Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Jay Nixon accepts one lobbyist's gift- a copy of Michelle Rhee's book
Sadly, the only gift Gov. Jay Nixon has accepted from a lobbyist in 2013 is a copy of education "reformer" Michelle Rhee's book, Radical: Fighting to Put Students First, a book that advocates eliminating teacher tenure, making decisions on teacher salary based on students' standardized test scores, and blaming teachers for everything that is wrong with education in America.
According to the Missouri Ethics Commission, the gift was presented to the governor by Lea Crusey on April 22, when she was still a lobbyist for Ms. Rhee's organization Students First. Ms. Rhee is also a registered lobbyist in Missouri. Now, Ms. Crusey has moved on to Washington, D. C., where she works for an organization called Democrats for Education Reform, a name just about as misleading as Students First.
Whether Nixon has actually read Michelle Rhee's book I don't know, but his Commissioner of Education Chris Nicastro has certainly shown that she has no problems with some of Ms. Rhee's views.
As noted earlier tonight on the Turner Report, NEA, through a Sunshine Law request, uncovered documents showing that Ms. Nicastro has helped retired St. Louis billionaire Rex Sinquefield in his efforts to set up a ballot initiative to eliminate tenure for Missouri classroom teachers.
Perhaps it is time that a lobbyist for MNEA provided Gov. Nixon with a book that makes sense on public education, Diane Ravitch's Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Schools.
Considering Ms. Nicastro's actions with Rex Sinquefield and the push toward Common Core Standards in Missouri, I am beginning to wonder which twosome is more incompetent when it comes to education, Jay Nixon and Chris Nicastro or Barack Obama and Arne Duncan.