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Posted at 6:30 AM ET, 07/16/2010

A parody: Baseball phenom to run D.C. schools

By Valerie Strauss

Here’s another news parody from Gary Babad, a clinical social worker, who writes often for the NYC Public School Parents Blog. His first parody on this blog was about BP, teachers and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

strasburg.JPG


By Gary Babad
July 16, 2010 (GBN News Washington Bureau) -- While acclaimed Washington Nationals’ rookie Stephen Strasburg was not chosen for the All Star team as many had been advocating, he will be given another high-profile role. D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty announced today that as of next week, Strasburg will be replacing Michelle Rhee as chancellor of D.C. public schools.

The move came as a complete shock to just about everyone involved in the educational system. Rhee had all but endorsed D.C. Mayor Fenty for re-election, indicating that she might not remain as chancellor if his opponent, D.C. Council Chairman Vincent Gray, unseats him.

But the mayor is said to have concluded that, as much as he has supported the chancellor’s educational reforms, Strasburg is far more popular than the controversial Rhee and would provide a greater boost to his campaign.

Despite almost unanimous respect for Strasburg’s baseball skills, some critics reacted to the appointment by contending that he still lacks experience as a pitcher, let alone as an educational administrator.

But Rhee herself came to the job with little experience, and has preferred to employ new teachers such as Teach for America recruits over those with many years in the system. As a spokesperson for the mayor told GBN News: “In education these days, lack of experience is not a liability. It’s a prerequisite.”

Still, Strasburg may find it difficult to keep up with the demands of the new job, given that he will only be at it four days out of five. Every fifth day, he will continue to take the mound for the Washington Nationals.

And the mayor’s choice for chancellor may not even help the D.C. schools’ Race to the Top application. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, a rabid basketball fan, is said to have favored LeBron Jamesfor the position.

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By Valerie Strauss  | July 16, 2010; 6:30 AM ET
Tags:  d.c. schools, lebron james, michelle rhee, news parody, parody on d.c. schools, reforming d.c. schools, rhee and fenty, stephen strasburg  
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Comments

Outstanding analogy, Gary! Valeria, thanks so much for sharing it. As usual, I must add that Rhee, who is highly unqualified, is better qualified than US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. These days, all you need is an undergraduate degree in whatever.

Posted by: lacy4 | July 16, 2010 7:24 AM | Report abuse

Believe me as fickle as DC residents can be...wait until the Redskin's pre-season begin and the tide could change again and McNabb could be tapped for a high-profile post.

Posted by: PowerandPride | July 16, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

Off topic, just wanted to make sure that you read this, it supports what you have been writing.
http://www.newsweek.com/2010/07/10/the-creativity-crisis.html

ps A bachelor's in whatever, money and political influence are the stuff administrator's are made of.

Posted by: ananna | July 16, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

"But Rhee herself came to the job with little experience, and has preferred to employ new teachers such as Teach for America recruits over those with many years in the system. As a spokesperson for the mayor told GBN News: “In education these days, lack of experience is not a liability. It’s a prerequisite.”"

The drop in elementary scores can be traced directly to having inexperienced teachers and moving teachers around grade levels like so many pieces on a chess board. As someone who has taught for 32 years, I can tell you that it takes at least 3 years to really understand the content, pacing, and tricks to successfully teach the content at any given grade level...more realistically I'd say five years to be firing on all cylinders.

Posted by: buckbuck11 | July 16, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

"he will only be at it four days out of five. Every fifth day, he will continue to take the mound for the Washington Nationals"

Left out were the visits to Aspen Institute, Sacramento Press Club etc.

Posted by: edlharris | July 16, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

ananna,
Thanks so much for the link to the Newsweek article! It is quite refreshing.

Posted by: shadwell1 | July 16, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

What? Newsweek actually published something about education that wasn't about punishing teachers? I wonder what happened.

Posted by: aby1 | July 16, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

More sexism against Michelle Rhee from self-hating women like Valerie Strauss with a solid published record of writing sexist rants. Somewhere your hip political friend from college is cringing at what you wrote today Valerie.

Posted by: bbcrock | July 16, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Great parody.

The only problem is that when the parody actually does mimic current reality too well, as this parody does, there is a great deal of unease after the recognition that it is a parody.

If this parody was published in a newspaper as news, many of the beer drinking Americans who accept bashing teachers as the answer to the problems of Title 1 poverty public schools would accept this parody as real news.

Still this parody is really very good.

Posted by: bsallamack | July 16, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

More sexism against Michelle Rhee from self-hating women like Valerie Strauss with a solid published record of writing sexist rants. Somewhere your hip political friend from college is cringing at what you wrote today Valerie.

Posted by: bbcrock
..................................
Excellent example of the difficulty of distinguishing between parody and reality.

This reminds me of American comic books after the Korean war where the Chinese soldiers were always calling American soldiers "the running dogs of capitalistic pigs".

Note the use of the word "rants" in a comment that might easily characterized as a rant.

Posted by: bsallamack | July 16, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Believe me as fickle as DC residents can be...wait until the Redskin's pre-season begin and the tide could change again and McNabb could be tapped for a high-profile post.

McNabb is a lot more respectful of his teammates than Rhee ever was, Class vs Trash

Posted by: mamoore1 | July 16, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

"Believe me as fickle as DC residents can be...wait until the Redskin's pre-season begin and the tide could change again and McNabb could be tapped for a high-profile post."

Anyone in here remember George Plimpton's, Paper Lion? The idea of Michelle Rhee taking over the Redskins' offense in a preseason game, even if just for one series of downs... OH BABY!!!

Please. Please bring back Buddy Ryan to coach the Baltimore Ravens defense for this game, and make sure that Ray Lewis gets to have a pre-game meal with some recently "separated" DCPS teachers.

Posted by: AGAAIA | July 16, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

What? Newsweek actually published something about education that wasn't about punishing teachers? I wonder what happened.

Posted by: aby1
.......................
Read the article. Rather interesting.

Posted by: bsallamack | July 16, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Anyone in here remember George Plimpton's, Paper Lion? The idea of Michelle Rhee taking over the Redskins' offense in a preseason game, even if just for one series of downs... OH BABY!!!

Please. Please bring back Buddy Ryan to coach the Baltimore Ravens defense for this game, and make sure that Ray Lewis gets to have a pre-game meal with some recently "separated" DCPS teachers.

-----------

And we could sell out FedEx Field's 80,000+ seats for this game at $250 (per public school teacher) generating another $20 million for the Teacher's Contract. Please Michelle, it's for the kids!

Posted by: AGAAIA | July 16, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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