» News

Lifelong Democrat and Education Reformer Now Agrees With Conservatives

Home - by - February 5, 2013 - 22:45 America/New_York - 39 Comments

What happened? She got out of her smug bubble and took the time to talk with actual parents of students.

The Daily Beast. (No link. Sorry. Look it up yourselves.)

When I began my stint with the D.C. public schools, I had strong ideas about what education reform should look like and what it shouldn’t look like. I believed wholeheartedly that we had to have a very strong focus on teacher quality.

Radical by Michelle Rhee

 

… I drew a very deep line in the sand when it came to vouchers. As a lifelong Democrat I was adamantly against vouchers. Vouchers provide public funds to parents who need help in paying tuition for private or parochial schools. Proponents, mostly Republicans, see vouchers as leveling the field and broadening choice for families. Detractors, usually Democrats, decry the use of public funds to pay for private education.

But soon after I arrived in Washington, D.C., I was in a pickle. The District of Columbia had Opportunity Scholarships, a federally funded voucher program that helped poor families attend private schools. The program was up for reauthorization, and there was a heated debate going on in the city.

The typical mom would come to the meeting armed with data and talking points. For example:

“I currently live in Southeast,” she would say. “Our house is zoned to the local elementary school. I have done quite a bit of research into the school and was shocked to find that only 20 percent of the children are operating at grade-level proficiency. That means my child has an 80 percent likelihood of failure. That’s simply not acceptable for me and my family.”

Absolutely right, I would think.

“But we didn’t get in. I was devastated. So now I don’t know what to do. I went to DCPS. My parents went to DCPS. I believe in public schools, but I simply can’t send my child to the local school. Can you help me?”

It was a painful experience for me, each and every time. My instinct was always to tell the mother that I’d let her kid into Mann or Key and make the school make room for one more child. But honestly, it just wasn’t doable. Or fair. There were so many parents who visited me with these requests and so many more who were on waiting lists for those schools who had followed all of the rules.

Oh, I could have found a spot for them at another D.C. public school, perhaps marginally better than their home school. But that wasn’t what they wanted. They were looking for the exact same thing that I wanted for my two girls: the best school possible.

 The woman had an epiphany- democrats do not care about children. They care about teacher’s unions and their contracts. PERIOD.

The left is vile.

Most people in this country do not favor vouchers in education, because they don’t want public dollars going to private institutions or businesses. But the logic holds absolutely no water.

We have federal Pell grants that low-income students use all the time to attend private colleges. Pell grants aren’t limited to use at public universities. We have food stamps that low-income families redeem at nongovernment grocery stores. And let’s not forget about Medicare and Medicaid.

Think about it this way. Say your elderly mother had to be hospitalized for life-threatening cancer. The best doctor in the region is at Sacred Heart, a Catholic, private hospital. Could you ever imagine saying this? “Well, I don’t think our taxpayer dollars should subsidize this private institution that has religious roots, so we’re going to take her to County General, where she’ll get inferior care. ’Cause that’s just the right thing to do!”

No. You’d want to make sure that your tax dollars got your mom the best care. Period. Our approach should be no different for our children. Their lives are at stake when we’re talking about the quality of education they are receiving. The quality of care standard should certainly be no lower.

This article has been adapted by arrangement with HarperCollins, from Radical: Fighting to Put Students First by Michelle Rhee. Copyright 2013 by Michelle Rhee.

.

 

» 39 Comments

  1. Lady in Red

    February 5th, 2013

    Michelle Rhee is a crusader, a fighter for right — and always has been! She is to public education reform what Margaret Sanger is to women’s reproductive education and health.
    ….Lady in Red

    Thumb up 0

     
  2. Bad Brad

    February 5th, 2013

    I’m tired of these left loons suddenly seeing the light and being celebrated like the second coming. Ya shouldn’t have been that stupid to begin with. If they were Japanese they would have a knife shoved through their abbs by now. Screw the retards.

    Noteworthy Comment Thumb up +12

     
  3. jtb02348

    February 5th, 2013

    “Detractors, usually Democrats, decry the use of public funds to pay for private education.”

    Uhh, this is coming from someone who uses my tax dollars to teach her religion (evolution) in public schools? Now, that is too funny for words. And, then because of the disgusting, evil Civil Rights Act of 1964 you get to tell my kid where to go to school and which bus to ride on? All becuase of ONE person who wouldn’t get on the back of the bus? Do me a favor and STFU and I say that with all charity of course.

    If all truth is relative (Supreme Court morons) then why must only one theory be taught? You know what I think? I think kids should be taught both theories and let THEM decide. Then again, I am not a prejudiced, narrow-minded bigot.

    Thumb up +7

     
  4. joe6pak

    February 5th, 2013

    It’s easy to throw stones at anyone that has ever staked out a left handed opinion, and I’m guilty of it myself, but when someone comes over to our side on an issue we should try to take advantage of the opportunity to expand the conversation to other issues. We need to win over some converts or we are dead!

    Thumb up +8

     
  5. Bad Brad

    February 5th, 2013

    joe6pak, Oh come on. This chick made her living on being a left loon and made a financial decision to stay in the green and make the switch. Far cry from somebody that was just temporarily brain washed by a college professor.

    Thumb up +4

     
  6. BigFurHat

    February 5th, 2013

    All becuase of ONE person who wouldn’t get on the back of the bus? >>>>

    Should she have gone to the back of the bus?

    Thumb up +4

     
  7. Menderman

    February 5th, 2013

    I saw her on the Sunday news, and she spoke well, but my gut feeling was “oppurtunist”.

    Thumb up +7

     
  8. DaveVA

    February 5th, 2013

    Little late now

    Thumb up +4

     
  9. Menderman

    February 5th, 2013

    spelled wrong, but that should not invalidate my point…I hope.

    Thumb up +2

     
  10. joe6pak

    February 5th, 2013

    Brad, I know, you are more right than wrong. But we need the converts where ever they come from…… within reason of course. This will not be easy.

    Thumb up +5

     
  11. Edith McCrotch

    February 5th, 2013

    From the NEA website…

    A hundred years before the birth of NEA, education was largely informal — the main requirements for teaching were the ability to read, write, and stay out of trouble.

    http://www.nea.org/home/11608.htm

    Hell..I’d take that NOW over most of the scum that are teaching today.

    Thumb up +7

     
  12. Stranded in Sonoma

    February 5th, 2013

    Michelle Rhee is a crusader…she is to public education reform what Margaret Sanger is to women’s reproductive education and health.

    @Lady in Red — Are you out of your F*ing mind?

    Please tell me how healthy it was for the young teenage girls that were forced to have abortions at Kermit Gosnell’s abortion/horror clinic.

    And not to forget, Margaret Sanger was a stark raving lunatic racist eugenicist that wanted black babies aborted because she believed blacks were inferior. Do we hear about that in the education of our children? Wanna bet not?

    Noteworthy Comment Thumb up +14

     
  13. Bad Brad

    February 5th, 2013

    Well I’m not sure what this has to do with Rosa Parks, but here’s the dead give away,

    “students—not adults—our top priority”

    Those adults she would be speaken about are parents. I’ve fought a couple battles with local school districts and that’s so much verb age for screw the parents, we know better. Wonder if she has kids?

    Thumb up +1

     
  14. Bad Brad

    February 6th, 2013

    joe6pak, You sound just like me before the last election brother. I’m out of answers.

    Thumb up 0

     
  15. Name Redacted™

    February 6th, 2013

    The one time I got to meet Andrew Breitbart was at a School Choice event, where he was on a panel with Juan Williams, and they were in agreement. There is a video Juan Williams did about schools featuring Rahm Emmanuel (!) and in watching it I couldn’t believe these guys were saying things that I agreed with, but there it was.

    School choice is one arena that we can all agree on, left or right. It is really a matter of union members versus what is best for everyone’s children, and even lefties want their kids to actually learn something and be safe in school. I say grab any opportunity to welcome lefties into the circle of reality. Once we begin a civil discourse they will accidentally pick up on how reasonable our other arguments are.

    Thumb up +7

     
  16. jayne

    February 6th, 2013

    She used to be a retard and now she’s not so much? I had a knowledge of the kind of doofus crapweasels she surrounds herself with now that she’s enlightened er mature er looking for a way to get rich/famous/politically important. Not too impressed.

    Thumb up +2

     
  17. Bad Brad

    February 6th, 2013

    jayne, Exactly. If your career is plummeting, make a dynamic shift.

    Thumb up +3

     
  18. Ten-Ten

    February 6th, 2013

    You have a child? How nice. I’m happy for you. Now explain to me why I have to pay for your child’s education. Personal responsibility is often preached but rarely practised. It is frightening how reliant upon the puplic teat we all are.

    Thumb up +1

     
  19. Whitey Bulger

    February 6th, 2013

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, I knew what poobic edumakation was up to back in grammar school! Just remember the South Boston busing riots of 1974! They, the beautiful people where trying to take out kids and use em for racial sacrifice! This woman is Korean, the Korean women are fun to play with. I worked with one woman who kept on hitting me, just for being white. When a Korean woman gets upset, she will talk in pigdin english and go batshit on you! I still remember you J’ou Heka Cho.

    Thumb up +1

     
  20. MaryfromMarin

    February 6th, 2013

    Well, this is an interesting discussion.

    Thumb up +2

     
  21. Geoff C. The Saltine

    February 6th, 2013

    She is anti union and against teacher tenior

    Thumb up 0

     
  22. jbinnout

    February 6th, 2013

    I reckon she still voted for Obummer twice and encouraged her friends to do the same.

    Thumb up +4

     
  23. Geoff C. The Saltine

    February 6th, 2013

    Kindle spelling sorry. Fat fingers.

    Thumb up +1

     
  24. Dadof3

    February 6th, 2013

    Very well done BFH. This subject can be a game changer for conservative minded people. Stopping the indoctrination would be enough but having students actually getting an education would change the world.

    This subject should be an easily won argument.

    Easy to find data can back anyone up that privately run schools give a better education.

    The underlying principle of their success, as I see it, is competition. Competition of survival. Needing to give results in order to keep the doors open and the money coming in.

    Public schools have no such accountability. More money thrown at it will always be a waste until their very survival is at stake.

    Let the best schools win. Let parents have choice! Give the power of that decision to the parents – VOUCHERS!

    P.S. Hating on converts is not a winning strategy, IMO. I’m thankful for what I can get. It’s something to build on. More please.

    Thumb up +2

     
  25. thirdtwin

    February 6th, 2013

    Great. She now agrees with conservatives. On one issue.

    clap….clap….clap….clap….clap.

    I bet my bottom dollar she voted for Obama again.

    Thumb up +4

     
  26. thirdtwin

    February 6th, 2013

    Lady in Red, that is either some excellent trolling or some very arch humor at Rhee’s expense. Your move.

    Thumb up +2

     
  27. bitterclinger

    February 6th, 2013

    Color me unconvinced. When she was fighting for charter schools (just before she got kicked out of D.C.), it came to light that her boyfriend just happened to run that particular charter-school program.

    Once a ‘rat, always a ‘rat.

    Thumb up +4

     
  28. thirdtwin

    February 6th, 2013

    bitterclinger, some Dems find state-run enterprises to hot for their taste, and some Republicans find unfettered free enterprise too cold for their taste. They come together in crony capitalism, where they both find the temperature is juuuuuust right.

    Thumb up +2

     
  29. factslady

    February 6th, 2013

    I’m not a big fan of vouchers. Government money = government say and a big part of why private schools are so much better is a lack of government intrusion.

    Thumb up +1

     
  30. Lady in Red

    February 6th, 2013

    I doubt most of you forced birthing loonies have a clue who Michelle Rhee is, what she accomplished in DC, how a popular *Democratic* mayor was thrown under the bus by the liberal establishment and unions (probably stealing the election)….

    …all to destroy Michelle Rhee? And, she ain’t done yet. Opportunist? You are tooooo funny!

    But, snarky, smarmy more of the kneejerk rightwing agenda, from you, pls! You will move the world forward with your thinking, I’m sure…. ….Lady in Red

    Thumb up 0

     
  31. beachmom

    February 6th, 2013

    My biggest problems with vouchers are that there should be no need for them. If the quality of teachers and the education kids receive were where it should be, this would not even be discussed.

    Also, when my kids were younger, we made too much to qualify for scholarships or anything like this but not enough to send our kids to private school.

    The teachers unions need to be kicked to the curb. They are the biggest reason the education system in this country sucks.

    Here in ME, we do have new charter schools. Those are operated by sending the tax money the local school would have gotten to the charter school for each student who attends.
    No extra money.
    Just redistributing the tax dollars already collected into higher quality schools.
    This will eventually create competition and force the local schools to become better.

    Thumb up +1

     
  32. Lady in Red

    February 6th, 2013

    And Stranded in Sonoma: more of the same ole, same ole unthinking crap the American taliban community’s been spouting for years….. force all women to birth! Hate Margaret Sanger! Don’t do any original thinking, eh? Ah, and the little black babies “missing” from the American landscape because their mothers didn’t want to raise ‘em! Pshaw!

    What this country needs now is more “flash mobs,” — unloved, unwanted, mostly angry young black men — playing the Knock Out game? Birth all the unwanted little roaches, eh?

    Didn’t any of you ever play connect the dots, as children?

    You lost America the last election attempting to impose your definition of morality on the entire nation. Eh? Got a clue….?

    Americans will fight like hell to keep their guns, but they will also fight like hell to keep you from imposing you personal, private, but oooh so pompous, bible thumping arrogance on the world.

    Look in the mirror and see the taliban in yourselves. I’ve come to despise your pompous view of the world more than the simply-very-dumb, well-intentioned left without a clue.
    ….Lady in Red

    Thumb up 0

     
  33. Lady in Red

    February 6th, 2013

    Beachmom: vouchers, lollipos….. *anything* to break the stranglehold of the Democratic unions on crappy American public education!

    Given a chance, Michelle Rhee will take ‘em all out. Her focus is quality education for all children in America — today. Vouchers are a mere stepping stone to the goal. ..Lady in Red

    Thumb up 0

     
  34. Edith McCrotch

    February 6th, 2013

    Lady In Red…

    If you could just make your point in a coherent statement that a mature adult could understand, instead of busying yourself with the name calling-race baiting drivel that spews from your mouth, maybe you’d have time to listen.

    I’m guessing that your mommy was too busy underneath her bosses desk trying to “break that glass ceiling” to teach you manners of conversation and patted your fat behind off to a public schrool to learn union approved state dogma from teachers who pronounce the letter R as Arrah and you never axed anyone else about it.

    “Her focus is quality education for all children in America — today.”

    (What? “NOW” !!!! You and Rhee sound like 5 year old little brats wanting it NOW !!!)

    Well that’s just fine and dandy. The problem is the unions. Your people need to do someting about it, not ours.

    We will look to and after ourselves FIRST. If there is anything left over, your people might- may have some. But only if asked politely and not forced by a government backed gun to hand it over to your kind.

    Thumb up 0

     
  35. Lady in Red

    February 6th, 2013

    Speaking of smarm…? Edith. Your writing is full of it.

    (…wouldn’t you say? Or, don’t you notice when you do it?)

    Try reading the piece, understanding Rhee’s thinking — before you so confidently and incorrectly write about it.

    …..Lady in Red

    Thumb up 0

     
  36. Edith McCrotch

    February 6th, 2013

    Child, why can’t you behave yourself?

    Don’t make me go get Lady McCrotch.

    Evisceration….google it.

    Thumb up 0

     
  37. Lady in Red

    February 6th, 2013

    Sadly, Edith, your “argument” is no better than your thinking, or your reading.

    I just finished Michelle Malkin’s latest on the Menendez sleeze. Oh so much worse than I thought — but all the Dems are circling the wagons.

    The thinking is every bit as stupidly partisan on this site. As you so stupidly wrote:

    “We will look to and after ourselves FIRST. If there is anything left over, your people might- may have some. But only if asked politely and not forced by a government backed gun to hand it over to your kind.”

    You haven’t a clue what my “kind” is. It’s the thinking “kind.” …..Lady in Red

    Thumb up 0

     
  38. Stranded in Sonoma

    February 6th, 2013

    @Lady in Red — Where to begin. How about with your lunacy.

    more of the same ole, same ole unthinking crap the American taliban community’s been spouting for years

    Taliban? You mean the people that the koolaidians like you are in love with? Maybe that’s why you want to murder innocent, unborn, defenseless babies. You find a kindred spirit in how the taliban treats it’s women and you proglodytes love to abuse your women. If you’re a proglodyte woman, you just love being abused. Proof? You show up here, now don’t you?!

    force all women to birth!

    Women don’t have to birth. If they don’t want to birth, just don’t get pregnant. As I recall it was Sandra Fluke that demanded publicly-funded birth control. If you want it, use it. If you don’t, then it’s your personal responsibility to do what is right. That is, don’t murder the innocent, unborn, defenseless baby. There are alternatives to parenting that don’t include murder.

    Hate Margaret Sanger! Don’t do any original thinking, eh?

    I do hate Margaret Sanger for the same reason you LOVE her. She wanted a genocide on blacks. As for original thinking, are you telling me that I can’t accept the facts and truth about Sanger’s demand for a black genocide? Maybe it is you that doesn’t think originally. It is you that fails to accept the facts and truth about Sanger and her hatred for blacks. Thomas Jefferson once said, “I do not fear the truth. I fear the lack of it.” Why do you fear the truth about Sanger? Because she had the same attitude about blacks that Hitler had? Both were racists, both were eugenicists, both were nucking futs. And what does it says about you, a supposedly intelligent woman, who supports both Sanger and Hitler?

    Birth all the unwanted little roaches, eh?

    Roaches? See my paragraph above about how Sanger=Hitler=Racism=You. Thank you for making my point.

    Didn’t any of you ever play connect the dots, as children?

    No. I was too busy playing cops and robbers. You know, killing the bad guys by shooting them so some libtard judge wouldn’t give them a suspended sentence or a brain-dead parole board didn’t let them back out into society.

    You lost America the last election attempting to impose your definition of morality on the entire nation.

    As opposed to you socialists forcing your “morality” on us. Yeah, right.

    …but they will also fight like hell to keep you from imposing you personal, private, but oooh so pompous, bible thumping arrogance on the world.

    Who said I was a bible-thumper? The reason I don’t support abortion is the same reason I don’t support murder. It is the taking of a human life. Human life does not begin at conception. It begins at mitosis. Even you can be described as a multi-cellular organism with each cell containing 46 human chromosomes. So can a zygote just after mitosis. That’s when science tells us we have a human life. You remember science, don’t you? It’s that thing you proglodytes keep telling us you are a slave to.

    Look in the mirror and see the taliban in yourselves.

    I hate the taliban. It is not in me. It is in you. The hatred they have for human life is almost matched by your hatred for it. When you stop murdering innocent, unborn, defenseless babies, I’ll stop telling the truth of how you are worse than the taliban.

    Besides, I’m an evil Republican. I don’t have reflection in a mirror.

    MMMWAHAhahahahahahaha!

    I’ve come to despise your pompous view of the world…

    Yes. I guess it is tough for you to handle reality with Xanax.

    Thumb up +1

     
  39. Dadof3

    February 6th, 2013

    :popcorn_eating:

    Thumb up 0