Monday, April 15, 2013

Being Reformy Means Never Having to Say You're Sorry

Reformy Rhee is besieged by suggestions Erase to the Top was bigger and badder than she'd ever acknowledged. The smoking memo has been released, and she's all Scarlett O'Hara: "What? Little old me? Well I never saw any blessed memo. Let them look at it tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is another day."

Apparently, her successor, Kaya Henderson never saw the memo either, yet now deems it to be flawed. One of the great things about being reformy is this--whatever goes wrong, it isn't your fault. It was an emergency! Children were suffering. We didn't have time to do any stinking research! How could we possibly have anticipated people would cheat?

And that's a good question. After all, they had choices. They could raise test scores and get bonuses, or fail to raise test scores and get fired. In Rhee-world, there are No Excuses. How could she possibly have anticipated that people would cheat and get bonuses rather than tell the truth and get fired? After all, she not only never saw the memo, but she also never heard of Campbell's Law.

Who would've thunk principals and teachers would invest heavily in erasers rather than get fired, lose their health insurance, be homeless, and get the jobs at Walmart for which Rhee and her minions wish to train our children. I say our children because Rhee's kid, like Bloomberg's, like Rahm's, like Klein's, like John King's, goes to an elite private school where nonsense like this does not apply.

In a perfect world, Rhee's DC would get a thorough investigation just like the one conducted in Atlanta. However, with Rhee BFFs Obama, Duncan, Gates, Broad and the Family Walmart, I'm not altogether optimistic we'll see one anytime soon. It's ironic, because a big Rhee theme is no excuses. Too bad if your kids don't speak English, if they have learning disabilities, if they have no support at home, if they have no home, or whatever. Thus spake The Great and Powerful Rhee.

I leave you today with the tale of Rhee the Reformer, Dr. Seuss-style, as only brilliant Teacher Sabrina could tell it.

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