Home » Uncategorized » Brave Alabama BAT speaks out at Michelle Rhee’s #RealEdTalk…Your move, Philadelphia!

Brave Alabama BAT speaks out at Michelle Rhee’s #RealEdTalk…Your move, Philadelphia!

Last Thursday, Michelle Rhee and her cronies, Steve Perry and George Parker, made their next stop on their three-city Teacher Town Hall tour in Birmingham, Alabama. I had a sliver (a minuscule sliver) of hope that this Teacher Town Hall would be less disastrous than the first that I experienced last week in LA. I was proved terribly wrong.

 

The video above was taped in secret by Terri Michal (@Free_2_B), a wonderful Alabama BAT who is committed to defending public education in her state and who bravely confronted Rhee & Co. last Thursday. She voices her concerns in the video at 3:34 but be sure to watch the whole video; as nauseating as it is to hear the panelists talk mindlessly about issues they know so little about, Terri adds amazingly helpful commentary that exposes the truth behind their propaganda.

Terri Michal's sign that she unfurled while the panelists "answered" her question. Go Terri!

Terri Michal’s sign that she unfurled while the panelists “answered” her question. Go Terri!

I had been in contact with Terri over the past week since she saw the video of my speech, and I had been helping her prepare for the Teacher Town Hall in Alabama, so that she could make sure that her voice was heard. I am very excited to read her full report on the protest both outside and inside the event. She was one of the few outside protestors who attended the event, and I am very glad that she did and that she fought to have her voice heard. I am, however, equally horrified at the panelists’ and moderator’s (who I believe is Rhee’s husband? correct me if I’m wrong) responses.

The bullying and intimidation tactics in this video on the part of the panelists is absolutely revolting. The tactics they used to silence the opposition is ridiculous (though not surprising). Their avoiding to answer the questions is utterly embarrassing. Almost everything the panelists said in this video were the same exact talking points that they used at the last event. Rhee even mentions me at 2:13, and completely twists her encounter with me, not-so-ironically while I am not there to defend myself (Terri’s commentary tells the TRUTH that I reported to Terri over twitter). Typical reformy tactics. They can dish but they can’t take.

This event was just as controlled, manipulative, and oppressive as the last. I can’t say I’m surprised at the reformers, but that doesn’t make me any less disgusted. Thank goodness for the brave people in this video who fought to have the true voices of those in the Birmingham educational community heard!

Tomorrow, Rhee’s next stop will be in Philadelphia. I am way too excited to see what will happen there. I’ve been in contact with the Philly Student Union and they have confirmed their attendance. Diane Ravitch might also attend since the event coincides with her book tour. With the recent state of public education in Philly amid drastic budget cuts… the event should be nothing less than interesting… Stay tuned!

Students, if you will be attending the event, I just want you to remember that NO ONE can tell you what’s best for you. You have the power to think for yourself and have a voice in your education, and you shouldn’t let ANYONE (no matter how much great-sounding propaganda they throw at you) take that away from you.

Everyone else, please spread this Terri’s video like fire! This is SUCH an important piece of the truth, especially with Terri’s amazing added commentary on the video. We cannot let Rhee and her cronies get away with the dangerous propaganda they spread!

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3 Comments

  1. I’ll be making a follow up video in the next day or two that will be my own “What I would have said if I had gotten more time” Thanks Hannah for contacting the Students in Philly, between them and the PA BATs it should be VERY interesting!
    I also wrote a piece about lies and manipulations of many of the reformers. I hope you will check it out. http://www.scribd.com/doc/167615813/Lies-Laws-Copyrights-and-Manipulations

  2. Jack says:

    Regarding the video from Birmingham,
    here are some highlights:

    Rhee mocks Hannah Nguyen at about
    02:13 – 02:40 — quoting out of context
    and distorting what Hannah wrote to her
    in her email.

    At 05:05, Terri Michal (MIKE-uhl) attempts to
    voice her opinion—and others followed suit,
    saying, “I did, too,” and watch how she’s
    treated.

    At 06:08, they rip the mic away from
    her (though you can see it because
    she had to hide the camera, because
    cameras were not allowed… resulting
    in a bad camera angle).

    As the caption indicates, forum participant
    Steve “unionized-teachers-are-roaches”
    Perry then does not answer the Terri’s
    question, but instead gives the stock
    answer, or rather, non-answer, which the
    crowd, stacked with corporate reformers,
    applauds.

    The security guards threatens to remove her.

    By this point, the visual portion of the video
    is black, with just audio.

    Rhee brags about firing D.C.’s “ineffective”
    teachers, but the truth is that these teachers
    were the high-paid veterans that were fired
    because of their high pay, and in spite of
    their quality. She had fabricated a budget
    deficit to do so. Shortly afterwards, she
    claimed that the money was there after all.

    A city councilman then said that if that’s
    the case, hire back the teachers.

    Rhee then challenged the city councilman
    and those who agreed with him to enroll
    their own kids in the public schools where
    the fired teachers taught… while Rhee
    herself doesn’t send her own kids to public
    school.

    At 13:15, Terri’s caption talks about Rhee
    trying to stare her down… again, because
    of the hidden camera, again, caused
    by Rhee barring cameras from the event,
    you can’t see Rhee doing so… though
    you can her screaming.

    Rhee then assumes, that because Terri is
    white, she must some elitist who “sends her
    kids to tony private schools”… without any
    proof of this, as it’s not true. Terri tries to set
    her straight, but is silenced by the security
    guards.

    Terri then continues refuting this with her
    caption and a picture showing her actual
    family… the picture speaks for itself.

    Then at 14:38, sell-out George Parker talks
    about how he and Rhee support improving
    public schools side-by-side with charter
    and private schools, but Terri’s caption
    correctly points out that the Alabama
    Accountability Act—that Rhee pumped
    millions of Students First dollars into
    lobbying and political races in order to get
    it passed—drains the public schools of
    funding and puts them into private and
    charter schools.

    Then at 17:14, Steve “unionized-teacher-
    are-roaches” Perry talks about all you
    need to attend his school are “a pulse
    and an address”… and again, Terri’s
    caption puts a lie to this in that the make-up
    of his students are “more affluent than than
    the surrounding public schools, have less
    distance to travel, and are more likely to
    have a bed to sleep in at night.”

    (Bruce Baker, Jon Pelto, and Jersey
    Jazzman have posted all the data backing
    this up.)

    Terri’s captions then back all of this up
    with data from Jon Pelto’s website.

    (NOTE how earlier, the moderator
    rushed Terri, refusing to let her preface
    her question with comments, with the
    reasoning that they were already “in
    overtime” and had to rush… yet shortly
    afterwards, Parker and Perry were allowed
    to run their mouths for minutes on end.)

    Near the end, Terri’s caption reads:

    “Thank you, Ms. Rhee for this ‘teacher
    town hall’.

    “You have now proven that your words
    mean nothing, and you have no interest
    in dialogue.

    “I guarantee that you have won over
    no protestors in Birmingham.

    “Good luck in Philadelphia!
    BAT’s will be flying!”

  3. Jack says:

    Here’s Terri Michal’s video which she took of
    Rhee’s “Teacher Town Hall” in Birmingham:

    Regarding this video from Birmingham,
    here are some highlights:

    Rhee mocks Hannah Nguyen at about
    02:13 – 02:40 — quoting out of context
    and distorting what Hannah wrote to her
    in her email.

    At 05:05, Terri Michal (MIKE-uhl) attempts to
    voice her opinion—and others followed suit,
    saying, “I did, too,” and watch how she’s
    treated.

    At 06:08, they rip the mic away from
    her (though you can see it because
    she had to hide the camera, because
    cameras were not allowed… resulting
    in a bad camera angle).

    As the caption indicates, forum participant
    Steve “unionized-teachers-are-roaches”
    Perry then does not answer the Terri’s
    question, but instead gives the stock
    answer, or rather, non-answer, which the
    crowd, stacked with corporate reformers,
    applauds.

    The security guards threatens to remove her.

    By this point, the visual portion of the video
    is black, with just audio.

    Rhee brags about firing D.C.’s “ineffective”
    teachers, but the truth is that these teachers
    were the high-paid veterans that were fired
    because of their high pay, and in spite of
    their quality. She had fabricated a budget
    deficit to do so. Shortly afterwards, she
    claimed that the money was there after all.

    A city councilman then said that if that’s
    the case, hire back the teachers.

    Rhee then challenged the city councilman
    and those who agreed with him to enroll
    their own kids in the public schools where
    the fired teachers taught… while Rhee
    herself doesn’t send her own kids to public
    school.

    At 13:15, Terri’s caption talks about Rhee
    trying to stare her down… again, because
    of the hidden camera, again, caused
    by Rhee barring cameras from the event,
    you can’t see Rhee doing so… though
    you can her screaming.

    Rhee then assumes, that because Terri is
    white, she must some elitist who “sends her
    kids to tony private schools”… without any
    proof of this, as it’s not true. Terri tries to set
    her straight, but is silenced by the security
    guards.

    Terri then continues refuting this with her
    caption and a picture showing her actual
    family… the picture speaks for itself.

    Then at 14:38, sell-out George Parker talks
    about how he and Rhee support improving
    public schools side-by-side with charter
    and private schools, but Terri’s caption
    correctly points out that the Alabama
    Accountability Act—that Rhee pumped
    millions of Students First dollars into
    lobbying and political races in order to get
    it passed—drains the public schools of
    funding and puts them into private and
    charter schools.

    Then at 17:14, Steve “unionized-teacher-
    are-roaches” Perry talks about all you
    need to attend his school are “a pulse
    and an address”… and again, Terri’s
    caption puts a lie to this in that the make-up
    of his students are “more affluent than than
    the surrounding public schools, have less
    distance to travel, and are more likely to
    have a bed to sleep in at night.”

    (Bruce Baker, Jon Pelto, and Jersey
    Jazzman have posted all the data backing
    this up.)

    Terri’s captions then back all of this up
    with data from Jon Pelto’s website.

    (NOTE how earlier, the moderator
    rushed Terri, refusing to let her preface
    her question with comments, with the
    reasoning that they were already “in
    overtime” and had to rush… yet shortly
    afterwards, Parker and Perry were allowed
    to run their mouths for minutes on end.)

    Near the end, Terri’s caption reads:

    “Thank you, Ms. Rhee for this ‘teacher
    town hall’.

    “You have now proven that your words
    mean nothing, and you have no interest
    in dialogue.

    “I guarantee that you have won over
    no protestors in Birmingham.

    “Good luck in Philadelphia!
    BAT’s will be flying!”

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