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Fenty and Rhee: The cartoon

Check out this Taiwanese animated news video on "Waiting for Superman" and the adventures of its heroine, Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee.

By Bill Turque  | October 22, 2010; 9:51 AM ET
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This is pitiful DC is a laughing stock to the entire world.

Posted by: theleakdc202 | October 22, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

The truth hurts! Of course, I'm sure it won't be long until Arlene Ackerman and Valerie Strauss, as well as many uninformed bloggers, begin to sound off about how "collaboration, love and good health plans" are the key to student learning and success. Nevermind that the US selects its teachers from the bottom 1/3 of college graduates. Nevermind that DCPS has no robust curriculum. Nevermind that our teachers (many of them in DCPS) don't show up for collaboration time or take off every professional development day or refuse to examine student data. Nevermind that in almost every classroom you walk in you need a heart monitor to keep your beat going because of the incredible boredom, lack of planning and creativity of the teacher. I know- I know--it's the cavities in their mouths, the horrible asthma they have without medication or breathing apparatus, the parents who aren't home and who don't feed them every day. It can't be us, the teachers, because that would mean we were failing and we actually have to do something! Meanwhile, back at the ranch, our kids are falling behind every industrialized nation in math and science.

But now, we aren't waiting for superman, as Ackerman says "they're waiting for us." You're DAMN Right!! So when are we going to stop pretending that what we're doing is working. Unions don't represent the entire problem--but damn it-- they represent a huge obstacle. They refuse to change or accept alternative and innovative approaches to teaching and learning because teachers would have to work a full year or God forbid until 5pm. If a teacher doesn't come to work on time or refuses to collaborate you have to hold a disciplinary hearing and a process unfolds--in other words- nothing happens to them--they should be fired-- PERIOD!

Or we can continue to just pretend that things are hunky dory and keep reading data from efavorite and Valerie Strauss about how great DCPS was before Rhee according to NAEP scores that showed our students were just above "retardation!" Or maybe we can take a look at what Rhee tried to do, improve it where it was flawed and get moving!

Of course, we can invite Ackerman back and let her show us how collaboration and love and blah, blah, other words, make us like Philadelphia--another drop out factory!

Posted by: teacher6402 | October 22, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

This is really funny.

Posted by: jlp19 | October 22, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I would not want teacher6402 teaching my children or in my building.

Positively unhinged here.

Posted by: phillipmarlowe | October 22, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

@phillipmarlowe- you must be a DCPS teacher...

Posted by: teacher6402 | October 22, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

@phillipmarlowe- you must be a DCPS teacher...

Posted by: teacher6402

Must I?

Great argument skills.
But I see you support my point, again.

Posted by: phillipmarlowe | October 22, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

jlp19 - I agree that it's funny. I wonder if it was meant as a joke in Taiwan?

My favorite part is when Fenty is getting creamed and Rhee runs out the door.

Posted by: efavorite | October 22, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps the US should use the money we borrow from China to "defend" Taiwan from its own country China) to "Transform" our educational system. Anyone in Taiwan disagree with this proposition?

Posted by: whitaker200 | October 22, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Marlowe, You didn't dispute one point I made- It's your point that lacks substance...your ad hominem attacks are strategic, but futile and baseless...

Posted by: teacher6402 | October 22, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Suck on this idiotic and factless passage of yours:
Or we can continue to just pretend that things are hunky dory and keep reading data from efavorite and Valerie Strauss about how great DCPS was before Rhee according to NAEP scores that showed our students were just above "retardation!"

Posted by: phillipmarlowe | October 22, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

t6402 -- don't let Philly get to you. He is awaiting the treatment that he deserves and has not been himself for a long time.

Posted by: axolotl | October 22, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

DC is not the laughing stock of the nation because other urban cities are experiencing the same pains. The pitiful and pathetic caricatures that the news media paint for the DC Schools are the same in "many", not "all", low performing schools around the nation. Similarities exist such as almost no parental participation during parent teacher conference days. No parent volunteers within the schools for student learning. Volunteering should not begin when a parent's child or children misbehave in class. There are no resources in the building to enhance or further student learning: computers, chalk and white boards, books or materials to emphasize the student learning with more challenging work for the better students and no resources for students who need to catch up. Teachers buy these needed supplies to reinforce learning. Supplies can cost beyond $2,000 to $3,000 dollars per year. Do not forget the many gifts or clothing and food teachers buy for their many students. This is money the teachers need for their personal needs.
Special services refuse to test and follow through with student needs for the more challenged students. Students need glasses, hearing aids, special help, etc. There are no working computers in the DC schools for students in the low income neighborhoods (if there are computers they are broken and left in disrepair). There are no televisions for learning more information for a fast paced society with new knowledge found every second of the day. The principals and assistant principals do absolutely no monitoring for student discipine - perhaps Rhee wanted the chaos in the classes so that the students could run the teachers out of the schools. This same episode is happening in school districts with superintendents who have a political agende - resegregate the schools. However, fewer doors are being knocked down in DC for teacher jobs because of the chaotic and irreparable damage done by the Rhee and Fenty Administration.
Parents are needed in schools. The more successful schools have a long list of adult volunteers. All parents do not work. Go to the children's school to help. I will guarantee you that the test scores and student learning will improve. There should be a national day for parent volunteers in the schools. Do the parents care about their children?

Posted by: realitygirl2 | October 22, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

It goes to show how other countries view the USA School system. By far DC School system does badly, That is why I moved to Fairfax county.

Posted by: charlie2nice | October 22, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

One thing I've noticed is that teachers (and other citizens) who express contempt for teachers almost always have low-performing children at home. On the other hand, teachers (and others) who show gratitude and respect for teachers (as they do in China) have high achievers.

Has anyone else noticed this?

Posted by: Linda/RetiredTeacher | October 22, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Disclosure: I'm another one of those pesky teachers who causes all the problems in the D.C. School System. Michelle Rhee is competent, but she has a sarcastic, arrogant, dismissive personality. She has so much to give, but she has to learn public relations and diplomacy. I do disagree with her, however, that the breakdown of the school system falls in the corner of teachers. It's much more complex than that.

Posted by: 4242424242 | October 22, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

4242 -- yes, I agree with you. It is more complex.

However, government and we citizen-taxpayers can't deal with poverty and inattentive parents except with the slow, partially effective things that various levels of government will do.

Teacher quality can be addressed in real-time and near term. So, for that portion of public education challenges that can be directly associated with teachers' scope and role, we can do something.

As you know better than I, that is what Rhee has tried to do. She has the faults you name, but the worst one, as far as the unionistas are concerned, was daring to evaluate teachers and remove those who appeared to be ineffective or not needed because of sinking enrollment.

Gray won't stop addressing these issues, but he will do so more sensitively.

Posted by: axolotl | October 22, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

I've heard that England is having problems with schools in areas in which children only speak English at school. They are having the same issues that we have with children who only speak English at school.

Posted by: jlp19 | October 23, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse


It is so easy to just spout the same old tired lines that are exaggerated stereotypes.

If you are a DCPS teacher you either work at a school west of the park or in Capitol Hill or are relatively new.

At all of my children's schools I see many teachers who work well past 5pm and even send out e-mails to parents later in the evening. Most are extremely dedicated and are trying their best while Rhee and people like you like to continue spreading lies and half-truths about them.

Let's face it, Rhee's analysis and reforms are not working no matter how many favorable press releases she spits out.

Posted by: letsbereal2 | October 23, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

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