The Common Good
November 2011

Teachable Moment?

by Mark Datema Lipscomb | November 2011

As a teacher for the Chicago Public Schools, I found your decision to run an advertisement from (September-October 2011) troubling. The StudentsFirst mantra is “accountability,” and it locates the source of almost everything wrong with public education at the feet of unions who protect “incompetent” teachers. But for more than a year now, Michelle Rhee, the former chancellor of Washington, D.C.’s public schools who now runs StudentsFirst, has largely refused to address the cheating scandal that occurred on her watch.

In D.C., 41 schools had suspiciously high test scores. In one classroom 97 percent of standardized test answer erasures were wrong to right. When the District finally investigated, only eight schools were investigated. If Rhee is as hypocritical about such a core value as integrity in her current organization, it raises questions about the ethics of running her organization’s advertisements.

Mark Datema Lipscomb
Chicago, Illinois

Sojourners relies on the support of readers like you to sustain our message and ministry.

Like what you're reading? Get Sojourners E-Mail updates!

Sojourners Comment Community Covenant

I will express myself with civility, courtesy, and respect for every member of the Sojourners online community, especially toward those with whom I disagree, even if I feel disrespected by them. (Romans 12:17-21)

I will express my disagreements with other community members' ideas without insulting, mocking, or slandering them personally. (Matthew 5:22)

I will not exaggerate others' beliefs nor make unfounded prejudicial assumptions based on labels, categories, or stereotypes. I will always extend the benefit of the doubt. (Ephesians 4:29)

I will hold others accountable by clicking "report" on comments that violate these principles, based not on what ideas are expressed but on how they're expressed. (2 Thessalonians 3:13-15)

I understand that comments reported as abusive are reviewed by Sojourners staff and are subject to removal. Repeat offenders will be blocked from making further comments. (Proverbs 18:7)