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History Lesson for Michelle Rhee

Michelle Rhee and the worker bees at “Students First” (sic) continue to conflate tenure with a lifetime job. I assure you that no such thing exists at the K-12 level. Why Rhee pushes this lie is open for debate. I am sure it brings in a lot of money and helps keep her fading group in the spotlight.

K-12 tenure is simply due process. Anyone not knowing the history of “tenure” and civil service reform would do well to look into it. Michelle Rhee might need some remediation on this. To tell you the truth, I think she knows that tenure simply means due process. She is engaging in a cynical attempt to mislead the public and push a privatization scheme. She is blaming teachers and pushing the myth of “failing schools.”

Tenure came out of reform movements in the 1800s. There was a need to protect workers and end the spoils system. Does Rhee want to go back to the days when dissenters were simply fired on the spot? Rhee is known for this type of intimidation. Ending tenure is a way to intimidate teachers into silence and compliance. Then Rhee and her confederate Jeb Bush can say- “Teachers support us!”

Does Rhee want to go back to the times when most elderly Americans died in poverty – before social security? Does she want to go back to when there were no inspections at meat factories? Does she want to go back to when schools were segregated? (see choice canard)

In 1820 a Tenure in Office Act was passed as an attempt to get rid of anyone not agreeing with the current president. If you did not agree and become a “yes man” you were simply fired. This is what Rhee wants today – no dissent.

An independent civil service and an independent teaching force are VITAL for democracy.

The push by Rhee, Jeb Bush and others to end tenure is an attempt to end all dissent so do not let them tell you otherwise. I have seen some teachers “let go” despite the fact that they had great test scores. They were vocal and spoke out against testing and other issues. They were let go.

And don’t tell me about Michelle Rhee being a Democrat. George Wallace was a Democrat. The attempts to end public education and blame schools for the ills of society- know no party.


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