Unfortunately, it seems like the ones calling the shots in American education today are more and more chosen from a small list of liars, swindlers, and psychopaths.
Take Michelle Rhee, for example.
She was essentially a failed Teach For
AWhile America teacher who finally got her act somewhat together during her last year in a classroom, right before quitting for greening pastures.
She claims now that her principal told her at the time that her students’ test scores had gone up — but gave no specifics.
Later on, Rhee made up her own, famous, and purely imaginary, specifics: Supposedly her class went from having 90% of them being below the 13th percentile to a situation where 90% of the students scored above the 90th percentile — a rise that is completely unparalleled and imaginable in human or educational history anywhere in the world, in any realm.
I helped dig up the well-studied Baltimore test scores at Rhee’s school and the other ones in the study. To me, the most salient fact that came out is that Rhee and her principal seem to have been pioneers in getting rid of low-scoring students, judging by the tremendous attrition in her school and in her grade level, and the fact that so many of her students scored SO LOW THAT THEIR SCORES WEREN’T EVEN COUNTED.
(Contemplate that for a while!)
Rhee said her “90%<13th %ile to 90%>90th %ile” myth not once, but numerous times, and had it on her official resume. This is simply bald-faced lying, and should have disqualified her from any position of trust. Plus, every single claim she made about outstanding growth in DC public schools, which she was the misleader of for three years, was false. Without exception.
Rush Limbaugh: a self-important, many-times divorced hypocritical blowhard, addicted to opiates, who calls for all other drug users to be locked up and rains moral judgements down on everybody who disagrees with him.
When Newt Gingrich talks about ‘moral values’ one wants to snicker and guffaw.
When Arne Duncan talks about helping students by closing their schools and demonizing their teachers and turning public education over to profiteers that have never shown that they were successful, you have to shake your head, given his utter failure in improving public education in Chicago.
Isn’t it rich that convicted financial felon Michael Millkin wants to profit off of our students by setting up some sort of get-rich-quick technology scam? When will Jack Abramoff be next?
There is a very fitting name for people like Michelle Rhee who fail in the classroom and go on to make up lies about what they do, and try to cash in by bossing around the teachers who essentially took a vow of poverty by remaining on the front lines, doing the best they know how. (Rhee, on the other hand, earns about the same per speech that many teachers earn in a year, and has the fervent backing of many a billionaire.)
The best term I can think of for Rhee is a tad too complex to catch on:
Lying, profiteering, asshole.
Can you think of a better term?