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Students First, a vehicle for radical change in TN schools

In Uncategorized on February 6, 2014 at 10:33 AM

Students First, a vehicle for radical change in TN schools

02/06/2014
1024 am

Students First is a radical PAC, a lobbyist group with a socialistic leader as it’s front!

That leader is Michelle Rhee, ex wife of Haslam education czar Kevin Huffman.

Ladies and gentlemen we are in the midst of a revolution and we are not even engaging the enemy of this assault at our front door.

Parents, teachers, taxpayers, citizens, Principals, teachers, administrators, school boards, elected officials and all adults who may dare stand in the way of this nationalization of our schools are not included in this evolution towards socialistic reform in our state. Please step aside, you are now an afterthought and an obstacle to real change.

Students first using it’s platform to change everything about our schools is using big money to buy this change in Tennessee that are you witnessing.

Kevin Huffman, the education secretary in TN, the Haslam appointee, who used to be married to Michelle Rhee of whom they share children and founder of Students First is the radical socialist in charge of betraying the students of TN and subjecting them to the iniquities of a failed agenda that has faced controversy and failure everywhere she has attempted to inject her extreme agenda.

Who is Michelle Rhee? She is a child that has not been able to grow up! She was perhaps the sheltered child that never met her parents expectations and rigid standards customary of her culture. She obviously, in my opinion, never quite measured up to their rigid curriculum of her parents. So with youthful and reckless abandon she somehow thinks she is qualified to lead radical reform inside TN and across the nation injecting her childhood hurt into Tennesssee schools. 

Her childhood has somehow left her with a radical agenda and an unsolicited entry into our school system with the audacity to think that her unproven ways are the sole solution to fix our schools shortcomings.

Reeling from her DC ultimate failure and cheating scandal she sought to bring a brand of education that obviously doesn’t work inside a free republic. Moving children aggressively beyond where they were created an environment and culture that promoted cheating resulting in falsely inflated results.

As a Teach for America fellow at an inner-city Baltimore school in 1993 she reminisces, “Day in and day out, I struggled with my students,” she writes. “They simply wouldn’t listen. I would routinely spend the day alternating between screaming at the children, bribing them, and giving them the silent treatment for their misdeeds. None of it worked.” It was even reported that at one point in her career she resorted to placing duct tape over their mouths so they would listen. For Gods sake she was not even a teacher, she was a Bureaucrat placed in a classroom, a place where only a “real” teacher need be!

During her tenure at DC Public Schools, 2007 to 2010, she gutted the standing system and began to overhaul it. Radical anti teacher, anti union, and basically anti school measures took place. 

Sure one could reduce that all this change was necessary and essential. But the results were not as radical as the changes to
The system and they were definitely  not longstanding. Among the critics it was stated that her change did not last after she was run out of town by a new Mayor. It didn’t have legs and didn’t produce any real change. We are now relying on her unproven and controversy riddled system to work inside Tennessee!

Governor Haslam, several legislators and Senators have taken multiple thousands of Students First lobby money to implement the changes that are so controversial to us today. 

Can you believe any politician would give up his or her soul for Michelle Rhee and Students First to enact the failed system that she advocates for the minds and lives of our children. It would really surprise you at those folks who gladly accepted thousands  of dollars to enact socialistic change and pacify a Governor that is way past his day of reckoning. Perhaps in another blog do I dare address that issue!

Remember, she has no proven system or one that has endured the test of time, yet we in Tennessee migrate to her as if she is the messiah. 

But all we are really interested in is the money she hands to buy your compliance. Michelle Rhees and Students First legacy still haunts her and follows her wherever she goes.Her greatest achievement to date is that perhaps any gains in standardized testing performance was produced at her own hand, by cheating or providing the culture for it.

The embattled Rhee was implicated in the largest cheating scandal in our educational history. She was tagged with having the largest erasures from wrong to right answers on standardized tests in DC. A charge that today she denies. But the legacy follows her and leaves doubt as to the validity and substantiality of her radical reform measures. She has even attempted to cover this ordeal up but her memos and conversations  with educational leaders has crippled her efforts to hide this fiasco.

191 teachers, 70 schools, public and charter were involved in a mass 
cheating scandal that rocked Rhees legacy and offered many doubts as to the effectiveness of her change of cheating as the policy.
http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/3070623

As John Merrow of AFT reflects on the failure Washington DC, the leader of the American Federation of Teachers concluded, “Rhee’s overzealous fixation on testing and measurement, and her efforts to silence and fire anyone who questioned her reckless, destabilizing strategies, ultimately failed D.C.’s kids.” 

“Under Rhee’s tenure, DC-CAS scores showed little or no gain, and the performance gap between low-income and upper-income students actually widened. Schools were destabilized by the constant churn of teachers and principals being fired, relocated or leaving out of frustration. Our children deserved better.”

Rhees response to the widespread cheating when confronted answered with a memo that states: What did Rhee do when the evidence in the memo was presented to her?

Apparently she followed Sanford’s number one recommendation as listed in the memo, she was quoted saying “That we keep this Erasure study really close hold. No more people in the know than necessary until we have more conclusive results.”
http://m.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/04/12/why-not-subpoena-everyone-in-d-c-cheating-scandal-rhee-included/

Concerned with Michelle Rhees and Students First legacy? Here are a few disturbing facts. 25, the number of D.C. schools closed during Rhee’s tenure,
 which began in June 2007 and lasted until October 2010. Twenty-three schools were closed in 2008 alone.

1/3, 1 333.3 Teachers of the 4,000 teachers on the DCPS payroll on Sept. 1, 2007 were gone by 2011, through firings, layoffs and attrition.
http://m.washingtonpost.com/opinions/book-review-radical-fighting-to-put-students-first-by-michelle-rhee/2013/02/08/562df41e-671e-11e2-85f5-a8a9228e55e7_story.html

You think through her plan to better American schools she is actually relying on parents to assist and guide the education of our children? Think again. She said this when asked about her goals to turn around education. “My goal is to ensure that laws, leaders, and policies are making students – not adults – our top priority!”

In her book, Radical: Fighting to put Students First she says, “Rhee’s awakening to the potential of every child is blessed with a great teacher, her rage at realizing that adults with special interests are blocking badly needed change.
http://www.studentsfirst.org/pages/about-michelle-rhee

Using the StudentsFirst State Policy Report Card (SPRC), a tool of radical change, to facilitate States to take over our schools, and not in a good way. This reform measure takes our schools and teachers away from local school boards, superintendents and discourages parent or teacher involvement, essentially removing those obstacles called Adults or Teachers from the equation by manipulation, performance measures thus tightening control and eliminating their voice. 

This overtaking of our educational system with no decision making from those pesky “Adults” can only lead to a recipe for disaster, complete control of our schools by our “state led” and eventually fed led and nationalization of our schools. Can you see a pattern developing here. 

She went on to say, remove the obstacles (adults, parents) and real change can take place.
http://www.studentsfirst.org/blog/entry/more-states-taking-over-struggling-schools

In essence what she is saying is “Let’s take our schools away from the teachers, adults, parents, school board, taxpayers, Superintendents and principals and turn them over to the state and DOE and we can have real education reform.”

From her bio on the StudentsFirst website Ms. Rhee is partnering with school districts, state education agencies, non-profit organizations and unions to transform the way schools and other organizations recruit, select and train highly qualified teachers in difficult-to-staff schools.

Another radical change that has been enacted in TN is the teacher performance evaluation that allows a teacher to be evaluated to keep their licensure based largely on how a student performs on standardized tests. A 5 tier grading system largely based on how well a student does on a standardized test that will put their employment, licensure and careers at great risk.

Again, adults removed from the equation, caring locally invested teachers, many who have grown up and been raised in the community they teach, plucked out of their schools and replaced with radical robots with a six week summer training course under their belt using  compliant “adults” brainwashed and made to conduct accordingly via the TFA, Teach for America, or Rhees very own. TNTP, The New Teacher Project.

Interesting to note, teachers from these two organizations do not need to be teachers, trained in education or certified as education instructors, to be inserted into these school replacing these “bad adult teachers” , they just need to have a strong desire to educate and a degree .

In fact, although boasting an educational background, Michelle Rhee has a bachelor’s degree in government from Cornell University and a master’s in public policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. 

Hardly a teacher, yet given the authority to change our states educational grid. 

We have a bureaucratic stooge deadset on the nationalization of our schools and an eventual takeover of our schools by the federal government and the Department of Education.

We are in the midst of takeover. Your child is the victim. Our elected officials have played you and I and we have given up our student sovereignty for the almighty dollar.

We rushed into RTTT with its millions to create change. Who had called for this change? A politician leading the charge? We can trace this societal change back to a few visionaries blinded by greed and the ability to “bring the bacon” back to Tennessee. 

Surely we can agree that perhaps we need to focus on areas for improvement. Yet I think we can agree that replacing what we have with a moronic scheme of deprivation and inadequacies is hardly the answer!

  1. I generally like your comments and have for a good period of time. However, your apparent appreciation of School Unions in TN and the DC area make me question your sincerity in shrinking local and federal governments. Her attempt to sweep out the unions gets her some points in my estimation. If more superintendents and school boards were to demand accountability from educators we may be making a move in the right direction. Most of your other points are valid but on this one? Not so much.

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    • Thanks for you comments Ron. As you know our Children are at war with radical change and those thinking they have all the answers. My stance against Rhee is not because of he stance against of for unions, the focus of this blog was with her poor results and the issues she had with her attempts at success. I quoted Merrow from AFT because he touched on some legit issues with her performance as I did. I did not attack or defend unions for the same reasons you suggested. My stance is against radical change and those doing it. In a pretty world I agree that parents, teachers etc could have done a better job, I would also say that if everyone did what they needed to do, including unions we may not be in the mess we are with every radical in the country thinking they have a solution and leave our kids a nothing more than lab rats with no significant differing results. As you may be aware local control, school board control and parental, teache control is slowly slipping away from us. This is intentional. Adults gone what other obstacles to we have to the nationalism of our system. My resolve for smaller gvt and less encroachment, just please don’t allow a quote and a point of view change your mind. Life’s to short to slight those who dare stand up and attempt to maj a difference. Support those who stand, accept imperfection and support those in the trenches. There are a few, and you may be one of those people that need reinforcements on occasion. Have a great day. Stay with me.

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      • Sorry for the misunderstanding. I will admit that pitching public sector unions, of which Teachers Unions are a large factor, in any light other than what will shine through tar and feathers, makes me near insane. Public sector unions are the closest thing to government sanctioned Socialism or Communism we experience in America today. Although, to be sure, the executive branch and the legislative branch (mark Beohner’s non-rule as Speaker), along with SCOTUS backstopping the executive branch with ObamaCare, are quickly turning America from a Constitutional Representative Government into an Oligarchical Government. America better wake up as Common Core is but the latest thrust by our illegitimate (to me, at least) government in this war to grind our children into wards of the State for life. Again, Sorry.

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