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Rupert Murdoch champions Rhee in public schools reform

Rupert Murdoch is no fan of government regulation. But the outspoken head of News Corp. believes in sweeping U.S. educational reform and is a big fan of embattled D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee.

In a speech at the annual awards banquet for the Media Institute, Murdoch addressed a crowd of communication regulators, lobbyists and executives. He said more people like Rhee need to stay in place to overhaul an educational system that overspends to protect ineffective teachers through their unions and the politicians who support them. He said no business could ever operate like the monopolies that school districts have become, without performance goals or consequences when those goals weren't met.

"Occasionally I hear the leaders of the teachers union say they support reform," Murdoch said. "But I'm here of the view of Michelle Rhee, a bona fide reformer."

Last July, Rhee fired 241 teachers, including 165 who received poor appraisals under a new evaluation system that for the first time holds some educators accountable for students' standardized test scores. She has not indicated if she will stay on as chancellor after the expected election of Democratic mayoral nominee Vincent Gray.

“Let me be blunt: There’s not a single one of us in this room tonight who would allow one of our children to be randomly assigned to a Washington, D.C., public school,” Murdoch said.

He urged the audience to see Davis Guggenheim's documentary "Waiting for 'Superman'," which features Rhee and others. And Murdoch praised the Los Angeles Times move to publish a database with the rankings of 6,000 3rd through 5th grade teachers. The ranking were based on the teachers' ability to raise children's test scores.

By Cecilia Kang  | October 7, 2010; 11:11 AM ET
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If Rhee is doing such a remarkable job then why isn't there a flood of excellent, certified, experienced teachers into DCPS from places like Montgomery County and Fairfax County...especially now since it would be higher pay? Why aren't her counterparts in those places rushing to her defense? Why is it her biggest supporters are big money private corps. who aren't connected at all to public education but have a financial interest in it? Why won't WaPo do some REAL investigative reporting and expose Rhee for what she is which is a big fraud!

Posted by: UrbanDweller | October 7, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

good points, Urbandweller- the sounds of silence are often more important than where the noise is coming from.

Posted by: efavorite | October 7, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

RUPERT MURDOCH is planning to set up
an edu-profiteer, privateer ACADEMY SCHOOL.

"With Tesco selling books and Amazon selling bacon, it was only a matter of time before Rupert Murdoch started selling A-levels.
News International is in talks about sponsoring an academy school near its luxurious Wapping offices.

Critics of Mr Murdoch are reported to be “alarmed” at the possibility of him entering the sphere of education, and leading the resistance is the go-to guy for anti-Murdoch quotes at the moment, Labour MP Tom Watson.
“Some people will say they are not telling people what they should think through their newspaper but teaching our children what to think in our schools,” he says. I'm a big fan of Watson. I bought Batman: Arkham Asylum on his recommendation, and it's a cracking game. But I think he's being silly here.

Are we really to imagine some sinister factory, churning out prematurely wizened republicans with A-levels in cross-media plugging and an interest in offshore tax arrangements?

There used to be a thing called the antinomian heresy, which said if you were one of the Elect, pre-selected for heaven, nothing you could do was sinful. An inverted version of this applies to Murdoch. He is seen as such a scoundrel that anything he does is deemed evil.

Faith schools — which are by their nature openly ideological — go through on a nod; yet when Murdoch suggests sponsoring a secular secondary school the assumption is it's in order to spread the abominable creed of Murdochism.

.......Of course there are many things to find unattractive about Murdoch. His companies avoid countless millions in tax and he is a foreign national who exercises a disproportionate amount of power over our political process. The law as it stands makes both these things possible, and elected politicians are reluctant to change things because — chicken-and-eggily — Murdoch is too powerful.

But that power is a means to an end. Some proprietors are in it for the pomp: dinner with Cabinet ministers; swanking around at Buckingham Palace when they get knighted; having their half-baked ideas about the world canvassed with apparent interest by powerful people.

Murdoch doesn't seem all that interested in ideology, though. Inasmuch as he wants to reshape the world, it's to make it a better place for his own businesses. He's personally Right-wing, sure; but if the big bucks for Fox News were in replacing
Glenn Beck with Tariq Ali, he'd probably do it.

The chances are that Murdoch is taking
an interest in running an academy because
he reckons he can make money out of it.
And given what tends to happen when
any private company sees a buck to be made out of
public services, it's that that we ought to be alarmed about."

see source


Posted by: newmanagement2 | October 7, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Champions of Rhee all have one thing in common: money. However, the champions of teachers and children have The People on their side, as we all found out in DC and will soon find out nationally.

"Reform" is really about freeing the previously protected school tax money to be "shared" with entrepreneurs. Proof of this is the fact that Rhee replaced experienced and expensive veteran teachers with young and inexpensive people right out of college. This is part of the overall plan, so that the savings can be redeemed as profits. Fortunately the citizens of DC were not fooled.

Anyone who truly wants the best education for poor children will do anything to get the most experienced and successful teachers into the classroom. If Rhee had truly wanted to help the children of DC, she would have used the philanthropic money to hire the best teachers possible. Instead she hired the least experienced. To me, that's the dead giveaway as to her true intentions.

The American people are not stupid, and as information about the true nature of "reform" reaches them, they'll do exactly what the citizens of DC did.

Posted by: Linda/RetiredTeacher | October 7, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Where is the "accountability" for...
/> the CIA and other corrupt
govt. & Wall Street-affiliated players
being involved with international drug smuggling
& distribution for decades (!)
-- deliberately inundating
communities & specific neighborhoods with heroin,
cocaine, meth, pills (MDMA/ecstacy), etc.
It is a documented fact that the CIA
& corrupt elements of the U.S. govt.
& freemasons have been involved in large-scale
heroin distribution operations and also
involved in the deliberately induced
crack cocaine epidemic targeting black neighborhoods (for the purposes of social undermining & political-economic control).

Where is the "accountability" for...
/> The 'entertainment' industry
flooding our youth with heinously toxic
& cognitively poisonous VIOLENT VIDEO GAMES
that promote
crime, substance abuse, disgusting conduct,
mistreatment & violence against women,
anti-educational achievement,
anti-positive values, anti-professional careers,
anti-healthy, responsible behaviors !

Where is the "accountability" for
self-proclaimed edu-profiteer BILL GATES & MICROSOFT
in producing, promoting VIOLENT, PATHOLOGICAL
VIDEO GAMES, including first-person shooter games,
such as HALO !!!??? --
which, unfortunately, too many of our country's
children, our country's students
heinously waste too much time messing
around with, messing themselves up with --
instead of healthfully, smartly & beneficially using that time
productive experiences, studying, exploring/learning, participating in sports, teamwork, creative arts + music,
outdoor activities & nature, significant time
with friends & family, or engaging in community service !!!

Where is the accountability for VIACOM
& other media corporations
(eg. instead of the "BET" channel being utilized for positive, inspirational, educational or meaningful programming --
it has mostly
broadcast the worst sociopathic, demeaning,
undermining junk -- promoting
gangsterism & exploiting our vulnerable youth
with pernicious mind-killing crap.

FACT! --
Where is the "accountability" for Wall Street
& elite financiers,
owning majority stock in the company
that produced the 'GRAND THEFT AUTO' video game
as its main product !!!

Also, what about the corporate soda-pop
& junk food pushers targeting children ?!

The reality is that ethical, caring, and dedicated
public school teachers have been the
'good samaritans' courageously
teaching with tremendous effort daily
to educate & constructively help chidren --
to transcend, overcome hardship,
to cultivate wellbeing & achievement --
despite the grotesque obstacles
& destruction foisted on us by
irresponsible, unscrupulous, rapacious and
duplicitous corporate execs. & financial elites,
corrupt oligarchs, such as Goldman Sachs et. al.
who've caused millions of chidren & families to be homeless.

Posted by: newmanagement2 | October 10, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Come on Toto,let's get that broom to the Wiz and Rhee Reform has melted."It was all a dream Dorothy...wake up !" Oh and Aunt Em and wouldn't believe what happened and then the end Fenty.
Attention all State and Federal levels of education you're fired showing no results.1 billion of stimulus went into the support for education.Call the attorney general of education on watch ! The checks will be divided fairly among all Public School buildings equally and the students will have whatever they need to learn !Support troops mounted to ride in !Back down to many millions !
"Ease On Down The Road"...don't you carry nothin that might be a load...." "Step by Step" sing it Whitney Houston ! Don't you put your greedy hands on the children's $pie or it'll get smacked hard off and don't be a pig with the ice cream.

Posted by: jbatman | October 11, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Attention all State Education Commissioner's and please report to $ transparancy for Americans. Do not blame it on the teacher's or Public Education when the Federal levels come up with laws destructive of the learning environment under funded.PL 107-110 ? Show the American people paying for education where the law is that says 15 students per classroom for individualized attention and resources for all Public Schools needed divided evenly.We see the inequality and political quack,quack ! Approach to changes showed no results and Rhee reform was fired and so was Fenty. Let Mr.Murdoch support Rhee with his money for her own private schools and she's caused enough disruption to Public Education using NCLB a law underfunded.Don't appreciate it and evidently the citizens of Washington didn't either or Fenty would still be in office.Not waiting for Superman and let him pick Rhee up and fly off into the wild blue yonder. "Some where over the rainbow..." Support Rhee Reform with millions for her own private schools !

Posted by: jbatman | October 11, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

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