"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." - Thomas Jefferson 1820

"There is a growing technology of testing that permits us now to do in nanoseconds things that we shouldn't be doing at all." - Dr. Gerald Bracey author of Rotten Apples in Education

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Thursday, August 2, 2012

StudentsFirst, the Full Court Press (Arne Duncan would be Proud) and Olympic Videos in Missouri.

StudentsFirst practicing Arne Duncan's love of basketball moves.

StudentsFirst's full court press has started in Missouri.  We've gotten 2 new lobbyists for the organization (one is from the national office), Lea Crusey lets us know which Missouri politicians support RTTT-like mandates  and we now have a video from the organization with an Olympic theme of American students falling behind in educational competition with other countries.

We are somewhat behind the curve of some folks in getting this video.  It hit the national circuit last week and it has not been a critical success with many bloggers, educators and writers.  They take Ms. Rhee and her organization to task for this video. From Rheefirst:

StudentsFirst ‘Olympic’ ad reaction roundup

The coverage wasn’t all bad, however.  RedState loved it.

Below is StudentsFirst email about American students falling behind other countries.  Read it and determine what you think about the video.  One bit of information about international testing that just might skew Studentsfirst's message is that the US educational systems test every public education students, including special education students.  Other countries don't test all their students so these test results might not be "apples to apples".  Here's another thought: if American students are "falling behind", maybe this is because of the onerous federal mandates districts and teachers must adhere to...and what does "education reform" of the Obama administration and private organizations do?  Just creates MORE mandates via Common Core/RTTT. 

 StudentsFirst should make a video pointing out that fact instead of placing all the blame on teachers and public schools.  They can't possibly succeed with unattainable standards and mandates.  Was nothing learned from the failure of NCLB?  Apparently not.  It's just easier to blame the teachers and schools that have to teach under goals that can never be reached:


No bronze, no silver, and certainly no gold.

The London Olympics are well underway and, while our athletes are putting on an incredible performance, the U.S. continues to fall behind in a far more important competition: our children's education. We can do better than this.

While our teachers and students are working incredibly hard, the U.S. education system has failed to give them the support they need to succeed. The sad thing is, we know what it takes to improve things, but we just aren't doing it.

Let me give you an idea of how badly we're doing. If our education system jumped into a pommel horse routine ... well, let's just say it wouldn't look too pretty:

That's right: 25th place in math and 17th in science.

If the U.S. education system is ever going to go for gold we need to shape up. Your involvement is helping StudentsFirst bring common sense reforms to states across the country, but we need your voice to help us spread the word.

See how U.S. education stacks up and share our latest video with your friends and family now:


Thanks you for all you do -- keep it up.

Hari Sevugan
Vice President of Communications

P.S. Learn more about how we can make change in a new op-ed written by Michelle Rhee in USA Today: http://ow.ly/cE5lT


  1. I am still waiting for the conclusions of the investigation into the erasures at the school Rhee held up as example that her ideas were successful. In the end, D.C. schools did not improve under her watch. Child developmemt and the human experience is not an Olympic sport. What an immature ad.

  2. It seems to me that the only plausible explanation for Rhee is that she is a plant from the North Korean Intelligence Agency sent to destroy America’s public education system.

  3. Students Last wrote a satirical piece on the same topic @ http://studentslast.blogspot.com/2012/08/teacher-bashing-olympic-event.html


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