SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: Michelle Rhee Never Misses an Opportunity To Exploit a Tragedy

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Michelle Rhee Never Misses an Opportunity To Exploit a Tragedy

The news trickled throughout my school yesterday at the horrors that had befallen the students, the teachers, the parents, and the community in Newtown CT. As a father I cannot imagine what the parents of the children who perished are going through.

When I got home I immediately went online to scour the news sites to catch myself up on information that had been lagging. Then the cynical side of me took over.

I wondered to myself which educational deformer would find the need to insert themselves into this tragedy. In my opinion, I find no need to broadcast how I feel, either through Twitter, Facebook, here, on my Star Trek forums, etc... Wait, I mean I do share how I feel. But, to me, I have always find those "My prayers, my thoughts, etc..." stuff like that to be a bit contrived, along with my latest ongoing cynicism with religion, to be meaningless. I think statements like that if they are to be made should be made personally to those effected by the tragedy (by the way, I better never ever hear again from sportscaster that a team having lost is a tragedy!).

So I have digressed. But not really, I needed to explain myself for I am afraid I might take some heat for this blog post. But, that is par for the course with me and and comes with the territory.

So I decided to check out MichelleRheeFirst Facebook page and came across this little ditty;
Following today's tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the entire StudentsFirst family is mourning with the victims, their families, and the entire community of Newtown, Connecticut. We have offered our colleagues in the state any assistance they may need.

There are no adequate words to express the horror and senseless nature of violence in our schools. It happens far too often in our country.  As a mother myself, I understand the hesitation every parent will feel in the coming days when they kiss their children and send them off to school -- to a place of learning and growth that ought to be a safe haven from violence.

Our children are our most valuable assets, and we lost too many of them today. Today's event forces us to ask ourselves: how are we expected to foster an environment in which students can learn, grow, thrive, and set off on positive life-paths when we cannot guarantee basic needs such as their safety?
 But events like these also strengthen our resolve to do exactly that -- improve schools for children and thereby improve entire communities. The entire StudentsFirst organization -- including the members of our team in Connecticut -- recommit ourselves to that mission today, as we pause to send our thoughts and prayers to those affected in Newtown.
 So I read that and then found out about this teacher. I will not name the teacher or link to it. The name is not important and need not be mentioned here;
When the shooting began, XXXX said she quickly got up and closed her classroom door and ushered the children, all aged 6 and 7, into the class bathroom. She helped some climb onto the toilet so they could all fit. XXXX said she then pushed a wheeled storage unit in front of the door.
And this as well;
When she became aware there was a gunman in the school, she hid her first-graders in closets and cabinets, then told the shooter they were in the gym. He turned the gun on XXXX, killing her, but none of her students were harmed.

Bot these teachers are heroes in their own way. Both these teachers did something extraordinary that cannot be measured with a test, with a piece of paper, with an observation. They did something that none of us put in their situation have no idea what we would do.

If their acts (and I am not omitting any other acts of bravery yesterday, just only know of these two thus far), are the ultimate acts, the very definition of effective teachers, what then would have become of them if they were subject to VAM as whether or not they are effective.

 Now, I do not know what the new evaluation system in Connecticut consists of. I can only speak for what is coming or might come in NYC. But what these teachers showed is what happens in schools all over the country in one way or another every day. Intangibles that are so subjective there is no way to measure.

For Rhee and her sycophants to call these teachers in Newtown colleagues is not only laughable, but it is worse. It is vulgar. One of the worst vulgarities I have ever seen. These teachers are career teachers, who went into teaching to have a career, a lifetime of educating children. Rhee and her ilk stand for everything that is opposite of these two teachers belief systems.

But it can't stop there with MichelleRheeFirst. Rhee needs to throw in how improving schools will therefore improve communities. First, Newtown does not need to be improved. Secondly, a severely mentally ill man-child perpetuated this insidious act. Lastly, that statement needs to be reversed. Improve the communities, and the schools will fall into place.

Nice how it was thrown in the MichelleRheeFirst is in Connecticut, that it is ready to lead, ready to show those great unwashed that only MichelleRheeFirst cares.

MichelleRheeFirst is a true sociopath, a true charlatan, a con artist, a grifter, a self-promoter. She is a manipulator and worse, she is a predator. She needs to be stopped.


ongoingly said...

So well said! I can testify to the fact that Newtown does NOT need to be improved since I live here--now we are broken and grieving but it's a wonderful place to live. Sandy Hook school is well-known as a fantastic school with great, dedicated staff & amazing school culture. I would love to work there. Nothing Rhee does surprises me. Everything she does & says disgusts me.

Michael Fiorillo said...

Notice how, in this midst of this unspeakable horror and loss, she can only refer to children as "assets."

A truly, truly monstrous facsimile of a human being.

Clyde Gaw said...


Chaz said...

She truly is a scumbag and an opportunist.

Anonymous said...

From this day forward, this post should be the nicest thing anyone says about Michele Rhee.

Brenda said...

Well said. Michelle Rhee needs to crawl back in her hole. Using the term "assets" makes me think of spy movies where the "assets" are expendable (Bourne Legacy, etc) Children are children, not assets.

Pissedoffteacher said...

No one could say it better than you just did.

zulma said...

With each passing day, Michelle Rhee is showing how inhumane she is. She's nothing but a vulture waiting for its next prey.

Anonymous said...

Great post. I got an email from her organization (I think this makes me a "member") about this, and made the mistake of clicking over to the link. What greets me before I see her desperate pivoting from tragedy to demagoguery? A freaking "Donate to StudentsFirst" ad. Shameless.

I especially like the part about how she feels for those parents because she has kids of her own. How much time per week do you think she spends with those kids? I'm guessing she's ignoring them until they can book her on Meet the Press.

ed notes online said...

She leaves her kids with husband Kevin Johnson, who has been charged by some young women with inappropriate behavior which Rhee helped cover up.

Tim said...

If you want to see some arguably more shameless and cynical political opportunism, head on over to Diane Ravitch's blog, where she's promoting and praising reader comments that advance the theories that recent school shootings have been to some degree inspired by all the "teacher bashing" that's gotten mixed up in our Zeigeist, and that we can expect these tragedies to occur with greater frequecy due to testing/accountability/etc.

I wish I were making this up.

ed notes online said...

I went over and gave a quick check and saw one comment like that. Maybe you saw more. But if you are basing your comment on one comment that you morphed into plural than you are making something up.
But I do agree that the general teacher bashing has had no impact in terms of school violence like this though I am worried that one day the insanity being fostered on schools will lead to students and teachers going postal.
In fact, the only reasonable explanation I can give for Lanza's going to the school is that he blames the school for his problems given that he went there and his mother pulled him it seems for not being able to deal with his issues.
My sense is either he had some trigger at that same age that led him to focus on the young kids or that he felt his best revenge was going after the youngest.
We will find out if any of the current staff were there when he was a student -- really not terribly long ago given his age -- 10-15 years ago.
I'm betting something was eating at him all these years over slights.
This is not like the movie theater or malls but more like Columbine with deeper psychological roots.
Who know what his mother was saying about the school failing him all these years?

Tim said...

Norm, nope, one of the earlier 'reflections from readers' (now several pages back) was about how there was increasingly less time for teachers to focus on and nuture troubled kids.

I'm sure you're right about his environment, I'm sure there were thousands of missed signals, and I'm sure the guy was massively, profoundly mentally ill.

To say that politicians/pundits/whomever have created a culture that made him more likely to do what he did, without any evidence of it, is ridiculous. As ridiculous as what Rhee did, as ridiculous as Campbell Brown's smears. I know Diane likes to play the 'I'm just a humble blogger, your world confuses and frightens me" routine, but she has to do better than this.

ed notes online said...

I didn't read into any of the stuff on Diane's blog that this incident was associated with teacher bashing. I won't put what Diane did in the Rhee/Brown category at all but I am severely biased as I think they have evil intent while Diane doesn't.
I do believe that the climate is being set for some serious stuff to happen in the future. Imagine a child that ends up in trouble and then reads a neg teacher data report and if somewhat deranged associates his life failures with that teacher? Don't you think there will be at least a few incidents of a parent or student taking some crazy action? or a teacher pushed to the limit - note a few suicides -- but instead goes postal? So I do not think it farfetched to see into the future impact esp with movies like won't back down and waiting for superman, etc. To me the future of teaching as a profession is bleak and though I loved it when I did it I wouldn't do it today for anything.