I love the smell of AstroTurf in the morning, don't you? Michelle Rhee appears to be taking a page out of the books of those lovely right-wing organizations like FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity, who routinely game blog comments and social media to weight their message and make it look like there's more support for their crazy thoughts than there actually is.
Michelle Rhee's group in Florida is emailing around a bunch of right wing links about the parent trigger and how those mean unions get in the way of "real education", while bribing their list members with gift cards for pro-StudentsFirst propaganda posted on blogs.
Also, starting right now, there will be a monthly contest for the best rapid response. The more comments you leave on blog posts, the more times you can enter! Post a polite and persuasive pro-reform comment and email me the link so I can check it out.
That's all you have to do!
At the end of the month (August 26th at midnight) I will announce the winner. Not only will that winner get a gift card to the restaurant or store of choice, but he or she will also be promoting the cause of real and transformative change in public schools! What could be better?
Awesome! Just drop your propaganda and a gift card is in your future. Maybe.
Meanwhile, about those charter schools Rhee loves so very much "for the students" have a bit of a problem. In Ohio, a virtual charter school has been put on probation after going into the hole to the tune of $800,000 while the operator of said virtual charter school hired the wife, brother and son of the superintendent in the district where it was chartered. Ohio's charter schools owe millions in unpaid auditor fees, escaping accountability for their use of public funds. At least, for now.
In Philadelphia, a charter school operator is accused of defrauding Philadephia schools out of over $6.5 million.
But that doesn't stop Joel Klein - Rhee and Rupert's partner in profitization -- from trumpeting how awesome New York's charter schools are. As if that wasn't loathsome enough, Klein actually argues that poverty isn't any kind of limiting factor as long as those kids get into the right charter school.
Education isn't a series of test scores. After all, Klein is high-fiving charters over test scores that include ridiculous questions like the one about the pineapple and the hare. Honestly, if those charter schools actually performed on questions like that, it's likely the kids aren't learning anything at all!
But hey, say nice things and you'll get a gift card. Thanks, Michelle!