Discussion: Campbell Brown Is Getting The Same Treatment Michelle Rhee Got

Discussion for article #227720

The same treatment as Michelle Rhee? You mean, fawning, adulatory accounts in the media that overlook her entire lack of qualifications and willingness to engage in fraud?


As somebody who can’t stand Michelle Rhee or Campbell Brown and who teaches for a living, let me say that people who are not teachers are welcome to be a part of the debate. I want to thank Donna Brazile, Tammy Baldwin, and other politicians at Democrats for Public Education for supporting teachers and wanting to improve public schools.

Also, it would be great if we could get a report on who is funding Campbell Brown, since she doesn’t want to tell us.


Its a law firm, but she won’t disclose which one. She said so on Colbert Report a few weeks back.


No, Campbell Brown can not and should not be taken seriously. She has no expertise of any kind in the field of education. Rather, she is a rightwing extremist peddling her rightwing agenda by exploiting her previous status and reputation as a failed “journalist” on CNN.

Before she waded in to the rightwing “education” agenda, she campaigned for Mitt Romney. Here’a an OpEd she wrote for the New York Times shilling for the Romney campaign Obama, Condescending to Women Note how the Times failed to disclose that Brown’s husband worked for the Romney campaign as foreign policy advisor, and how they promoted her prior status as a failed CNN “journalist.”

Dishonesty as practiced by the likes of Campbell Brown are why nobody should take what she says as anything but the pushing of a rightwing agenda, along with her husband, Dan Senor, who, you may recall, was the spokesman for the Coalition Provisional Authority – the disastrously failed bush regime in Iraq – and a longtime neocon, warmonger and now pusher of the rightwing education agenda.

So, yeah, she’s getting the same well-deserved treatment that Michelle Rhee got, which is rejection of the rightwing drive to destroy public education as we know it, and hopefully with similar result. Drive her radical rightwing agenda into the gutter, where it belongs.


This article is bunk. It dismisses comments, paragraph after paragraph, if you disagree with Campbell Brown, anticipating any criticism as an ad hominem attack against her character. The writer never manages to argue the merits of her position, for which the writer sets out to defend. Instead he goes after anyone that disagrees with Ms. Brown as an anti-reformer. Besides, the article is premised on a totally defensive stance that arguing for teacher tenure is somehow a failure of the teachers’ union because he doesn’t like the manner in which they go about doing it.

I had to look this guy up because having a Ph.D these days doesn’t mean jack by itself in my book, especially when you’re shilling for the for-profit Charter School Industry, which is more or less what I see happening here. Education is being commodified these days, and is being taken over by for-profit moneyed interests, many out of Wall Street investment firms. That’s essentially what the Charter School Movement has become. Hailing from GR, MI, home of Dick DeVos’ school privatization plan, and home to the for-profit National Heritage Academy charter schools, I’ve seen the damage to our public school system here first hand over the years. You can hear the huge sucking sound clear across the country now, with Charter Schools in similar nature popping up to supplant funding real public education for all.

This writer uses rhetorical trickery, to assign who are the reformers and who are the anti-reformers in his article. I think he has it completely backwards, the way I see it.

The only “ad hominem” I’ll make alongside my comment is, that the writer looks like Doogie Howser incarnate.


I’ve seen political blogs call anyone exploring education reform not just anti-teacher, but “union busters”, as if being progressive means slavishly supporting every position of every union across every professional field. I don’t buy it; I think there’s no harm in an honest discussion.

I hear plenty of ad hominem from the pro charter folks.

I am in Michigan, so my remarks only apply to it. He talks about ‘anti reform’ people, as if they are a monolithic bloc, as if anti-common core people are led by progressives, not by conservatives on the extreme lunatic fringe. (You may criticize me for engaging in ad hominem, but the leaders of this group really are nuts.) There is also a ‘mainstream’ pro charter pro common core group that is mostly a Republican campaign outfit.

The charter movement in Michigan is a scam. Nearly all charters are run by for-profit groups. They engage in student arbitrage, disproportionately operating K-8 schools due to lower cost to educate and taking advantage of Michigan funding students equally across grades. Charter teachers are paid much less than traditional teachers, and even though they are public schools they do not pay legacy costs as traditionals do, thus worsening the legacy cost problem by concentrating it on a smaller base as charters expand. There is little innovation in charters (other than figuring out new ways to pay teachers less; there is a lot of turnover among charter faculty, do you know any studies about how this is an effective reform?)

There is a core of culture warriors in Michigan that wants to do away with public schools entirely, and have everyone home schooled, in christian schools, or uneducated. They have financial and tacit support from some of Michigan’s billionaires, who are saavy enough to know they can’t be too open about such goals, having been smacked down by the voters with their voucher proposal in 2000; but they play a long game.

So I take this article as an attack on unions and on public schools.


The keyword being “honest.” The fact that Brown won’t say who her backers are is kind of telling as far as the “union buster” criticism. And my problem with Rhee wasn’t (just) the fact that she was completely unqualified to discuss the subject – it was her flat-out refusal to admit that one of the biggest roadblocks to education is poverty, or to offer any proposals that even deigned to acknowledge the existence of poverty as a factor.


So, anyone who doesn’t agree with Conor Williams or Campbell Brown is anti-reform? Maybe, just maybe people don’t take Campbell Brown seriously because she is not an educator. Background in education? Nope. Ever spent time in a classroom? Nope. She is trying to change something that she doesn’t even remotely understand. Her motives deserve to be questioned.


Ms. Brown and Ms. Rhee are not reformers - they are shills for the corporitazation of education. The is no evidence that the devices they both use to say that teachers are failing have any reliability or validity. There is even less evidence that either of them really understand a classroom. True reformers are welcome - shills are not.
I would also suggest that Ms. Brown might want to examine something other than tenure - lets look at the lack of appropriate materials in urban settings; look at the lack of clear lines of communication between teachers-adminstrators and other stakeholders. Look at the the way the Campbell Brown’s of the world view schools - fix problems that our government and its lack of support for families has created.
Instead she and Ms. Rhee elect to sell the idea that the tests created by a corporation - Pearson for the most part are useful in identifying students who are failing and then can be used to point out that teachers are at fault. Perhaps when she was with CNN it would have been better for her to learn true reporting which means looking at all facts, instead of what she learned - sell yourself to highest bidder.


I’d imagine that teachers would be reasonably open to reforms that identify and dedicate the additional resources necessary to achieve all these lofty goals. I’d predict they’d be quite unreceptive to requests to squeeze from them more work for less pay. I’d expect them to be absolutely livid with Scott Walker.


The writer anticipates being criticized for his position and presupposes an attack on Common Core and Charter School advocates by putting up a defense against “ad hominem attacks” before any are made. Where he fails, is by not advocating why he thinks Common Core and Charter Schools are so great. Instead he goes after those who disagree with Charter School advocates, who would argue that it is shifting the tax base away from our system of public education thus harming its survival in many parts of the country.

You are so right about this coming out of the rightwing money machine and Republican politics, but its cause celebre has been picked up by NeoLiberals, also with moneyed interests on Wall Street these days. And that as a liberal, bothers me deeply. Both these moneyed groups have found common cause with making even more money off the despair many parents have with their public schools, rather than finding the most obvious solutions around dedicated funding of our public school system and laws that demand no more than say, 20 to a classroom. These groups have found a tidy way of diverting funds away from our public education system by creating carve-outs for the charter school industry to advance their agenda. Its all one big privatization scheme. Someone wants to make private money off of public education and yeah…it sucks.

What’s next?..Turning the public library system into a money-making operation? You can bet someone’s working on that if there’s a buck to be made. The library system in this country is still one of the last vestiges of a country that takes care of its citizens by means of the public good because its open to all.


“Michelle Rhee Treatment?”
You mean like having well-paid media supporters lobbing strawman arguments against everyone in the pro-teacher ranks, while refusing to reveal the ugly truth of who is funding her multi- million dollar legal campaign?

Her sponsor’s ideas (whoever the heck they are) have gained no currency in the public marketplace, so they’ve hired a pretty, non-threatening, celebrity shill to lead their coast-to-coast judge-shopping campaign.

Campbell appears to be the Kim Kardashian of the latest charter- school- privatization scheme dreamed up by some bored billionaire.


You would have a point if they were here to have an honest discussion.

I would like you to reference the last time any Republican attempted to have an honest discussion about anything.

Let me remind you want an honest discussion with a group of people who have used the Southern Strategy to win elections and stay relevant in this country for the last 30+years.

A party where if you support them you are either an ignorant bigot or ignorant of their bigoted polices.

A party that hasn’t been honest about anything before Nixon.

Good luck with that.


You used the phrase “student arbitrage”. Couldn’t have said it better myself. That about sums up the entire for-profit National Heritage Academies here in Michigan. They now operate 76 “Academies” in the US, with the bulk of them in Michigan.

Here’s a good article from NC that points to the other point of view on Charter Schools with the other side of the debate…and why there is much more to this movement than meets the eye:



This isn’t an honest discussion. This is an advocacy piece playing the victim card. If he was interested in an honest discussion, then this article would be directed at specific points he wished to reform. But instead its a bunch of whining and finger pointing.


Wow. So much bullshit in one place. Remarkable.


For funding - consider that she to whom she is married -Dan Senor and his attachment/ involvement with the GOP.
Becoming the front person for an activity that affects many, these attacks should be expected - especially into today’s world of social media. She should have known that this was coming (rightly or wrongly) from her own career.


Celebrity sponsors do that for private cancer centers and private assisted living centers for the elderly if you’ve noticed. Anyone unsure of getting bilked out of paying for these, will be enticed by their friendly TV personality. How many actors these days are lending their voices and personas to shilling for insurance companies or reverse mortgages? All those companies are usually run by private equity firms. Its Wall Street, baby! They have no particular expertise in the shit they sell. Its all sort of disgusting.

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