Sunday, April 25, 2010

Bullied and Bribed: A Poem About Rhee, Parker and DC

Bullied and Bribed
by Arjun Janah

Michelle Rhee, and Parker tried/
To cut a deal. And Randi, too./
She's bold as brass, is dear Michelle./
And lying? Why, she does that too.//

Can Gandhi lie? No, he cannot./ **
George Washington, he puts to shame./
Oh dear, oh dear! What have we here?/
It seems the deal they cut is lame.//

She fired the teachers, saying she/
Was facing deficits so deep./
But now, a surplus is, she claims,
For she has promises to keep.//

Or smoke to blow? The council's mad./
It's clear that much is fishy here./
She needs the power. They've been had./
Such disrespect is tough to bear.//

So welcome, pols, to this our world,/
Where students, those who are sincere,/
And teachers, into pits are hurled./
With leaders bold, why should we fear?//

We should, because, and yet again,/
They try to be too smart, and so,/
They usher in yet more of pain,/
As we are bribed and bullied more.//

So don't be bribed. To bullies, say,/
"Your heart is small, your mind is wee./
We teach, and we are here to stay./
If you want change, a teacher be!"//

So listen up, Obama, hear!/
The ones you trust are flinging bull!/
Perhaps you should, those workers, hear,/
Whose plates, with endless work, are full!

2010 April 24th, Sun

** Natwar Gandhi, the D.C's C.F.O., disputes Rhee's sudden claim
of a
budget surplus to finance the raises she had dangled to cut the deal with
Weingarten and Parker that gave her the firing powers she craved.

Her new-found "surplus" replaces
the "deficit" she had claimed earlier
-- and utilized to fire teachers.

Arjun teaches science in a NYC high school

1 comment:

Nat Turner said...

It's moments like this when my confidence in Chancellor Rhee is tested and I'm so confused. Everyone around me is calling her a liar or a degenerate sociopath or a chickenhawk enabler or a bumbling incompetent who was never qualified to run a convenience store much less the DCPS. It's hard to believe they're all wrong but I will cling desperately to a time, not so long ago, when things were not so bleak.

My mind wanders to the lovely picture of Michelle on the cover of Time magazine gently sweeping a classroom with a broom. And isn't that where she shines? Those incomparable people skills! The leadership by example! How many $275,000 a year Chancellors will get in there with the custodians to keep things in order.

Then there are the echoes of the soon-to-be president Barack Obama saying Michelle's name to a national TV audience. Even though he treats her name like it was poison now it was thrilling at the time. Misty watercolor memories of the way we were.

And I remember how loyal she can be when her man gives special tutoring to 16-year-old girls, lots of teenage girls. You know when Michelle falls she falls hard. How many other women in a position of great power would risk it all to cover up child molestation. It's the stuff of romance novels and indictments. Thankfully the DC teacher that had sex with the student wasn't her betrothed and he could be RIFed several months after the incident.

But the greatest source of solace has always been that romantic but mysterious period of Michelle's life that has only been explained by one man. Through the dogged investigative reporting of the WAPO's education maven Jay Mathews we now have the facts and a mountain of documentation to chase away all the doubters. Thank you Jay, how sweet to recite the tale!

"The Fable of Michelle Rhee" by Jay Mathews.

Once upon a time, there was a young Ivy League missionary with a couple years to kill before getting on with her life's work. Rather than backpacking through Europe or climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro after a safari in Africa, our intrepid heroine plunged into the mean streets of Baltimore where children who live in poverty test poorly.

One day the missionary-princess was struck down like St. Paul on the way to Damascus. "Sit the poor children in a circle," the voice told her. And sit them in a circle she did.

Her students forevermore scored like rich children on tests. And they all lived happily ever after.

Just take my word on that. I swear its true. No, no really, stop laughing. How rude. Ok, that's enough, get up off the floor. Geez, its a fairy tale. You know like Pinocchio?

Note to Bill Gates: I think Anita Dunn is going to need more money. This is starting to look like an episode of Mission Impossible.
--Adrian Fenty, spokesmodel for the Federal City Council.