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Posted at 9:49 PM ET, 01/20/2011

Rhee moving organization to Sacramento

By Valerie Strauss

Michelle Rhee is moving the headquarters of her new national organization, Students First, to Sacramento, the city run by her fiance, Mayor Kevin Johnson.

Johnson made the announcement during his annual State of the City address.

He said that Rhee had been wooed by mayors around the country and that he was "not ashamed to say that I pulled out all the stops and utilized every means I had, but I managed to snag her," according to the Sacramento Bee.

Here's the reaction from Larry Ferlazzo, who teaches English at Luther Burbank High School in Sacramento and is a frequent guest on this blog, and who runs his own popular blog, on which he has criticized Rhee's policies: "Lucky us."

Since he has called her arrogant and graceless in the past, I'll take a wild guess: He doesn't mean it.

For those who don't know, Rhee has said she is attempting to raise $1 billion for her new effort to take on the teachers unions.


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By Valerie Strauss  | January 20, 2011; 9:49 PM ET
Categories:  Michelle Rhee  | Tags:  kevin johnson, mayor kevin johnson, michelle rhee, michelle rhee and students first, rhee and johnson, rhee moves to sacramento, rhee organization moves, sacramento, sacramento and rhee, students first  
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Teachers unions, eh? Students are not struggling because of teachers unions. They are struggling because they are downwardly mobile, just like most people in this society. If there were afterschool programs where kids could get homework help, and lifelong learing for their parents, imagine how much better life would be. People look at the amount of local tax $ going to public schools, and they start attacking teachers. They should be asking why we lack a progressive tax system based on income.

Posted by: catbird500 | January 21, 2011 7:26 AM | Report abuse

Good Lawd will this woman not disappear? Now she has an organization thats against Teacher this woman an idiot? People this is just an attempt for an unemployed Ex-Chancellor to make money under the pretense of a position that she didn't really do well at. Boy what a hustler for sure!!

Posted by: msruby36 | January 21, 2011 9:21 AM | Report abuse

If Rhee's arrogant and graceless, you're ignorant and sarcastic. "Lucky us." I am sure it is tough when someone starts looking at what you are doing to see if it is working. Luck won't help you.

Posted by: staticvars | January 21, 2011 10:12 AM | Report abuse

She has support from governments in taking on teacher's unions because state governments have money problems right now. If she can weaken the union, she can weaken the pension plans and thus save money.

She should just call her reforms, "pension free" education reform.

She is trying to cut out unions because unions have bargained for teacher salaries and pensions.

She is not really "reforming" education.

Posted by: ubblybubbly | January 21, 2011 10:36 AM | Report abuse

@msruby -- thank you for reading my mind! You called it correctly -- what a hustler she is!

From the moment Madame Rhee descended on D.C., I viewed her as nothing more than a failed teacher. Rhee realized after three years in the classroom that she was not meant to be a teacher. She then decided to parlay her minimal teaching experience into an employment agency for teachers and cleverly named it "Teach for America".

Fenty nor Rhee could provide substantive proof as to how someone who ran an employment agency could run a school system.

It is reprehensible -- Rhee's true philosophy of education reform amounts to nothing more than union-busting and privatization of public school systems. How on earth does that translate into students first?

Good riddance!

Posted by: sheridaw | January 21, 2011 11:05 AM | Report abuse

To me this all says she was going to Sacremento all along to be a wife. I am not a fan, but I thought she should do this all along to have a happy and successful marriage. i truly support her in that aspect. As for her org, as long as she is the darling of the so-called "reform" movement, she could be any where. The fraud can work from California too.

Posted by: oknow1 | January 21, 2011 1:14 PM | Report abuse

My sincere condolences to Sacramento.

Posted by: UrbanDweller | January 21, 2011 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for your condolences :( Sacramento has been following what's been happening in D.C. and believe me, no one wants her here. He fiance, our very corrupt and ineffectual mayor, has tried to shove his reform nonsense down our throats for years. His charter schools are failures in that they game the system again and again yet claim "success". He's a fraud, she's a fraud, and despite this fact, they will continue to have help from our local paper to promote their privitization agenda.
We're up in arms here in Sacramento and we will continue to fight to reveal the con that is "education reform". It's all about the money and busting the union so they can come in and take over. I am not a teacher, and I'm not a fan of unions, but this is going too far. Teachers are not the reason schools are failing, society is.

Posted by: sactown1 | January 21, 2011 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Good riddance and Sacramento better watch how the mayor route funds to her organization. The two of them should be ashamed!

Posted by: wisepat | January 21, 2011 3:04 PM | Report abuse

What she did was to make the system more accountable. Let's be honest, the minority students in DC have no chance of working in the city in which they live. The unions and school boards can not agree on a suitable system so they do nothing.

What is it going to take, total gentrification of the city before the schools can be fixed? If the ultimate goal is to educate our children, then M Rhee did an excellent job of removing so many individuals that used the school system as a means to pay their bills and others who saw divisiveness as a means to prolong their stay.

The children in this city have no chance to succeed. Come downtown during business hours; how many DC natives do you see??

Posted by: Wes134 | January 21, 2011 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Sactown1 I'm glad that you see thru the new Kim Kardashian/Sarah Palin of education.

There are many nuggets throughout the washpo comment section that proved that she was nothing but a fruad.

Good Luck!

Posted by: thelildiva4u | January 21, 2011 4:44 PM | Report abuse


Keep dreaming. The DC you are hoping for and dreaming of will not happen. Blacks may have lost jobs in DC but many were fired not because they could not perform but because the New Folks and Fenty pushed them out in order to hire the New "gentrification" --code for Whites and others--crowd.

How long have you been in DC and where did you come from?

Posted by: guylady201001 | January 21, 2011 5:04 PM | Report abuse

When I was young we called it re-gentrification, gentrification being the transition from white to black.

Urban pioneers were given the opportunity to buy a shell from the city for $1 if they could get the renovation loan and would agree to live in the new home.

Posted by: blasmaic | January 21, 2011 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Are any of us surprised she's moving to Sacramento?? Gray should have begged her to stay (even if he didn't want her) because then she wouldn't be able to perpetuate this fiction that's it was all about the kids. It's all about her career. With her minimal teaching experience she (along with most policy makers) has no business being an educational leader.

Posted by: TeacherTalk | January 21, 2011 6:35 PM | Report abuse

This story reminded me of Michelle.

January 22, 2011
Texas Teacher Accused of Taping 1st Grader's MouthBy THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Filed at 12:27 a.m. EST

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (AP) — Officials say a San Antonio elementary school teacher is on leave after being accused of putting transparent tape over a first-grader's mouth.

Danny Kelly says his daughter was afraid to tell him about what happened the day before winter break.

But he says her classmates at Schertz Elementary told their parents, who called the principal.

District spokeswoman Rebecca Villarreal says officials put the teacher on administrative leave as soon as the taping was reported. An investigation is ongoing.

Villarreal says the district takes "all incidents like this very seriously."

Posted by: natturner | January 22, 2011 1:22 AM | Report abuse

Rhee gets rich by denying financial security to teachers. The teachers well-earned money goes to private, political donors who call themselves business leaders.

Posted by: citizen625 | January 22, 2011 7:12 AM | Report abuse

no doubt rhee is in line to be president palin's secretary of education. among other things they have in common is quitting important jobs before the term is over to make money on the wingnut lecture circuit.

Posted by: george32 | January 22, 2011 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Good luck to Ms. Rhee. The people in DC do not want the very best for the students. Watch as DCPS continues to be the worse in the nation. The blame will be placed on students. The best jobs in DC's highly competitive market are for college grads. That's why the unemployment numbers are so high for African American residents, the DC schools can't graduate students, let alone send them to reputable universities.

Posted by: 12345leavemealone | January 22, 2011 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Sad that so few see the truth. I'm beginning to hope Mayor Gray does, and that as part of his Fenty-hate gave lip service to those who see DCPS as an employment service for adults and the children be damned.

Posted by: streff | January 22, 2011 4:26 PM | Report abuse

I remember a social studies teacher I met at a conference in southern California. I told him that we had just gotten an administrator in the district office from his district. He asked who it was. I told him the name.
His comment was, "Our loss is your tragedy."
Rhee is all California needs. Another individual to stir a motley mess. I am SO glad I have retired after 40 years in a California classroom. I taught non-readers to AP students. I haded up an extraordinary reading and math program in a junior high school under AB938 in the early '70s. We were ranked fourth in the state and it was run by teachers. 25 started the program state wide, and 16 were left after 2 1/2 years.
I feel so sorry for my colleagues still teaching in California. They need to give the schools back to the communities and let the local people without outside interference determine what should be taught and how. Local boards, administrators and teachers collectively can do a better job than anyone.

Posted by: diamond2 | January 22, 2011 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Regardless of how one feels about teachers' unions, Rhee was a snake oil saleswoman.

Posted by: RobRoy1 | January 22, 2011 5:56 PM | Report abuse

The Rhee organization consists of one person - Michelle Rhee.

Posted by: educationlover54 | January 23, 2011 2:25 PM | Report abuse

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