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Answer Sheet
Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 04/04/2011

‘Rhee the Reformer: A Cautionary Tale’

Anybody can — and plenty do — write conventionally about Michelle Rhee and the controversial school reforms she implemented when she was chancellor of D.C. schools for 3 1/2 years.

But nobody has told the story in the way that teacher and education activist Sabrina Stevens Shupe has done.

Stevens Shupe, who lives in Colorado and who maintains a few blogs, tells the story of Rhee’s reforms in a clever video written in the style of Dr. Seuss, entitled, “Rhee the Reformer: A Cautionary Tale.”

It starts by introducing Rhee, who quit as D.C. schools chancellor last October and now runs an anti-teachers-union lobbying group, as queen of reform and discusses her focus on raising standardized tests scores:

“The scores must go up,” she said with a frown,

Or I will see to it that livelihoods DROWN.”

Toward the end, the video addresses the current controversy over the possibility that some of the improved test scores that Rhee hailed were actually the result of cheating by adults who erased the students’ wrong answers and scribbled in the correct ones. A USA Today investigation published last week went into detail about the likelihood of cheating; you can read about that here.

It introduces a “curious mother” who says to Rhee:

“Your highness, I don’t mean to demand,

But there’s something I’m seeing that I don’t understand.

I know up on top, you are seeing great sights,

But down at the bottom, it doesn’t look right.

At home, I struggle with my son’s errant math,

But on your new tests, he’s proficient at that!”

Here’s the video:

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By  |  06:00 AM ET, 04/04/2011

 
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