- Obama: Hole U.S. ‘digging out of’ requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Obama’s regulatory agenda will cost U.S. economy $143B next year: report
- Patriot Act author on James Clapper: Fire, prosecute him
- Russia P.M. Medvedev: No amnesty for political prisoners
- Michigan GOP Senate hopeful reminds government is the ‘servant’
- Christmas, by Congress: Members mull a 15-cent tax on trees
- U.S. unemployment falls to five-year low of 7 percent; 203K jobs added
- World mourns Nelson Mandela and celebrates his life; burial set for Dec. 15
- Bill O’Reilly reminds: Nelson Mandela ‘was a communist’
- John Boehner says GOP should support gay candidates: ‘I do’
Educators rebut Rhee’s tough grading
While California wears its ‘F’ on school policies ‘as a badge of honor’
Question of the Day
One of American education’s leading provocateurs still knows how to set off a firestorm.
Former D.C. public schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee on Monday unveiled her first “report card” grading education policies in every state.
Its conclusion is that, with a handful of exceptions, they all stink.
Teachers’ unions and other defenders of American public schools excoriated Ms. Rhee and her advocacy group, StudentsFirst, for the indictment of U.S. schools. The rankings focused on state support and promotion of school choice, teacher evaluations and other controversial criteria.
Student performance on standardized tests was not the dominant factor, as evidenced by the fact that Massachusetts, consistently at or near the top of the heap when measured by pupil test scores, got a “D” on the StudentsFirst list.
The majority of states, 28 including Maryland and Virginia, got “D’s,” while 11 were given an “F.” No state received an “A” grade. Only two, Louisiana and Florida, got “B’s.”
Nine states and the District, which Ms. Rhee led from 2007 to 2010, received a “C.”
“Our educators, our kids and our families are forced to operate in a ridiculous bureaucracy,” Ms. Rhee told reporters on Monday morning, explaining one reason why states fared so poorly in her review.
No stranger to controversy, Ms. Rhee surely knew her report would not only get attention but also would provoke swift and vicious reaction.
“Has Michelle Rhee ever seen a public school system she liked?” reads a Monday morning tweet from Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). She followed up with another tweet accusing Ms. Rhee’s rankings of focusing entirely on “ideology,” not student performance or the overall quality of a given school system.
“This is an organization that makes its living by asserting that schools are failing. I would have been surprised if we had got anything else,” he said.
Similar reactions popped up elsewhere.
“I wouldn’t want an ‘A’ on this report card,” David Broderic, a spokesman for Pennsylvania’s largest teachers union, told Harrisburg’s Patriot News.
To find teachers unions on the opposite side of an argument from Ms. Rhee hardly is a shock. She’s frequently painted those groups — the AFT and the National Education Association, along with their subsidiaries at the state and local levels — as among the biggest problems in American education.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Ben Wolfgang covers the White House for The Washington Times.
Before joining the Times in March 2011, Ben spent four years as a political reporter at the Republican-Herald in Pottsville, Pa.
He can be reached at email@example.com.
- Obama, first lady will attend Mandela memorial services
- Obama: Nelson Mandela now 'belongs to the ages'
- Obama lived with Uncle Onyango Obama in the 1980s, White House admits
- Obama calls on bartenders to help sell health care reform
- Obama returns to class warfare as poll numbers plunge
Latest Blog Entries
- Obama administration issues permits for wind farms to kill more eagles
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Rush Limbaugh: Obama trying to make Mandela death about himself
- PRUDEN: British press horrified as London's new mayor dares to proclaim the truth
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- Kill team: Obama war chiefs widen drone death zones
- Activists urge Obama to go rogue, sidestep Congress
- Obama: Hole U.S. 'digging out of' requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- NAPOLITANO: Pope Francis should be saving souls, not pocketbooks
- Federal deficit shrinks 20 percent in fiscal 2014
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Great discoveries in the world of restaurants and chefs fulfill the quest for delicious food and cooking.
Television commentary, reviews, news and nonstop DVR catch-up by Lisa King Dolloff and friends.
Red Alert focuses on the hottest political topics in the nation and calls Americans to action.
History doesn't have to be grim; there is a lot to be learned from the pages of time.
White House pets gone wild!