by Edd Doerr
The 9/28/12 Washington Post features a half-page op ed piece by Michelle Rhee titled "A Democratic evolution", in which she lashes out at the Chicago teachers and their union and at teachers and teacher unions in general. Rhee, the failed head of the DC school system, had the nerve to call herself a Democrat.
Her blustery half-page screed consciously overlooked the fact that the recent Chicago teacher strike was supported by 90% of the teachers and a solid majority of Chicago parents. Rhee nose-thumbingly
uttered not a word about the fact that 86% of Chicago kids are black or Latino and about that % live below or near the poverty line. Her spiel said not a word about the fact that Chicago public schools are overcrowded, lack adequate air conditioning in warm weather, are seriously short of such wraparound services as nurses and social workers, and have far too many kids in too many classes (such as one teacher's class of 41!). We know from Tennessee's STAR demonstration that keeping K-3 kids in classes of not over 15 kids has strong beneficial effects that last through high school. But getting class sizes down means more money for more classrooms and more teachers.
Let's not forget that Rhee is a rabid hater of teachers, is a strong advocate of diverting public funds to sectarian and other special interest private schools, and runs a zillionaire-funded outfit called "StudentsFirst", a front for undermining public education