Thompson: Michelle Rhee Must Obey the Rule of Law
John Merrow's recent post, Michelle Rhee's Reign of Error, revealed the confidential "smoking gun" memo warning Michelle Rhee of the extent of the cheating that may have occurred in Washington D.C. schools.
But let's not forget that this is only her most public scandal, and it is not the only case where Rhee's words could come back to haunt her.
PRWeb links to another: Federal Judge Orders Michelle Rhee Suit to Go Forward, Will Broaden to Concealment and Fraud Claims describes the case which could be another double-barreled shotgun blast at the embattled "reformer." A 53-year-old teacher, who worked for DCPS for 28 years, was terminated in 2009 due to “budgetary constraints” under a RIF (Reduction in Force).
Federal Judge Rudolph Contreras will allow the teacher to broaden the scope of Rhee’s alleged actions into possible civil fraud and concealment claims. This is based on testimony by the district's former Chief Finance Officer who, in 2009, appeared to admit that he willfully concealed the true accounting figures indicating that the DCPS had no budgetary shortfall. The judge could find that this was done with Rhee's knowledge and as a pretext for the RIF and the mass firings to take place. In that case, PRWeb reports, Rhee’s ideological experiment "may quickly unravel."
I have long been shocked by the cavalier way that "reformers" have brushed off Rhee's situational ethics. They ignore her statement to John Merrow, “If there are rules standing in the way of that, I will question those rules. I will bend those rules.”
Rhee et. al may resent the way that our constitutional democracy complicates school "reform," but sometimes the "rules" they don't like have the force of law. PBS's Merrow exemplifies one foundation for our democracy - a vibrant press. Rhee never understood another foundation - our nation is based on "the rule of law," not "the rule of man."-JT(@drjohnthompson) Image via.