Excellent Summary of Michelle Rhee’s Lies and WaPo’s & Jay Mathews’ Omissions

In a comment today, McStowy (whoever that is) wrote:

“Jay, if you were an investigator, you’d be fired. Rhee has a history:

She lied or showed a reckless disregard for the truth about her students’ achievement as a TFA intern;

She lied or showed a reckless disregard for the truth about the alleged media attention she claimed on her resume;

She lied or showed a reckless disregard for the truth about the DCPS budget;

She lied or showed a reckless disregard for the truth about the reason(s) teachers were fired without due process under her watch;

She lied or showed a reckless disregard for the truth about any and all educational research; She lied or showed a reckless disregard for the truth about test scores under her watch (they went DOWN during her 3rd year after shrinking during her 2nd, after nearly two decades of steady increases. The more she “reformed” the worse the student’s performance, IF you accept test results as a measure. Look at the trends.);

She lied or showed a reckless disregard for the truth about cheating on these tests.

Then she instigated a cover-up. That record alone is suspicious enough, but when you add that SHE PERSONALLY BEEFITED for each of these misstatements, in fact, HER VERY IDENTITY as an “education expert” is her SACRED STORY based ENTIRELY on these falsehoods, you have to question credulity of anyone who even listens to her excuses. At the very moment you seemed to finally be regaining your reason and common sense, you lapse right back into a trance when the HIgh Priestess of the Cult blesses you with her incantations..”

Published in: on March 30, 2011 at 8:34 pm  Comments (15)  

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15 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Well said and so true. Lies, lies, lies. It was astonishing to see Jay say that he still likes her because she “did much good for D.C. children — reviving a moribund school headquarters, closing half-empty schools and getting achievement back on an upward path.” Each of these “achievements” can be easily taken apart and seen for what they were, self-promoting moves by Rhee.


  2. Yes, Mcstowy is a very clear thinker and writer. I love reading his stuff ans wish there were more of it.


    • Thanks again for the call-out and the kind words. As a Criminal Justice Professor I encourage my students to follow the evidence and avoid pre-judgments because it’s too easy to end up on the wrong track. Jay got off on the wrong track and can’t get off it.


      • If you can only come to NYC or send your students to follow the evidence of lies, cover ups, inflation of grad rates, no-bid contracts, bogus credit recovery and wrong doings of the former NYC chancellor Klein with the support and the backing of Mayor Bloomberg, then the public can see the details of how recklessness got its start.


      • Surely you are a “Criminal Justice” professor, rather than a criminal “Justice” professor.

        If you have ever been a prosecutor or observed them, you can see they have the same problem as journalists when it comes to arraying a factual case. But don’t expect much from journalists. Most don’t deal in many facts or evidence these days, and they are poor gatherers of facts. Rather, they “borrow” someone else’s–from one of the few news- or idea-originating spots in our over-fed “media universe.”

        Jay Matthews, in my opinion, knows a hell of a lot about education–far more than most classroom teachers and many administrators and even some overpaid professors. That’s not to say I always agree with him, but he’s no fool. He bothers a lot of the people hanging out on blogs because they disagree with him. He listens; many of them do not.


  3. The Washington Post’s failure to objectively investigate the serious problems concerning ( Michelle Rhee (documented so will at this site) was a tipping point for me and crystallized the absence of responsible, journalistic integrity and investigative reporting. The Washington Post’s failure to seriously investigate and scrutinize Michelle Rhee clarified that corporate interests dominate and serve as the basis for all Washington Post news coverage. Jay is complicit in giving Rhee a pass and sadly has lost credibility with any educated reader.


    • I’ve often said, if the Post operated in the 1970’s the way it does today, Nixon would be on Mt. Rushmore.


      • Good one! But it is a stretch to expect an ed columnist to keep honest or expose the problems of the schools. A person at the Post might help in that, but today’s bunch are hardly Bernstein and Woodward. How about expecting something from our darn elected officials–the Mayor, the city council. Further, how about expecting some honesty and leading ethics from the darn teachers union. They appear to be endorsing the cheating (erasures) that must have been done by teachers, in the view of many. Remember, these are the people who teach DC’s school children.


      • I think that anybody who thinks the WTU is endorsing the cheating is really strongly mistaken. I am almost certain that it’s generally been done behind closed doors by local school administrators. The current WTU leadership has been very pro-active in working with the USAToday reporters, unlike the DCPS administration who completely stonewalled them. Here is their most recent press release:

        March 30, 2011 Communications Manager
        Phone: (202) 293-8620
        Jack Gillum and Marisol Bello, When Standardized Test Scores Soared in DC, Were
        the Gains Real, USA Today, Mar. 28, 2011 at A1.


        Millions of dollars were spent to secure high test scores in the District under former DC Public Schools (DCPS) Chancellor Michelle Rhee. The article, “When Standardized Test Scores Soared in DC, Were the Gains Real?”, illustrates what can happen when stakes are high and students’ test scores are linked to cash incentives.
        Starting in December 2010, WTU gave USA Today full access to research this important issue so the truth could be uncovered. WTU was fully cooperative with the journalists’ investigation and assisted USA Today reporters in understanding DCPS testing protocols, practices, and procedures. The result was a well-prepared, credible article that gets to the core of the issue.
        On the contrary to WTU’s cooperation, Acting Chancellor Henderson asserted the veracity of a testing security firm in a paradoxical attempt to uphold teacher dignity. Under Henderson, DCPS stonewalled efforts to bring facts to the forefront on whether test gains were real or fantasy. The unrealistic test gains that occurred remain the mantra of Rhee-style reform.
        In regards to the erasure study, the WTU has a vested interest in protecting all stakeholders, including teachers. In fact, we recently refused to sign the DCPS Security Testing Agreement. DCPS is merely seeking to transfer fault and blame under the auspices of caring about teachers.
        Further, WTU held a special meeting with teachers at schools with high erasure rates. During the meeting WTU legal counsel, Jay Holland, Esq. of Joseph, Greenwald and Laake, PA and Dr. Diane Kern, a clinical psychologist, participated to ensure teachers had the skills and information needed to cope with the situation. Specifically, Dr. Kearn spoke to teachers about how to address the pressures of high stakes testing.
        The WTU calls for an immediate, full-scale investigation to be conducted by an unbiased third party. The only way to resolve this situation is to obtain complete access to all relevant parties and materials during school years 2008, 2009 and 2010.
        We must point the finger at those whose reputation and success rested on humongous test score improvement claims. Erasures of this magnitude could not have happened in the classroom. Fundamentally, this issue will turn on what happened before the tests arrived at certain schools, after they were administered and before they were resubmitted to DCPS central office?
        The credibility of the Chancellors who claim improvement while turning a blind eye to a blatant cheating environment is under question. I fully assert that credibility restoration is an issue for the Chancellors involved, not the teachers.


  4. Ms. Rhee-Forms fingers got her in trouble along with her mouth. Now how do you feel about that Oprah?


  5. I’ve spent the past few hours reading through the (astonishing) backlog of stories in the Atlanta Journal about the (astonishing) two-year Atlanta cheating scandal.

    This quite remarkable story was thoroughly doctored by the New York Times in its two cheater-friendly reports. As best I can tell, the two-year story has literally never been mentioned in the Washington Post.


    • I should have said the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.


  6. Guy,
    Thank you for your blogs, many of which have been republished in the Rheefirst website.


  7. So you are Michelle Rhee and you repeat in every forum and interview that teachers need to be held accountable and rewarded or fired based on their students scores. You (MR) state students come first and their performance is central to every policy you advocate. Wouldn’t you (MR) be conveying to your district and school administrator’ that they must insure that every measure is taken to protect the reliability and credibility of collecting this data? Wouldn’t there be memo’s, meeting notes, meeting dates, agenda’s discussing the importance in observing and following all test protocols. Wouldn’t you expect and demand that any problems would be reported to you ASAP both to preserve your credibility as a leader but primarily because you (MR) do not want and scandal, or questions regarding this very important measure of your students success. And, when you hear from the District Superintendent in 2008 that there are indications that there was statistical evidence that cheating occurred, wouldn’t you take every action to assure that you clearly direct everyone to get to the bottom of it, and wouldn’t you be discussing this with district administrators, test proctors, etc. Wouldn’t you state that any cheating would result in termination (and yes union members are fired for cheating). Wouldn’t there be evidence that you (MR) who believes this information is critical be incensed, outraged if there was a hint of compromise, because according to you this is very important information and you would never want to reward or punish based on cheating. And you would find out if there was real solid evidence to find out why scores improved, because you might want to replicate those actions if student learning did improve. And when you hired a company you would give them all of the information you gathered.. But no curiously, these Reformers could care less about protecting their sacred cow. Isn’t MR’s failure to exhibit any leadership regarding insuring that the central tool in her brand, testing, (second to firing anyone she chooses because she can) is not compromised and problems were addressed.
    Even for those who believe in “Reform” must recognize that Rhee is not someone who is anything more than a hollow brand who exploits and uses kids to make millions.


  8. Really, how do you feel? Don’t hold back now.

    Rhee is part of the educational lie factory that wants to make schools a center of profit and not a place for exploration of the world through learning.


    Tex Shelters


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