Michelle Rhee’s newly created twitter account
While researching Michelle Rhee’s departure as DC School Chancellor today, I found something that was in one way expected and in another way weird. Immediately after announcing her resignation today, Michelle Rhee also announced that she had created a twitter account and a blog. While I’m confident someone with some social media experience is doing this actual work and not really Rhee, she undoubtedly is in the equation and effort to do some PR work there.
Now the expected part is Rhee’s attempt to manipulate social media to prove how much she values “continuing the reform conversation she started in DC” or something to that effect. I’m sure we can expect a continued attempt at creating illusions of her “warrior woman” ambitious and the accompanying education reform programs. In an effort to prove how open Rhee is to debate with teachers/parents/community members throughout the nation (remember: only if they support her ideas), Rhee has deemed this blog and twitter page necessary for us.
The weird part is the notion that through social media, Rhee will be able to convince people that she values parent/community/educator input. I mean I know bigger stunts and deceptions have been pulled via the internet but that one takes a real stretch of the imagination.
Take a look at the reader/blogger comments that were selectively drawn from her blog:
“Teacher quality is the key. But that means ongoing, high-quality professional development, as well as continual evolution of curriculum and methodology. ‘Drive-by’ professional development — one-shot deals that don’t change professional practice — do not work. Sustained professional development is where it’s at. Looking forward to seeing where you grow from here!” —Michael F.
“Organize the parents! Run advocacy trainings to develop new community leaders; get out the vote in advance of school board elections; make school board elections the most talked about races in any district. Build a teacher brand independent of AFT, NEA, or TFA so the debate shifts back to the issues, rather than focusing on pro-teacher or anti-teacher.” —Lita D.
“You shouldn’t have to worry what ZIP code you’re in. Teachers should be held accountable. Books should be regularly updated, and there should be enough for all students. Buildings should be updated and every student should have a computer. And parents must be held accountable too.” —Karen F
Now I’m quite sure that many black voters and community members in DC know how Rhee truly feels about the middle “Organize the parents!” comment being that there was resistance to many of Rhee’s top-down reform because it ignored community voices. Open honest debate has never been something corporate ed reforms desired nor pursued. However, the fraudulent appearance of robust, transparent debate because they welcome input, criticism, and conversation? That they’ll arrange for all day, so long as the deck is stacked and they’re confident enough people don’t know about it.