Jon Stewart’s betrayal: #michellerhee Update!

Sorry Jon.  I thought maybe you might redeem yourself.  I thought maybe you heard me scream FREEDOM!

I thought wrong.

Just on one single distortion blurted out by the “radical” and you could have ended her miserable career.  And I know you know this!  The “radical” claimed:

“Teachers are biggest IN SCHOOL predictor of student success.”

And guess what Jon?  In school factors account for maybe 20% of the total picture.  And of that 20% teachers MIGHT account for only 10%. Up to 80% of success in school is predicted by OUT OF SCHOOL  factors!  Poverty! Homelessness! Drug Addiction! Violence! Hunger!  Teachers have literally no control over 80% of what students bring with them from their wretched miserable lives and you let her—”radical—get away with telling millions of people that teachers need to be held “accountable” by insignificant test scores.  You let her bash us and continue the false narrative of we just need to get rid of bad teachers and put “students first.”

How about you call any one of the thousands of us—real radicals—and let us to give you the FACTS about school reform in this country.  Sorry Jon but that was horrible!


Tonight: Jon welcomes author Michelle Rhee. Her new book on education reform is called “Radical.” 11/10c.

I know. I know.  Someone has to say it!  WTF Jon?  Really?

You spoke at the SOS rally two years ago in favor of public school teachers.  Your mom was a teacher.  You have been the lone “media” voice pointing out the ridiculous claims made by the idiots (education reformers) that disparage teachers.  And now your going to allow “her” to promote her bullsh!t book on your show? I’m confused. I’m dazed.  I , I, I,… I feel like William Wallace in Braveheart when he lifts the armor mask from his foe only to reveal his supposed friend Robert the Bruce.  I feel deeply betrayed.  I feel like nothing really does matter expect for money.

I mean “we” (peons fighting edreform for a decade) have absolutely nothing but the god damn truth on our side and for some reason that doesn’t matter when it comes to Rhee.  And now the PHONY radical with nothing but damn deceit, lies, power , and money gets invited to the one place where I thought (obviously a delusion) we at least had some respect—your show.

Don’t do it Jon!  Don’t! Remember what Robert the Bruce cried after realizing what he had done.

“Those men who bled the ground red at Falkirk, they fought for William Wallace, and he fights for something that I never had. And I took it from him, when I betrayed him. I saw it in his face on the battlefield and it’s tearing me apart.”

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  1. Barry Lane says:

    not a betrayal, but a lazy interview. He made a half-hearted stance but had no research to back up his defense. When Rhee says teachers are the most important element in the class, you are supposed to say, then why did you fire so many and replace them with 5 week trained Teach For America Teachers. When she says standardized tests should not be the only measure, you are supposed to say then why are all our policies pointing that way. Why have teachers had no say in ed reform?

  2. Yes, Stewart is “just a comedian,” BUT he and Matt Damon have taken a celebrity stand for teachers (which was WIDELY and wrongfully embraced by educators, IMHO); and Stewart has used his comedian role to be serious in his interviews before, often in fact.

    Ultimately, like Colbert, this was a huge (yes, “huge”) blow to the cause of public education. If Americans, especially young Americans, could have witnessed Stewart take a genuine stand against celeb-Rhee, we could have had a real turning point. Instead, full steam ahead:

  3. Brian Ford says:

    The two posts below are in the wrong order — they’re long (twitter-esque, I’m not) but I hope worth you’re time. — Brian

  4. Brian Ford says:

    From Valerie Strauss — much left out, but much on target, a good start:

    ‘ . . . When Rhee said that poverty only makes things more “challenging,” Stewart said, “It seems like education can only be put in place once the soil is fertile.”
    ‘His suggestion – that for many children even great teachers can’t overcome the effects of hunger and poor nutrition and exhaustion and trauma from violence — was exactly right.

    ‘Stewart didn’t ask her about some of her more provocative actions — such as firing a principal on television. Or about the fact that her reforms haven’t done anything to close the achievement gap in D.C. schools. Or about the allegations of cheating on standardized tests during her chancellorship. Or that her StudentsFirst advocacy and lobbying organization supports candidates across the country who want to strip teachers of tenure and bargaining rights. Or that when she closed 23 schools she said it would save millions of dollars but it really wound up costing the city some $40 million, according to a city audit. Or about the famous incidents in which she was so desperate as a young teacher to keep her students under control that she taped their mouths shut, and, once, swatted a bee and popped it in her mouth to shock them.

    ‘Maybe next time. It was a good start.’

  5. Brian Ford says:

    It is a mistake to ostracize people who share you goals because they adopt a different strategy to reach them. It may satisfy an immediate need, but it creates divisions, leaves one isolated and without allies and is counter-producative.

    I think you are wrong to call this a betrayal. Like, beyond the pale (pail?) wrong. And I also think you are wrong to think her appearance on the show helped her.
    MR is going to get a lot of air time and it is better that in at least some of these instances she is confronted. Otherwise she comes on the 6 O’clock news and gets a puff piece. And, with the exception of Hugh Grant, he doesn’t keep people off his show.

    Sad that we depend on comedians to do what reporters should be doing. Sadder yet that Steward is considered to have betrayed teachers when he is asking her the serious questions that most reporters avoid.

    Valerie Strauss’s take is below. She would have liked Stewart to be tougher, she realizes he is not Sean Hannity and that is not his method — I’m sure he believes it to be more effective to let them stew in their own inaccuracies. Still, one gets I get the idea that Strauss is relieved that her blatant mis-assertions and –what do you call them?– self-serving lies where challenged, that she –and others, such as you, me and whoever else who reads this blog — can build on that.

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