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UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See prorev.com for full contents of our site

March 25, 2010

WIFE OF ATLANTIC MAGAZINE OWNER PAYING FOR DC SCHOOL SUPER'S MEDIA SPIN

GARY IMHOFF, DC WATCH - In Sunday’s issue of themail, I wrote that the private grantmaker who paid for Chancellor Michelle Rhee’s hiring of public relations consultant Anita Dunn to promote her hadn’t been revealed, nor had Dunn’s fee. At Monday’s city council hearing on DCPS, Rhee revealed that the initial gift was $100,000, and that it came from Katherine Bradley, who with her husband David Bradley runs the City Bridge Foundation. David Bradley is the owner of The Atlantic. . . . At the Monday hearing, Rhee also revealed that the $100,000 grant was just the first installment of what would be paid to Dunn, and that more donations were being sought to pay her.

Rhee is part of a small, close-knit group of big-city school superintendents who believe the schools are best run through unchecked, strongman control by city mayors. Most prominent among this group are Rhee, New York City’s superintendent Joel Klein, and Chicago’s Arne Duncan, now the US Secretary of Education. Last year, Rhee faced accusations of favoritism when Mayor Fenty’s sons got admission into an out-of-boundary public school. How that admission was arranged was never explained. . .

Now it’s Arne Duncan’s turn. The Chicago Tribute reported yesterday: "While many Chicago parents took formal routes to land their children in the best schools, the well-connected also sought help through a shadowy appeals system created in recent years under former schools chief Arne Duncan. Whispers have long swirled that some children get spots in the city’s premier schools based on whom their parents know. But a list maintained over several years in Duncan’s office and obtained by the Tribune lends further evidence to those charges. Duncan is now secretary of education under President Barack Obama. The log is a compilation of politicians and influential business people who interceded on behalf of children during Duncan’s tenure. It includes 25 aldermen, Mayor Richard Daley’s office, House Speaker Michael Madigan, his daughter Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, former White House social secretary Desiree Rogers and former US Sen. Carol Moseley Braun. Non-connected parents, such as those who sought spots for their special-needs child or who were new to the city, also appear on the log. But the politically connected make up about three-quarters of those making requests in the documents obtained by the Tribune". Duncan’s defenders are reacting with the same offended reaction of, "How dare you question us," as Rhee did earlier. But what else should be expected? When politicians run a city’s school system with unchecked and unquestioned power, the same kind of corruption, cronyism, and favoritism that pervades the rest of the city’s government will pervade its schools.


1 Comments:

Blogger Dora Taylor said...

It should be mentioned also that Rhee is connected to the Broad Foundation as well as Arne Duncan.

See:

Seattle Education 2010
http://seattle-ed.blogspot.com/

March 26, 2010 11:17 AM  

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