Get sick, get well
Hang around a ink well
Ring bell, hard to tell
If anything is goin' to sell
-- Bob Dylan

Friday, June 1, 2012

Gov. Walker called on Rhee to help him fight Wisc. teachers

Soon after Wisconsin's Gov. Scott Walker moved to crush the state's teacher unions, he called on Michelle Rhee for help. While she declined to actually come to Wisconsin and stand behind Walker in the face of angry teacher protests, Rhee did come to Walker's rescue on more than one occasion.

Mother Jones writer Andy Kroll gleaned this from some of Walker's newly released internal emails.
Rhee did defend some of Walker's anti-union measures twice on television soon after he announced his plan. "The move to try to limit what [public-sector unions] bargain over is an incredibly important one," she said on "Fox and Friends."  Months later, Rhee appeared alongside Walker at a DC meeting of the American Federation for Children, a hard-line conservative education organization founded by Betsy DeVos, the wife of Amway heir Dick DeVos and a funder of numerous conservative causes.

Since leaving DC, Rhee has embraced and promoted a more conservative, anti-union education reform agenda. She pushed a bill in the Tennessee legislature that ended collective bargaining for teachers, stumped for Ohio's SB 5 bill (later repealed via referendum) which restricted bargaining rights, and has worked as an unpaid adviser to Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a tea-party-favorite who "has never met a voucher or a charter school he doesn't like," as one education reporter put it.
* Also see Richard Kahlenberg's Washington Post piece from February 27, 2011, "Gov. Scott Walker can thank Michelle Rhee for making teachers unions the enemy" and Alex Pareene's post at Salon from May 9, 2011, "Michelle Rhee joins Scott Walker at school voucher group’s “policy summit”.

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