Tuesday, February 19, 2013, 7:00 – 8:30pm

A Conversation with Michelle Rhee

Great Hall; enter on Eighth Avenue. Free.

Civics, Community, Media Library

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The Seattle Public Library, CityClub, and Elliott Bay Book Company present a conversation with education-reform advocate Michelle Rhee, author of Radical: Fighting to Put Students First. Rhee draws on her life story— her years of teaching in inner-city Baltimore; her turbulent tenure as chancellor of Washington, D.C., public schools; and her role as an education activist and founder and CEO of StudentsFirst—to deliver a plan for better American schools that ensures that laws, leaders, and policies make students—not adults—our top priority. And, Rhee says, that reform is urgent: The United States is known as a world leader in innovation, brilliant thinkers, and trendsetting companies, but that status is at risk. American children are well outside the top-10 international student rankings in reading, science, and math, and those rankings—not to mention our nation’s leadership position—will continue to plummet unless we take dramatic action.
Free. Great Hall; enter on Eighth Avenue.



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  1. Posted January 29, 2013 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    When will we put students first?

  2. Nancy
    Posted February 12, 2013 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Best discover who funds Students First. What rwas Rhee’s involvement in the aftermath of the cheating scandal in D.C.’s schools? Research Rhee and Students First on educator Diane Ravitch’s blog. It’s a real eye opener.

    • Benjamin
      Posted March 3, 2013 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

      You mean the same Ravitch who used to hold the same basic positions as Rhee but then suddenly switched when given a $200,000 speaking contract by a Teachers’ Union? You can read about her perfidy in Class Warfare, written by an actual journalist, Steven Brill.

  3. Jim Capatelli
    Posted February 12, 2013 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    The “softball” treatment of the deceptive and fraudulent Michelle Rhee is truly stunning. It really is. I’ve never seen anyone in public life—especially someone so young, who doesn’t even hold any sort of elective or appointive public office—be so protected and shielded from any sort of scrutiny or criticism.

    Michelle Rhee is too important to too many people of power and influence. They’ve invested too much in her, directly and indirectly. They just “CAN’T” let her fail.

    Why? Because at this point in time, Michelle Rhee has become the very symbol of “Education Reform”. The carefully crafted, mythological narrative that her and her backers all constructed together—culminating in “Waiting For Superman”, one of the most egregious propaganda films ever made—has been very potent.

    But that carefully constructed—and very dubious—narrative is becoming increasingly fragile.

    However, there is apparently an inherent danger in probing too aggressively when it comes to Michelle Rhee. Everyone knows that Arnie Duncan “has her back”; Bill Gates “has her back”; even…Barack Obama “has her back”? (Maybe.)

    Look what happened to Michael Winerip, the “former” education reporter for the “Paper of Record”. Once he started asking too many questions, about Rhee and her close ties to Arne Duncan—who appears to be shielding her from real scrutiny, in every way possible—Winerip was tossed out a job he held—and performed with excellence—for years.

    People are very aware of the power and the money behind Michelle Rhee and almost everyone is too intimidated to really do the investigation that is so clearly required here.

    • Betsy Andrews
      Posted February 18, 2013 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      Excellent points – she and her movement are incredibly destructive to communities and schools, yet she plows right ahead, ignoring whatever does not fit in her narrow, corporate-driven view of what kids need to learn and be successful. I am just wondering if this will be a “conversation” simply about how awesome Michelle Rhee is, or truly a discussion about how truly misguided her policies in terms of educating all children. Will anyone ask her the questions about the widespread cheating in D.C. and the mounting evidence about the ineffectiveness of treating kids and teachers like numbers on a test, rather than human beings? More importantly, would she have an answer?

  4. Posted February 18, 2013 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    I am profoundly disappointed with Elliott Bay Books for giving this corporate charlatan a soapbox at an event, and actually angry with Seattle Public Libraries for lending support to her from my tax $$. The damage that Michelle Rhee does to the cause of quality public education is incalculable. Giving her a soapbox and a megaphone, from Elliott Bay Books and Seattle Public Library is vile.

    • Amy Wright
      Posted February 20, 2013 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      Yes damaged indeed. She’s doing much much more damaged to our educational system, than say, the teacher’s unions. I know I’m grateful my kids are learning a spirit of entitlement in today’s schools, following the example of the union mentality. How dare Michelle Rhee impose herself as a voice against that! Shameful. And yes, vile.

  5. Posted February 19, 2013 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Don’t let Rhee’s fraudulent claims go un-answered.
    Fight back by PICKETING OUTSIDE Town Hall before the event!
    6-7:30 – join us!

  6. Christie
    Posted February 19, 2013 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Michelle Rhee is incredibly brave for taking on the self-interests of the teacher’s union, and fighting for kids’ rights to an education where their interests are put first. Thank you Michelle Rhee.

  7. Mike
    Posted February 19, 2013 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    What are you afraid of? It sounds like she has a successful track record.
    I have not heard one of your complaints aimed at what she is proposing. It seems as though you only have a problem with her or maybe her proposals are a threat to you? Which is it? If the children succeed with her strategy vs. the status quo.
    Perhaps you are one of the adults she claims comes before the children, hence, your animosity.

  8. Leonard
    Posted February 22, 2013 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    Maybe we can begin a “Conversation” with this article :http://schoolfinance101.wordpress.com/2013/02/02/dismantling-public-accountability-transparency-in-the-name-of-accountability-transparency/

    I also note that the moderator- Blair Taylor- neglected to mention that he sits on Students First Board of Directors. This explains the fact that Ms. Rhee was not called on the non-sense she spewed.

  9. PanGlobe
    Posted March 9, 2013 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    “When a True Genius appears in this world you may know him by this sign,
    that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.”- Jonathan Swift

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