with Koch?

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  2. I’ve finished the book, and I thought there were several parts that turned out to be worth reading.

    On the whole, though, it may be the most sycophantic book I’ve ever read, right down to its first-name-basis approach to its subject. By the eighth page of the preface, Whitmire is sharing what he calls “my favorite Michelle story.” The story ends with Whitmire noting, “By the way, she looked great in that ball gown.”

    I would recommend reading the book just because it’s so sycophantic. It almost represents a chance to come to terms with a new form of literature.

    “Not a single person had any thoughts on why low-income African American kids in D.C. are as much as two years behind comparable kids in other urban areas?” I was at the book event. No one was asked to offer their thoughts on that matter, which represents a real q

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    • Sorry–please ignore the comment above. I don’t know why it posted.

      Full comment posted below.

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  3. I’ve finished the book, and I thought there were several parts that turned out to be worth reading.

    On the whole, though, it may be the most sycophantic book I’ve ever read, right down to its first-name-basis approach to Rhee. By the eighth page of the preface, Whitmire is sharing what he calls “my favorite Michelle story.” The story ends with Whitmire noting, “One more thing; she looked great in that ball gown.”

    I would recommend reading the book just because it’s so sycophantic. It represents a chance to come to terms with what is almost a new form of literature.

    “Not a single person had any thoughts on why low-income African American kids in DC are as much as two years behind comparable kids in other urban areas?” I was at the book event. No one was asked to offer their thoughts on that matter, which represents an actual question about the DC schools as compared to NY and Boston, though not as compared to all other big-city systems.

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