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Gary Rubinstein has a keen eye for teacher-bashing disguised as research.
In this post, he takes apart a new paper from Michelle Rhee’s old outfit TNTP, which blames teachers for “low expectations.”
Before Michelle Rhee was a board member for Miracle-Gro she was the founder and CEO of StudentsFirst. Before that, she was Chancellor of Washington D.C. schools from 2007 to 2010. Before that, she was the CEO of The New Teacher Project.
And even though Rhee is not a public figure anymore in education, she continues to influence education policy through The New Teacher Project which has since changed its name to TNTP. TNTP puts out slick papers that it calls research but is really propaganda disguised as research. Their first one was called ‘The Widget Effect’ which laid out the case for replacing salary schedules with a system based on merit pay based on statistically inappropriate analysis of standardized test scores.
And over the years they have put out other papers with clever titles like ‘The Irreplaceables’, ‘Rebalancing Teacher Tenure’, and ‘Teacher Evaluation 2.0.’ These papers are often quoted by ed reform propaganda sites like The74 and Education Post.
One of their most recent papers is called ‘The Opportunity Myth.’ Its central thesis is something that reformers love to use in their teacher bashing arguments, which is that too many teachers shortchange their students by having low expectations for them. The work they assign is not challenging enough and since students always rise to the challenge of whatever you assign to them, these teachers are negligent in their duties.