John Merrow of PBS helped to make Michelle Rhee the national face of the privatization movement (often mistakenly called the “reform” movement). Merrow featured her on national television a dozen times, often adoringly. Like many others, he was impressed by her tough talk.

But he came to realize that nothing she promised was happening. And he looked closer and found that the DC cheating scandal had been pushed under the rug. He probed more and ran into a stonewall. He has written powerful pieces on his blog, but when he tried to find a national publication to print what he wrote, no one was interested.

He reveals that Rhee has engaged Anita Dunn as her public relations advisor. Dunn was White House director of communications in 2009 and now appears on NBC and MSNBC (the “Education Nation” network).

He decided to drop the Rhee story because his friends told him he was obsessed. So he is moving on.

He writes:

“But Michelle Rhee is not the point of all this. What matters much more is what she failed to accomplish in Washington. She espoused a certain approach to reforming failing schools, a path that she and her successor have followed for six years, and that approach has not worked. That’s the central point: Rhee’s “scorched earth” approach of fear, intimidation and reliance on standardized tests scores to judge (and fire) teachers and principals does not lead to improved schools, educational opportunities, graduation rates or any of the other goals that she presumably embraces.”

Sorry, John, you can’t drop the central narrative of the “reform” movement. Nor can you forget that you, more than anyone else but Adrian Fenty, made Rhee. You owe it to the public to follow the story you made important. Without the national spotlight you shone on her, she would be just another tyro superintendent who tried her way, failed, and landed a job in quiet obscurity.

Instead, she just collected $8 million from the Walton Family Foundation. She is pouring millions of dollars collected from people who hate unions and public education and then making big contributions to rightwing Republicans and a few Democrats who support vouchers.

John, the story remains. It is not finished.