Michelle Rhee and for-profit education scams, no one could have predicted:
On January 23 the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities, the government relations umbrella group for for-profit colleges in the United States, announced that former president George W. Bush would be the keynote speaker at the organization’s annual conference in June at Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
While this generated some minor controversy, it wasn’t really all that surprising. Bush was very supportive of for-profit colleges during his time in office. During his first term, for instance, Bush appointed former University of Phoenix lobbyist Sally Stroup to be assistant secretary for postsecondary education in his Department of Education.
But another speaker at this event is drawing a lot more attention….
That’s right, Michelle Rhee, education reformer, Teach for America alumnus, someone who works to “defend the interests of children in public education and pursue transformative reform so that America has the best education system in the world.”
No wonder the Kaplan Daily fluffed her so much.
Neil Bush has been heavily involved in ed reform, testing programs, etc. from day one. No surprise at that connection.
Paul McCartney resents that you associate his song in any way with Rhee.
There’s nothing like an intentionally divisive and shamelessly opportunistic “expert” to lead reform of our public schools. What could go wrong?
And how much is Michelle Rhee making for the speech?
Chronicling Mitt’s Mendacity, Vol. XV
By Steve Benen – Fri Apr 27, 2012 3:11 PM EDT.
After winning several more presidential primaries this week, Mitt Romney delivered a speech his campaign billed as the unofficial kickoff of the general election. And while making his pitch as the presumptive Republican nominee, the former governor said President Obama intends to “run a campaign of … distortions.”
I very nearly fell out of my chair. After watching Romney closely for years, I’ve never seen any candidate in either party run a campaign of distortions as shamelessly as this guy, and this claim seemed to take the “I’m rubber, you’re glue” tactic to new levels.
To appreciate the scope of Romney’s distortions, consider the 15th installment of my weekly series, chronicling Mitt’s mendacity.
1. Romney argued in Pennsylvania earlier this week that President Obama has “apologized for America.”
The fact that Romney continues to repeat this lie every day is pretty depressing.
2. The Romney campaign argued this week that college tuition costs are going up is because “this president decided to take over the student loan market.”
As a matter of policy, that’s ridiculous, and as a matter of accuracy, it’s completely untrue.
Everyone has a price. Everyone.
Rhee was always a fraud.
That woman gives me the creeps.
You know the Liberal Media is going to run with this story …
Saw that earlier this week. I’ve had bad vibes about her from the get-go. And now she’s married to our mayor. Good thing she’s not interested in being superintendent of a middling size city school district, or I’d be really leery.
I read her fee was $50k. Sorry, don’t have the cite.
And what exactly is Michelle Rhee’s mortal sin (besides taking on the teacher’s union)?
Michelle Rhee and her fellow travelers are “going to burn in a very special level of Hell. A level they reserve for child molesters and people who talk at the theater.”
@Augie: Are you a product of a for-profit college?
Rhee didn’t come in clean, she was always damaged goods. She didn’t get bought she was already paid for.
For once BJ was really slow on something. Washington Monthly had this a week ago.
I’m surprised by President Bush, because it’s now basically common knowledge that for-profits prey on veterans.
I would think he would be aware of it, or someone would tell him, even if for the political risk in the association. Obama proposed some (way too weak) protections today, as a matter of fact. The veterans issues on for-profit colleges are (I think) potential political poison.
Unfortunately, plenty of Democrats bought into the Rhee privatization scam. PLENTY. Too many. I think (some) Democrats are really, really going to regret it down it the road, because it’s going to blow up, and I assume some were well-intentioned, anyway. One or two.
The funny thing here is that the US already has what is arguably the best university system on the planet (though cost is definitely an increasing problem). Why do we need a bunch of even more expensive colleges that provide lower quality education?
Frontline did amazing work on veterans and for-profit colleges. Looks like President Bush missed that episode.
It’s been really Harkin and Durbin alone out there, amid armies of lobbyists, and, well, the entire commercial media. NBC’s “Education Nation” did a fair n’ balanced look at education…..which was sponsored by Phoenix.
Here’s Obama today on it.
There’s also this:
Leaders of a national education reform movement, including Joel I. Klein and Michelle Rhee, the former schools chancellors in New York and Washington, have formed a statewide political group in New York with an eye toward being a counterweight to the powerful teachers’ union in the 2013 [New York] mayoral election….
On the board are some of the most well-known and polarizing figures in public education, including Ms. Rhee; Mr. Klein, now a News Corporation executive; and Eva S. Moskowitz, the former councilwoman who now runs a chain of charter schools. Also on the board are former Mayor Edward I. Koch; Geoffrey Canada, the founder of the Harlem Children’s Zone organization, a network of charter schools; and a number of venture capitalists and hedge fund managers, who have served as the movement’s financial backers.
An anti-union group that includes Rhee, Murdoch’s consigliere, and a bunch of hedge fund managers. Lovely.
And don’t forget that Jeb is in the for-profit mix here as well.
You mean other than faking the test results that made her famous?
She asked the government to base policy on test results that she falsified. That’s all you need to know about Rhee.
Mitt Romney. All lies, all the time.
It’s so depressing, because it’s the same old story.
Deregulate, introduce profit motive into formerly public or non-profit entity, watch ensuing disaster slowly unfold, shock, dismay, regret, impossible to re-regulate.
@Kay: You forgot price goes up.
Rhee is scum. Thoughtless, self-serving scum.
Democrats who fell for her corporate, test-obsessed reforms should be ashamed of themselves.
And what exactly is the unions’ mortal sin (besides protecting the professional dignity of their members)?
@PeakVT: So someone can make money. That’s pretty much and end in itself for a good number of Americans. Hopefully not a majority.
I’m grateful to them. I think they slowed the rush to deregulate and privatize and in that way gave the public a chance to catch up. They were the only thing in the way, and thank goodness someone was, because it would have been full speed ahead.
Was going to make that same point.
It’s no accident that he was at the periphery of the S&L scandal around 1990, then got mixed up in the for-profit education racket in the Bush Jr. era. Dirty easy money, both times.
It’s a very dark commentary on our society that even education has been a central part of the economy-wide project of siphoning money from the poor and the public coffers into the pockets of the already wealthy and well-connected.
@SatanicPanic: Yeah, I know. I was going to add a Ferengi reference but I’m running low on snark.
It’s a service that nearly everyone wants and upon which no monetary cost can be readily applied. Frankly, I’d be surprised if “education reform” wasn’t the purview of charlatans and snake-oil salesman.
And she’s Mrs. Kevin Johnson, mayor of Sac-town!
“We” do not. But the rentiers do not give a shit about the quality of education for people not making it into the tiered university system. They just want that phat cash.
ETA, that phat Ferengi cash, obvs.
They’re thuggy thugs who do thuggy things both at work and in their spare time, that’s what!
EVERY time I note to wingers (including fellow grade school parents) the low California expenditure per student (on par with your deep southern states) they respond, “All you have to do is cut the overhead and stop the unions from protecting bad teachers.”
This happens at school fundraisers where we’re raising money to, among other basics, hire a librarian. Because there’s no budget for librarians. But hey, who needs those?
I’ve always harbored a special hate for the “reformist” crowd in education, especially now that several people that I knew in college were taken in by all the bullshit and have turned into shills for the charter school movement, TFA, &c., &c.
Arne Duncan was the one Cabinet appointment I genuinely disliked, and given his educational policies from day one, it seems that neither he nor anyone else in the administration is giving much of a fuck about the alleged advice they were getting from people like Linda Darling-Hammond during the election. In all fairness, this is somewhat due to the unique hamstringing of the “unconstitutional” Department of Education, which forces even the most well-intentioned to use odd methods, but several scholars at my former graduate school and others have shown that Duncan’s tenure as CEO of Chicago Public Schools left them worse off than before.
My problem with Rhee is similar. She’s hailed as a reformer when all she really did was fuck up a school system, falsify data (as was noted) and strike the brave pose for the newspapers by occasionally firing someone with some name recognition. I’m beginning to think that we’ve ended up with a class of interested dilettantes – people who want to help in some way or another but have no real expertise, or don’t want to acquire any, in what the best solutions might be.
392nd Rule of Acquisition: Out of markets? Look at schools.
I finally began to understand how toxic Michelle Rhee was a few years ago when I learned that many many principals running DC’s charter schools didn’t want her anywhere near them. They thought she was bad educator and did not genuinely care about children or teachers.
Good God! That was the “one” pick you disliked? The fucking “one”?