Monday, July 28, 2008

The Kindness of Strangers

Everyone's favorite chancellor, Michelle Rhee, is out pretending to be Mike Bloomberg again. Here's a recent quote:

"We are finally going to put aside the rights and privileges and priorities of adults" — and return the focus to children, she said.

Mayor Mike said almost the same thing a few years back. It's interesting that, as chancellor,Ms. Rhee would portray education is an incredibly simplistic struggle between children and adults, with only one possible winner. You'd think, "Gee, it must be a pleasure to teach in the DC school system. Boy, those teachers must be delighted to be in those schools and partying 24/7. They must be having dance parties while I'm doing hall patrol."

It's a wonder we don't all get in our cars and look for work there. But let's get back to Ms. Rhee's conflict.

You'd have to ask yourself this--exactly whom do we make the world a better place for? Children or adults? Well, if we're going to pursue this preposterous question, I'd say adults, since we spend most of our lives as adults.

Or we could simply come down to planet earth and ask ourselves this question--what do our children become when they grow up? Please choose one:

a. lawn chairs
b. kangaroos
c. bicycle seats
d. adults

If you answered "d," you've passed NYC Educator's weekly multiple choice exam. Congratulations on your discerning judgment.

Now that we've established our children are going to grow up to be adults, doesn't it make sense to at least offer them job protection? Or should we leave our children to the tender mercies of demagogues like Ms. Rhee? I mean, can we trust her?

sent me here, where Jim Horn informs us of the following:

Back in January Chancellor Michelle Rhee argued for and got the closing of 23 DC Schools, based on the premise of saving taxpayers $23 million. Now it seems that Rhee will use $7.5 million of those saved dollars to bail out five Catholic schools in DC, which are now scheduled to open this Fall as "secular" charter schools.

So I gotta wonder this--if Ms. Rhee has no qualms about misleading the taxpayers (who are, after all, adults, whose rights and privileges and priorities deserve to be put aside anyway), what reason do we have to suppose she'd look after our children? Because make no mistake, Ms. Rhee wants the right to fire working people with no due process whatsoever.

Don't enough people get fired in this country? Shouldn't we be aiming for fewer, rather than more Americans losing jobs for no reason?

And shouldn't our children have rights based on something more secure than the changing whims of Michelle Rhee?

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