Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Cat Got Your Tongue?

In connection with NYC Educator's post on cheating yesterday, I wanted to share this gem with you in case you haven't caught it. Michelle Rhee, media darling of the education world, seems to have gone awfully quiet with respect to investigations into widespread cheating in the D.C. public schools during her tenure as chancellor. It would seem that the cat, perhaps an adorable furry one as pictured at left, has Ms. Rhee's tongue.

I hate to kick someone when she's down, I really do. If she has any sense of shame, disappointment, or confusion about these allegations, I can understand why she would find it difficult to share that. As well, if she feels confident that the allegations are untrue but finds out later that they are more well-substantiated than she thought, she would sound silly to comment. From a legal and humanistic perspective, I understand her reticence.

But at the same time, it's hard to feel sorry for someone who seemed to feel no compunction about using the media to draw attention to oneself when she seemed to really enjoy sharing the blame. There is the famous story in which Rhee invited reporters to witness and film her firing a principal. Not only are members of the media frustrated with her behavior now, but school stakeholders in D.C. are, I imagined, pretty steaming with her as well.

I think Rhee would better serve herself and her goals by being as open and frank with the media as she always has been. If she wants to burnish her tough, no-nonsense, no-excuses persona, I can't think of a better time to do it than now.
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