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The Corporate Reform Movement is NOT About Civil Rights - Why Alabama Doesn't Need Michelle Rhee

The Corporate Reform Movement is NOT About Civil Rights - Why Alabama Doesn't Need Michelle Rhee

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Published by Terri Rector Michal
Hundreds of school closings, thousands of teachers fired, money taken away from public 'failing' schools and given to private organizations, unprepared and under qualified Teach For America teachers replace qualified life long, certified, educators...all of this is being done to our urban schools across the country. Corporate Reform IS NOT about civil rights..it is about lining the pockets of Corporations like StudentsFirst, Pearson, Achieve and the Broad Foundation who not only directly benefit from these 'reforms' but they are CREATING THEM!

The 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, was thrust into the public eye when, in 1963, a bomb exploded killing four innocent black girls. The members of the black congregation were targeted because of the color of their skin. This was a turning point in the civil rights movement.

Now, 50 years later, Michelle Rhee wants to be a part of a panel discussing civil rights and education that is taking place in the church . Michelle Rhee knows nothing of civil rights. This must be stopped.

Please contact Rep. Terri Sewell at (205) 254-1960 by Twitter @RepTerriSewell Mayor William Bell at (205)254-2283 His Executive Secretaries email is kelli.solomon@birminghamal.gov It seems they have no twitter account. (There is NO direct way to get in touch with the mayor I'm sad to report.) Governor Bentley may be contacted by twitter @GovernorBentley and by phone (334) 242-7100
Hundreds of school closings, thousands of teachers fired, money taken away from public 'failing' schools and given to private organizations, unprepared and under qualified Teach For America teachers replace qualified life long, certified, educators...all of this is being done to our urban schools across the country. Corporate Reform IS NOT about civil rights..it is about lining the pockets of Corporations like StudentsFirst, Pearson, Achieve and the Broad Foundation who not only directly benefit from these 'reforms' but they are CREATING THEM!

The 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, was thrust into the public eye when, in 1963, a bomb exploded killing four innocent black girls. The members of the black congregation were targeted because of the color of their skin. This was a turning point in the civil rights movement.

Now, 50 years later, Michelle Rhee wants to be a part of a panel discussing civil rights and education that is taking place in the church . Michelle Rhee knows nothing of civil rights. This must be stopped.

Please contact Rep. Terri Sewell at (205) 254-1960 by Twitter @RepTerriSewell Mayor William Bell at (205)254-2283 His Executive Secretaries email is kelli.solomon@birminghamal.gov It seems they have no twitter account. (There is NO direct way to get in touch with the mayor I'm sad to report.) Governor Bentley may be contacted by twitter @GovernorBentley and by phone (334) 242-7100

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Published by: Terri Rector Michal on Aug 21, 2013
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Why Alabama Doesn‟t Need Michelle Rhee
 
by BATs - Marla Kilfoyle and Terri Michal
The corporate reform agenda Michelle Rhee represents is NOT about Civil Rights!Michele Rhee does not promote educational equality for the African American community. She andher StudentsFirst organization profits while schools in predominantly urban minority communities arebeing closed around the nation. It is beyond comprehension that Rhee would speak during anycelebration of the Civil Rights movement and that she be considered to speak at the 16th StreetBaptist Church where 4 young girls were murdered in a bombing spurred by hate and prejudice
. Let‟s
consider what Rhee has done to further civil rights
 –
nothing. In fact, Rhee along with Rep. Jay Loveand Charlotte Meadows (a former StudentsFirst Lobbyist) helped to push for passage of the Alabama Accountability Act which opened the door for Charters in the state. The problem is that these chartersare not designed to elevate the poor and/or minority. In fact the Southern Poverty Law Center is
currently challenging the law because it contends that transfers are inaccessible to Alabama‟s poor
families. Low income
parents can‟t afford private school tuition even with
the new tax credit but tomake matters even worse, it siphons money that should be spent on resourcing and assisting failingschools in these communities and puts it in the private sector.
Let‟s look at the effects Michelle Rhee and her Corporate Reform agenda has had in other urban
communities around the United States:INCREASED ACHIEVEMENT GAP IN D.C.
The most disturbing effect of Ms. Rhee‟s reform effort is the widening gap in academic performance
between low-income and upper-income students, a meaningful statistic in Washington, where raceand income are highly correlated. On the most recent NAEP test (2011) only about 10% of low-
income students in grades 4 and 8 scored „proficient‟ in reading and math. Since 2007, the
performance gap has increased by 29 percentile points in 8th grade reading, by 44 in 4th gradereading, by 45 in 8th grade math, and by 72 in 4th grade math. Although these numbers are alsoinfluenced by changes in high- and low-income populations, the gaps are so extreme that is seemsclear that low-income students, most of them African-American, generally did not fare well during Ms.
Rhee‟s time in Washington. Washington‟s high school graduation rate is the lowest in the nation.
Rhee closed more than 2 dozen schools.*CHEATING AND BUDGET SCANDAL THAT DEMEANS STUDENTS AND TEACHERS IN D.C.
March 2011 USA Today reported on a rash of „wrong
-to-
right‟ erasures on standardized tests and theChancellor‟s reluctance to investigate. With subsequent tightened test security, Rhee‟s dramatic test
scores gains have all but disappeared. Consider Aiton Elementary: The year before Ms. Rhee arrived,18% of Aiton students scored proficient in math and 31% in reading. Scores soared to nearly 60% onher watch, but by 2012 both reading and math scores had plunged more than 40 percentile points.*One of 
the first things that happened during Rhee‟s time in D.C. was that she announced that there
was a multi-million dollar shortfall in the education budget. Shortly thereafter, she fired 241 D.C.P.Steachers, citing the need to make huge budget cuts. After the firings, the monies were suddenlyfound. Rhee and her CFO, Noah Webman, said that the problem with the missing millions was
 “accounting mistake.” Once the lost money was restored to the education coffer‟s books, Rhee went
on a hiring spree, filling many
vacancies with….you guessed it!…Teach for America teachers. Later,
Webman said, under oath, in a hearing with the DC city council, that he and Rhee had devised the
 “accounting error.” Currently, one of the teachers fired is pursuing a fraud charge against
Rhee. This
 
past April, a DC judge has said that there is evidence enough for the case to move forward.*
Furthermore, Rhee‟s history as Chancellor of D.C. has left children, predominantly children of color, in
a school district that has the lowest graduation rate in the country.DID NOT PROVIDE STABLE SCHOOL ENVIRONMENTS FOR OUR MOST VULNERABLE CHILDRENMs. Rhee appointed 91 principals in her three years as chancellor, 39 of whom no longer held those jobs in August 2010. Some chose to leave; others, on one-year contracts, were fired for notproducing quickly enough. Several schools are reported to have had three principals in three years.*Child psychiatrists have long known that, to succeed, children need stability. Because many of the
District‟s children face multiple stresses at home and in their neighborhoods, schools are often thatrock. However, in Ms. Rhee‟s tumultuous reign, thousands of students attended schools where
teachers and principals were essentially interchangeable parts, a situation that must have contributedto the instability rather than alleviating it.*FINANCING PUBLIC SCHOOL CLOSINGS AND PRIVATIZAITON OF OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS.Rhee flies around the country donating money to politicians. She does not promote educationalequality for the African American community. She and her StudentsFirst organization supports charterand voucher systems. This educational agenda has supported the closing of urban schools,predominantly in African American communities (Chicago, Philadelphia), instead of providingresources to keep these community schools open as Beacons of Light for kids that live in theseneighborhoods.*CITATIONJohn Merrow
 –
 
 “A Story About Michelle Rhee That
 
No One Will Print” 
 http://takingnote.learningmatters.tv/?p=6490The bottom line, our urban communities CAN NOT be improved by closing our schools, firing ourteachers and diverting funds to private organizations. They also CAN NOT be improved by hiringTeach For America teachers, that are usually under qualified and unprepared to teach to the wholechild, or through increased testing. (Testing IS NOT teaching!) What can help? Programs like TheLeader In Me* that debuted at A.B. Combs Elementary School in North Carolina and is now beingimplemented wor
ldwide or Alabama‟s own Better Basics
* program that is currently implemented inonly 43 schools in central AL despite its successes. We invest more than 8 million dollars a year in Alabama on testing alone
…Isn‟t it time we invest in our STUDENTS.
 *CITATIONThe 7 Habits of Highly Effective Schools:http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1861074,00.html Better Basics:
http://betterbasics.org/programs/The 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, was thrust into the public eye when, in 1963, a bombexploded killing four innocent black girls. The members of the black congregation were targeted because of the color of their skin. This was a turning point in the civil rights movement.

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