DC Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee proposes teaching parents ‘basic skills’
Mention the name Michelle Rhee in education circles and you will get a very mixed set of emotions. Her less than tactful methods of approaching school reform have brought about a variety of reactions from various members of the educational community.
Many welcome her methods and praise her no-nonsense approach towards ‘reforming’ the DC Public School system. She has affectionately been called "a maverick" and "the Ax" by those who see her methods as bringing about necessary change to the DC School system.
Critics, however, fear that her lack of experience and refusal to collaborate with educational stakeholders – parents, educators, community members - will create even bigger problems for the failing school system.
Most of her zealousness has been aimed at teachers and their unions and people tend to like a good old fashioned teacher-bash; but what happens when she starts to apply "the Ax" towards parents?
Bill Turque at The Washington Post reports that Rhee has presented a 79 page "action plan" which discusses proposals to address important issues in the DC school system. Among the issues discussed are security and discipline policies, more specialized schools and interestingly enough, the creation of a "Parent Academy". Turque reports:The academy would be created as a part of other community outreach programs and proposes to :teach parents "the full set of basic skills necessary to be a successful participant" in their child's education.The academy seems to have been proposed in response to the fact that Rhee does not feel that parents quite understand what is best for their children. Turque writes:The report also addresses at length the issue of parent involvement and is at one point bluntly critical of families for accepting, even supporting, mediocre schools.Rhee has come under fire lately by some parent groups who feel that the chancellor has been ignoring their input and refusing to include their opinions.
"Too many of our students' parents are uninformed consumers of public education who blindly support the District's public schools without full knowledge of the significant deficiencies of the schools," the document says.
Educators make the claim that Rhee fires individuals who oppose her methods, but what can be done with parents who do not agree?
I guess you can always send them to a "parent academy".
Michelle Rhee: Self-Important Bitch
This Examiner story shows a couple things: First, that Michelle Rhee seems to realize that parents are a huge (79 pages worth) problem with the education of children, and second, that Ms. Rhee would like all parents to realize that it is the teachers/schools that are the problem. Rhee has 2 faces, the one that knows the truth, the other that wants a job. I hate her. She deserves my hate. She is worse than Hitler (almost!)