The Blog

State Democratic Party Slams "Corporate" Reformers, as Rhee Reels Under Cheating Accusations

Microsoft's Gates Recants His Support for Tying Student Test Scores to Teacher Evaluations

The California Democratic Party during its state convention this past weekend approved a resolution reaffirming its support for public education and hitting Michelle Rhee's StudentsFirst and other "corporate reformers," whose ostensible efforts to help public education are being funded by wealthy corporate interests width anti-public school agendas.

The Democratic Party's resolution – passed unanimously – followed the release of a confidential memo that shows StudentsFirst founder Michelle Rhee was aware of and took no action on the widespread cheating scandal that rocked Washington, D.C., public schools while she served as chancellor.

That memo was uncovered by veteran education reporter John Merrow and has generated a lot of media attention. News stories have focused on the scandal and on the failure of Rhee's "reform" package, including her unproven assertions that student test scores are an effective measure of teaching quality.

Meanwhile, Microsoft founder Bill Gates reversed course earlier this month after a study he funded found that tying test scores to teacher evaluation does not improve teacher effectiveness. His letter in the Washington Post is worth the read, as is a Los Angeles Times editorial piece, LA Times: Gates' warning on test scores.

Read the latest from John Merrow: Who Created Michelle Rhee?

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