Dear Ms. Rhee….

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 []
Sent: Thursday, April 19, 2012 10:19 AM
To: Bisson, Amy
Subject: An important battle


Dear friend,


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:<

Thank you,

Michelle Rhee
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.

Amy Bisson

Most likely that won’t stop a thing. But I have to admit I feel better.

13 thoughts on “Dear Ms. Rhee….

  1. She makes me sick. She is a pariah and a fraud. Why doesn’t she just open a school with all of her millions from Gates and Murdoch! Oops…that would mean real work and seeing real live children everyday. Her organization should be called Lobbyists First!

  2. Was this email sent to your work account as a result of your signing up for Rhee’s email list (perhaps accidentally via one of her deceptive “pay-per-email” campaigns like her petitions on, or was it a completely unsolicited email? If the latter, this could be an even more serious issue…

    1. Excellent thought James, but no, I did not sign up for Rhee’s mail list. I believe this is/was completely unsolicited, and while there now seems to be an opt-out (federal regulation requires this I believe), I do not believe either of her first two email blasts contained this option. I am not the only one — have heard from several people who have no idea how her organization got hold of email addresses. That is concerning.

  3. She is a fraud. THere is so much going on here in CT and she is behind all of it. She has created spin offs with new names because we are onto her. I will post a few links. Educate yourself…she is spreading like a fungus.

    When will the public catch on?

  4. Not to mention the fact that she only taught for.. what, 3 years? And taped her kids’ mouths shut because she couldn’t control them!!

  5. Amy Bisson’s reply to James says that the email from Rhee was unsolicited. Unsolicited by Ms. Bisson, that is. In my district, we sometimes got emails on our work account that were sent by senders who were solicited by the district officials themselves.

  6. Great letter/response to the oversimplistic rhetoric. I received the same email. I haven’t responded, but if I did, it would look something like this:

    Dear Ms. Rhee,
    I happen to be a student, in Connecticut, and I DON’T agree with the Governor’s education reform package. To be honest, it oversimplifies the problem, and makes teachers the enemy. It’s time we stop fighting about Ed reform, and start coming up with real solutions that could actually affect positive change. But Ms. Rhee, as a student in a high performing school, and with friends in lower performing schools as well, I can most certainly promise you that this legislation doesn’t put “students first.”

    – Mike

  7. I applied for a job at StupidFirst! and in the space where acolytes are expected to leave their frothing allegiance to her cause(s) I unloaded on her and all of her phoney corporate parasites. I got a thanks for your application email 2 days later. Clueless. I like your blog. We are in full battle mode with the “reformers” here in Buffalo NY. Our commissioner and governor are tipsy from the bottle of reform and the purse of Pearson. Google pearson pineapple scandal on our standardized testing last week what a joke. Peace

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