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The long saga continues ... of failures by Rhee and Henderson

Ohanian Comment: Below is a very specific example of the national media refusal to talk with any but "the usual suspects" regarding ed deform. I gave evidence of this problem in an article for Extra! the publication of FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting), offering information on "who gets cited" in over 700 articles on Race to the Top and the Common Core standards. As the article mentions, who doesn't get quoted raises very large questions.

Below you will see information about and from one teacher who, despite extensive research on Michelle Rhee's track record as a teacher in Baltimore and a school leader in Washington D.C., is ignored by the media.

Maybe the Washington Post just can't admit to the egg on its face. When Rhee was hired to head the D. C. schools, the Post was breathless in its citations of joy from Teach for America, KIPP, chief operating officer of the National Alliance for Public Charter School, and so on. Readers got celebrations, not news accounts.

Over a number of years, now-retired Washington D. C. math teacher Guy Brandenburg has offered a lot of serious analysis of the track record of Michelle Rhee on his blog.

I decided to check out if the media is paying any attention. I did a LexisNexis search

A 1998 Washington Post article about a girl achieving top ranking in MathCounts notes that she and her parents credit her math teacher, Guy Brandenburg.

In April 2010, Jay Mathews had high praise for Guy's "erudition, energy and skill at undermining my most cherished ideas." Mathews undercuts all that by noting that although Guy writes well, Michelle Rhee is his favorite urban superintendent.

In February of 2011, the Washington Post mentioned Guy Brandenburg's claims about Michelle Rhee' performance as a teacher in Baltimore as a 'he said, she denied,' not bothering to follow up on his data but instead asking "Rick Hess what he thought.

There are several mentions of Brandenburg's public presentations on how to build a telescope.

No follow-up on the serious questions he raises about Michelle Rhee and her sidekick Henderson.

Media Score:

Michelle Rhee: 995 appearances

Guy Brandenburg (in articles mentioning Rhee): 2

by Guy Brandenburg

Washington, D. C. --Installment 12 in my examination of the nearly complete failures by Michelle Rhee and Kaya Henderson to reach the goals that they committed to in that agreement back in 2009-10.

I continue to slog through the 78 targets that Michelle Rhee (and her henchperson Kaya Henderson) said they would have miraculously reached with DC Public Schools by the end of school year 2013.

Go here for a table of what they promised and what they achieved.

As you can see, our dynamic duo weren't even close to meeting their goals, especially on the elementary level, where the percentages of students 'advancsd' or 'proficient' was about 20 percentage points below what they predicted.

So that brings them up to one and a half goals met out of 54 goals, which is a score of about 2.8%.

No, not twenty-eight percent success, but a success rate that is under three percent!

In other words, a failure rate of 97.2%.

Why does Kaya Henderson still have a job?

Why did the cash still keep flowing?

Why are their failed plans still in place?

Can someone remind me why Kaya Henderson still has a job running DCPS and why Michelle Rhee is a multi-millionaire whose every word is still breathlessly repeated as gospel truth by most of the media?

Sources: the letters containing the promises here. and you can find the spreadsheet containing the scores for 2013 here. I calculated and then added up the numbers and percentages of kids scoring 'advanced' or 'proficient' at grades 3, 4, 5 and 6 for the 'elementary' totals that I report above, and those at grades 7, 8 and 10 for the 'secondary'.

Here are my posts so far:


— Guy Brandenburg





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