Monday, December 6, 2010

Michelle Rhee, Ex-Schools Chief in Washington, Re-emerges - NYTimes.com

Michelle Rhee, Ex-Schools Chief in Washington, Re-emerges - NYTimes.com

A Former Schools Chief Shapes Her Comeback

Ever since Michelle Rhee resigned under pressure as chancellor of the Washington, D.C., schools in October, rumors have flown about her next move.

Susan Walsh/Associated Press

Michelle Rhee

Would she relocate to Newark to spend the $100 million gift from Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook to fix its troubled schools? Would she become education commissioner of New Jersey or Florida?

Ms. Rhee, one of the best recognized, and most polarizing, figures in public education, answered Monday with timed appearances on “Oprah” and the cover of Newsweek. The media splash said as much about her ability to market herself and her brand of school reform as the details of her next chapter.

She announced she would lead a new advocacy group,StudentsFirst, setting a highly ambitious target of raising

Education reform: Michelle Rhee to raise $1 billion to fight teachers' unions - CSMonitor.com

Education reform: Michelle Rhee to raise $1 billion to fight teachers' unions - CSMonitor.com

Education reform: Michelle Rhee to raise $1 billion to fight teachers' unions

Former D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee, famous for battling teachers' unions, creates Students First to forward her education reform priorities.

D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee (l.) walks away from the podium after announcing that she is resigning, Oct. 13, during a news conference in Washington. She announced Monday that she will start a new organization, Students First, to further her education reform agenda, which has been criticized by teachers' unions.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

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By Amanda Paulson, Staff Writer / December 6, 2010

Michelle Rhee made a splash Monday with her announcement of a new organization – Students First – to push her education reform priorities.

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The advocacy group will be “a new voice to change the balance of power in public education,” Ms. Rhee promises in a Newsweek cover story that she wrote, which was kept under wraps until after her appearance on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" Monday morning.

And – as was the case when she was chancellor of Washington, D.C., schools – she promises not to “shy away from conflict.”

“When [Rhee] left D.C., she kept saying she recognized that there was a need for a political support and political ground game to support that kind of reform,” says Frederick Hess, the American Enterprise Institute’s director of education policy studies, referring to controversial

Lobbying Spending Database Education, 2010 | OpenSecrets

Lobbying Spending Database Education, 2010 | OpenSecrets
LOBBYING

Education


Issue Profile, 2010


Year:

Total Number of Clients: 1,075
Number of reports listing issue area: 3,033

Records are displayed 50 at a time

School Tech Connect: The Fanfare of the Wounded Brand

School Tech Connect: The Fanfare of the Wounded Brand

The Fanfare of the Wounded Brand

Stolen from The Atlantic.
Oh, I don't know. This all looks like the concoction of a PR firm to me. It looks like wounded brand-rebuilding. Michelle Rhee isn't going to be the the Sarah Palin of education reform; Rhee gives off way too many negatives, whether that's fair or not. If I were an urban autocrat mayor or the president of a democratic school

PostPartisan - What Michelle Rhee is doing next

PostPartisan - What Michelle Rhee is doing next

What Michelle Rhee is doing next

By Jo-Ann Armao

Anyone who watched Michelle Rhee these last three and a half years as she upended Washington's troubled public schools shouldn't be surprised by her decision to start up a new national organization dedicated to school reform. From the get-go -- when she was first named D.C. schools chancellor by Mayor Adrian Fenty -- she said she was no career bureaucrat; Washington would be her first and last stint as school superintendent. Then there's the fact she hates being bossed around, so it was clear she needed a job where she was in charge. Add in her passionate belief that student interests are often overlooked in the debate over education reform and her clear antagonism toward teacher unions and StudentsFirst was not surprising.

Rhee is announcing today -- in a column in Newsweek and an appearance on Oprah! -- that she is starting a new national movement aimed at transforming public education in America. She aims to raise a boatload of money and members -- $1 billion and one million members is the goal for the first year -- to reshape education. That means trying

Federal Documents -- Likely Erroneous -- Say Michelle Rhee Lobbied for Obscure 'Fighting Apartheid' Organization - OpenSecrets Blog | OpenSecrets

Federal Documents -- Likely Erroneous -- Say Michelle Rhee Lobbied for Obscure 'Fighting Apartheid' Organization - OpenSecrets Blog | OpenSecrets

Federal Documents -- Likely Erroneous -- Say Michelle Rhee Lobbied for Obscure 'Fighting Apartheid' Organization


michellerheeheader.jpgMichelle Rhee, the former District of Columbia Public Schools chancellor and education reformer to the stars, was a registered federal lobbyist for an organization called Fighting Apartheid Confrontation Transformation Systems.

At least, that's according to federal lobbying documents that are almost certainly incorrect.

Rhee, who today announced that she's launching a nonprofit education reform group that aims to raise $1 billion and in part lobby governments, is listed as a lobbyist in the obscure, Washington, D.C.-based organization's lobbying report for the first quarter of 2008.

Filed with the Clerk of the House of Representatives and Secretary of the Senate, the report

Cartoon Facebook Campaign No Laughing Matter

Cartoon Facebook Campaign No Laughing Matter
Cartoon Facebook Campaign No Laughing Matter
Written by Robert Waddell


looneytunes

It's been said that fairy tales from childhood reveal much about the person identifying with the childhood story. The same could be said of anyone who identifies with Homer Simpson, Scooby-Doo or Sponge Bob. Great memories of George Jetson or The Flintstones after school; of course, for sarcasm and bitchiness: Bugs Bunny.

The screwy wabbit who spoke like he was from the Bronx and Brooklyn at the same time, and made Elmer Fudd's life miserable especially during hunting season. Remember "What's Opera Doc?" where a Broom Hilda

New York City Schools News: Ross Global Academy Charter School Slated to Close - WSJ.com

New York City Schools News: Ross Global Academy Charter School Slated to Close - WSJ.com

High-Profile Charter Becomes Non-Starter


A prominent charter school made the list of underperforming schools that the Department of Education plans to close, and the school said it intends to fight for its survival.

The Ross Global Academy Charter School on the Lower East Side was founded in 2006 by Courtney Sale Ross, the widow of Steven J. Ross, former chief executive of Time Warner.

The school's test scores for 2009 show it's one of the city's three worst-performing charter schools. Only about 30% of its students were proficient in math or English. It has had four principals in five years, and 77% of its teachers and 25% of its students left last year.

In an interview before the DOE's decision, Ms. Ross, 62 years old, said last year's test scores were an aberration and that some of the contributing factors were beyond the school's control. "This was a start-up riddled with turbulence," she said, pointing to the DOE's decisions to relocate the school three times. She added that the school had already begun a process of turnaround with a new principal.

On Monday, the DOE dismissed Ms. Ross's version of the school's tenure. "This was not a one-year problem," the agency said in a statement. "The school has received four notices of concern

Education Does Not Explain Growth in Inequality - Newsweek

Education Does Not Explain Growth in Inequality - Newsweek

Education Does Not Explain Growth in Inequality

CBS

Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke on CBS's "60 Minutes."

On 60 Minutes Sunday, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke was asked about rising income inequality in the United States. Curiously, The New York Times thought his response would appeal to liberals. From theTimes:

When asked about rising inequality in the United States, Mr. Bernanke offered a response that was likely to be embraced by liberals.

“It’s a very bad development,” he said. “It’s creating two societies. And it’s based very much, I think, on educational differences. The unemployment rate we’ve been talking about. If you’re a college graduate, unemployment is 5 percent. If you’re a high school graduate, it’s 10 percent or more. It’s a very big difference.”

Is this true? Of course liberals would be pleased that Bernanke acknowledges that inequality is a moral and economic problem. But would they agree with his diagnosis of the cause? Partially—certainly education affects one's earning potential enormously in a service economy—but

HISD magnet audit finds inconsistency in programs | School Zone | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle

HISD magnet audit finds inconsistency in programs | School Zone | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle

HISD magnet audit finds inconsistency in programs

If there's one theme that emerges from the ongoing audit of Houston ISD's magnet schools, it's inconsistency. An interim report [pdf] from Magnet Schools of America, released today, finds that the funding, quality, entrance criteria and student diversity vary from school to school. This is not ground-breaking news for those who have followed the magnet school discussions and media coverage over the last several years. An HISD committee that evaluated the magnet schools in 2006 drew similar conclusions.

The interim report doesn't name schools or cite specific data, but here are a few of the general points — which shouldn't necessarily be taken as gospel because three of the

The Answer Sheet - Michelle Rhee, celebrity, goes national

The Answer Sheet - Michelle Rhee, celebrity, goes national

Michelle Rhee, celebrity, goes national

Michelle Rhee is going national. Running the Washington, D.C., schools wasn’t a big enough platform for the superstar Rhee. So, with the secretary of education’s job already filled, she's on to her next act, heading a new organization, created around her, that has as its aim nothing short of transforming public education in America. Just to make sure nobody misses the launch of Students First, at http://www.studentsfirst.org/, Rhee has arranged to have the launch announced by that great educator Oprah Winfrey, who earlier this year anointed Rhee “a warrior woman.” And in what is surely a journalistic coincidence, there is a cover story in Newsweek magazine on Rhee. When you go to the Students First Web site, the first large image is not of Rhee with students, who are supposed to be first, but of Rhee, when she was on the Oprah show this year, sitting with Winfrey, Bill Gates

Education Week: Volunteers Are Ready—All Schools Need to Do Is Ask

Education Week: Volunteers Are Ready—All Schools Need to Do Is Ask

Volunteers Are Ready—All Schools Need to Do Is Ask

—Luis Diaz

As the holidays approached last year, I wrote a column for my newspaper about Spencer Lloyd, an energetic young choir teacher who was finding ways to bring excellence to one of the worst-performing schools in Indiana.

The 26-year-old Hoosier is one of those teachers they make movies about. Passionate and driven, he had convinced his sometimes skeptical students that they could excel in a building where few did. He understood the cruel challenges facing many of the students in his high-poverty school but he refused to accept excuses. Day after day, he counseled his students, made clear he cared about them, and then did anything he could—including sing, dance, and impersonate anyone from Jack

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