Monday, October 11, 2010

Reacting to the Klein/Rheeist Manifesto in WAPO - Sabrina Tosses the CRAP!

I just don't seem to have the time to do long blogs of my own anymore. So much great stuff coming in I can't manage to keep up. So instead of dealing with it I spent the weekend avoiding it all. The weather was just too nice. And all the sports and that new 46 inch TV dominating a small room so that watching part of Tony Curtis and Burt Lancaster in "The Sweet Smell of Success" last night, it seemed they were in the Man Cave with me. Well, let's get to it.

There's been a lot of anti-ed deform buzz the Washington Post Joel Klein/Michelle Rhee Sunday Washington Post claptrap of market based solutions. To me it is a sign of panic as a result of the Rhee/Fenty loss in DC, the collapse of the test scores in NY (see a semi-tough story in today's Times - which I hope to deal with later), the reviews for Waiting for Superman including real facts that are glossed over in the movie - like only 18% of charter schools do better than neighborhood schools - (and taking into account their creaming and advertizing with their glossy brochures, it is probably worse than that) - I find it a delicious irony that W4S has managed to help get our message across.

The Gates Foundation has joined the millions being put forth for WfS publicity by tossing in 2 million of its own:

Participant Media, LLC
Date: August 2010
Purpose: to execute a social action campaign that will complement Paramount’s marketing campaign of Waiting for Superman
Amount: $2,000,000
Term: 7 months
Topic: Advocacy & Public Policy
Region Served: North America, Global
Program: United States
Grantee Location: Beverly Hills, California

The Always Awesome Sabrina at Failing Schools Blog has come up with CRAP - and she used a bit of our footage.

Introducing…the Corporate Reform Action Pack

October 11, 2010
by Sabrina
You know, the first time I read the manifesto by Klein, Rhee & company, I was pretty disgusted. It seemed like just another bit of heavy-handed propaganda from more or less the same people who are always hamming it up for the cameras to promote their ideologically driven vision for America’s schools.

But then I read it again. This time, I was inspired to join the McGraw family and everyone else cashing in on America’s anxiety about public schooling tidal wave of pro-reform energy currently sweeping our nation. I want to take part in ending practices that favor adults instead of children (as long as no one ends practices like the one where I could get a five-figure bonus on top of my six-figure salary, even if there was no measurable improvement in my district, while students in my district’s schools are crammed 30+ to a poorly-supplied classroom).

I want to help overcome the linguistic and statistical limitations of the word “best” and make sure that the best teacher is in every classroom, and that the best principal is in every school. I haven’t found who those two people are yet, nor have I perfected the mechanism by which I’ll clone them, but I do believe I have something to significant to offer in the meantime.

I give you…The Corporate Reform Action Pack! My words will do it no justice. Instead, please enjoy this commercial.

(For real, though, I do plan to actually take the time to seriously address some of the major problems I see with that hot mess of a document. But right now, I’m at that point where I just have to crack-wise in order to not go completely nuts. I’m betting I’m not alone in that, so enjoy :) if you’re with me, and calm the heck down if you’re not. There’s some fast text at a couple of places; it may not make much of a difference to you if you don’t read it all, but if you’re interested in what it says, go ahead and hit pause. You’ll probably get more out of it if you view it full screen, too.)


  1. I believe it's 17%, Norm, and should therefore be rounded to 15 rather than 20. Of course, I'm just a lowly teacher, not an important filmmaker who gets 2 million from Gates to promote my project.

  2. Wow, that manifesto/cheap editorial rant IS a hot mess. I'm genuinely surprised at the superficiality of it. That it would be hopelessly backwards and idiotic was a given, given its authors.


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