At one of Michelle Rhee's final, pre-cheating memo appearances, she attacked teachers for being greedy, lazy and, you know, unaccountable:
COLUMBIA , SC — Former Washington, D.C., schools chancellor Michelle Rhee had trouble recalling the names of South Carolina’s “key players” after a quick visit to the State House on Wednesday. But state lawmakers may want to take note of hers.
Rhee’s education advocacy group, StudentsFirst, is lobbying in 18 states, including South Carolina. The group says it backed 105 legislative candidates in 2012 – 91 Republicans and 14 Democrats – and 86 won.
So what are Rhee and her advocacy group doing in South Carolina?
Meeting with teachers, now a part of the 25,000 members that StudentsFirst claims in the state, and meeting with education leaders, including S.C. schools Superintendent Mick Zais.
Rhee’s group supports bills in the S.C. Legislature aimed at strengthening the state’s charter-school law, helping parents mobilize to force reforms in failing schools and allowing students to enroll in neighboring school districts.
A top goal is backing the S.C. Department of Education’s plan to evaluate teachers based on how much students improve on test scores.
Educators make excuses for failing schools, Rhee said. But, she added, “The bottom line is: The system did not become the way that it is by accident. It operates exactly the way it was designed to operate, which is in a wholly unaccountable, dysfunctional manner.
“So when you seek to change that dynamic” – including going after “low-performing” teachers – “you’re gonna have a whole lot of unhappy people on your hands. When you stop that gravy train, somebody is going to be unhappy.”
Yeah, there are so many teachers in South Carolina, where the average teaching salary is $46,306.67 a year, who are on the "gravy train."
And Rhee, who charges a $50,000 speaking fee plus first class expenses, is just the person to get those lazy, greedy teachers off that gravy train and of course, she's doing it for the kids.
Oh, and herself, since she pays herself somewhere between $125,000-$200,000 a year for running her corporate education reform PAC, Students First.
And that's just the money she's making on the books.
You can be sure there is a lot of other wingnut welfare she's receiving outside of the Students First salary and the speaking fees for pushing the corporate education reform agenda.
Now I'm pretty sure that Michelle Rhee believes her own b.s. and isn't in this just for the money.
But I'm also pretty sure that someone who pays herself between $125,000-$200,000 a year for her day job and charges $50,000 + first class expenses every time she speaks somewhere sure does like the money and first class things and, dare I say, some gravy train living herself.
We'll just have to see if she can maintain her gravy train lifestyle post-cheating memo.
If the D.C. cheating scandal continues to snowball, she may find herself off the gravy train too.