A response to the unfounded attacks on Michelle Rhee

February 09, 2011 posted by Mafara Hobson

Our public schools are in crisis. Instead of talking about how to fix them, we're getting unfounded attacks on Michelle. To get back to the debate about public schools, we want to address this misinformation head-on.

A blogger has posted some error-laden numbers, based on a 1995 study, claiming that Michelle was not an effective teacher. A couple of mainstream journalists have picked up and re-broadcast this storyline without reviewing the underlying analysis.

Here are the underlying facts about the 1995 study:

  • This was not a study of Michelle's students. It was a study of the school's entire grade level, which had four teachers.
  • There is no way to know if any of Michelle's students were even included in this study. The study included only certain students at the school, and excluded large numbers from their sample.

Some have expressed surprise that credible journalists would swallow a blogger’s analysis without looking at the facts for themselves. We were quite frankly surprised ourselves. To our members, this episode is further proof of what we're up against and why we need your support to get the message out.