The latest report on Michelle Rhee shows her collecting millions of dollars from Wall Street financiers, assorted billionaires, and mega-foundations, all to redesign American education as she sees fit. www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-usa-education-rheebre84e1oa-20120515,0,7834441.story

She has become a convenient vessel for the most rightwing governors who want to dismantle public education and reduce the teaching profession to at-will employees.

How can she sleep at night knowing that through her efforts, millions of teachers will live in fear and insecurity, knowing that their job depends on their students’ scores on lousy tests? That’s quite a legacy.

How can she sleep at night, knowing that she is promoting for-profit entrepreneurs whose first interest is profit, not children?

What exactly is her credibility for redesigning American education? She left behind a school district with the largest black-white achievement gap of any city tested by the federal National Assessment of Educational Progress. The average black-white achievement gap for big cities is about 30 points; in the District of Columbia, after Rhee’s tenure, it was over 60 points.

Her IMPACT program is discredited by the day. Scores went flat after it was imposed by Rhee.

We have not heard the last of the massive cheating scandal that occurred on her watch.

In my one encounter with her, last summer in a panel discussion on Martha’s Vineyard, I found that she just repeated the same stale slogans about teachers and poor performance. She seemed woefully unaware of current research. She looks for applause by bashing teachers. She has chosen to be a tool for those who want to privatize public education and undermine the teaching profession.

It’s really a shame. She could have used her moment in the sun to improve public education and to help those who work in our nation’s classrooms. She has chosen not to.

Diane