It could be that it’s the “vacation” head cold talking, but I don’t think so. I was working in my classroom this morning, when I opened up my school email account. And here, for the third time in the last couple of months, is – unedited – what I found:
From: Michelle Rhee, StudentsFirst [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Thursday, April 19, 2012 10:19 AM
To: Bisson, Amy
Subject: An important battle
This isn’t about politics — it’s about what’s best for our kids.
But in their desperate attempt to defend the status quo, the entrenched special interests try to turn everything into a partisan fight. That’s why I am writing to you today about an important battle brewing in Connecticut.
Right now, Connecticut has our nation’s largest achievement gap in math — African American students are three and a half years behind white students. Governor Dan Malloy, a Democrat, knows there is no room for party politics in this fight. He’s got a plan to tackle this issue, and he’s got bipartisan support.
Polls show that Connecticut residents support the governor’s plan, but special interests are on the attack, trying to sway public opinion back to the status quo.
We’ve got a TV ad on air right now in support of the governor’s reform efforts in Connecticut. Donate $10 to keep this TV ad on the air:
This is not just a racial divide in Connecticut. Math scores of eighth graders from poor families are three grade levels behind their wealthier peers.
Governor Malloy’s plan maps out the necessary steps to bring equality to education. His plan calls for the establishment of meaningful teacher and principal evaluations, which would allow us to recognize our effective educators and support those who need improvement.
The governor also aims to reform tenure so that it serves to elevate effective teachers rather than protect ineffective ones. And lastly, the plan would expand the number of high quality public charter schools so they can serve more students.
I know Connecticut is not the state you call home, but there are kids there who need someone to stand up and fight for them. Help us win support for reform in Connecticut with a donation now:
CEO and Founder
825 K St, 2nd Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
I don’t know, I felt OFFENDED by this email in my WORK email account. Especially since I am most likely one of “those” teachers who would be classified as underperforming. I don’t shy away from challenges presented by the students in my school or District because I believe every child deserves to have a good education. But I am not the second coming either and there are factors out of my control that impede learning. Please Ms. Rhee, explain how this isn’t “political”.
So in a Quixotic moment, I fired off the following:
Dear Ms. Rhee,
Please STOP sending mail to this address. First of all, you are not “my friend”. I work as a public school teacher and have for nearly 25 years. Wouldn’t that make ME one of your targets, a public school slacker?
Just FYI, it is a vacation week here in Massachusetts. I am not paid for this “vacation” nor is any other public school teacher here in Massachusetts. However, I AM here on my own time working hard to prepare a learning environment for my students when they return to their studies next Monday.
I don’t have time for this kind of nonsense on my WORK email account. I feel that your solicitations, and I have received 3 so far, are inappropriate for the workplace. I have no intention of donating $10 to your Political Action Committee or you rconsulting firm – however you wish to define your
money-making scheme today.
Remove my name from your list permanently.
Most likely that won’t stop a thing. But I have to admit I feel better.