Scott Pelley of CBS News "gathered a panel of some of the wisest people of our time" to discuss ways for our country "to move forward." One of the panelists was StudentsFirst education guru Michelle Rhee. Pelley provided the following script from Rhee. It's the same one she's repeated ad nauseam at forum after forum in the past year. Her reported speaking fee is $35,000; not too shabby for reruns.
Michelle Rhee: We've lost the American competitive spirit. If you look at how we're raising our kids today and the culture that we are creating, we are spending so much time trying to make children feel good about themselves, that we've lost sight of putting the time in that it takes to actually make them good at something.
You know, I have two little girls. They play soccer. They suck at soccer. (laughs) They really do. But if you were to go into their rooms today, you would see trophies and medals and ribbons and plaques.
You would think just based on that, that I'm raising the next Mia Hamm. And I feel like part of that is actually not doing a good service to our children because we're not teaching them that in order to be great at something, you have to put the time in. You have to put the effort in. It's about discipline. It's about work ethic.
Rhee's poor little Olivia and Starr. I hope they never find out how their mother told every audience she ever saw that they "sucked" at soccer and they didn't deserve their trophies. That's rough stuff. And what's wrong with children being made to "feel good about themselves?" If anything this is exactly how to help and inspire children to want to learn.
The so-called education reformer may know how to garner millions from philanthropists; how to change education policy through contributing funds to local politicians; and how to play both left and right sides of the debate for reform, but she doesn't appear to have a sense of compassion. Children who repeatedly hear negative things about themselves will become what they hear. This can't be good for her girls and it can't be good for the students.
Read more Ann Kane at Potter Williams Report