Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Schools Last?

Today, everyone in Carson City is buzzing. Why, you ask? Nevada won an award this week!

Oh, really? Oh, yes... Well, maybe not. It's really just a C- grade from Students First, but that's not stopping Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval (R-Deus ex machina) from basking in the glory of Michelle Rhee's words of praise.

Wait... What??!! Oh, yes. That's right. She's back on the scene.

Actually, Michelle Rhee never really left. Even after her "remarkable legacy of reform" was exposed to be a mere cheating ring, Rhee never stopped fighting teachers. Rather, she moved on and attempted to turn Students First into an education policy juggernaut. She even received some Hollywood PR assistance along with plenty of Wall Street money to promote her cause of "Rhee-form".

And yet, despite all this big money and big political establishment support, more and more teachers, parents, and students are questioning the veracity and effectiveness of the "magic elixir" of "Education Rhee-form". Even a former student supporter recently questioned the logic of Rhee's gospel of "high-stakes testing" and school privatization "choice".

So far, "Rhee-form" has only produced bloated administrative (top-level, top salary) staff, "revolving door" schools, test driven curricula that aren't proven to prepare students for life beyond "high-stakes testing", bottom-of-the-barrel rankings on quality-of-life scorecards that don't involve erasable test forms, and a lurid "Hunger Games" situation where so many schools must compete for so little funding. It isn't working. It simply isn't working for teachers, students, or anyone else (other than the very "Rhee-formers" who are profiting off their racket).

You know what will work? Actually supporting public education. But alas, that would require actual funding for Nevada schools. And it's so much easier for Governor Sandoval to accept praise from a far-away celebrity con artist.

Unfortunately for Governor Sandoval (and fortunately for Nevada students), We the People will have the last word on Rhee-form.

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