On Sun. March 3 popular blogger Jersey Jazzman and others published scathing updates on the book, 'Radical: Fighting to Put Students First' recently penned and heavily promoted by DC Public Schools former Chancellor Michelle Rhee.
Jazzman and others concluded that “Michelle Rhee's Book is a Huge Failure.”
Today's numbers support their conclusions. With 63 reviews, the book's average rating is only 3 out of 5 stars, and has posted only 18 'likes' on amazon.com.
A week ago, Jazzman wondered if Michelle Rhee's book 'Radical' was going to be a flop. It had not yet reached the NY Times bestseller list, and sales were not strong on amazon.com. Far from the top of the list, 'Radical' then ranked #1,386.
Jersey Jazzman is a composer and music educator living in New Jersey. His other blog is called “School Reform 101.” He says,
'I've been politically active for a long time, and naively hope I can contribute a little to the dialog about education, politics...and the arts.'
He suggested that a book like 'Radical' needs time to get “traction.”
Yesterday blogger isthisrob commented,
'If by "traction" you mean ''conservative groups buying the book in bulk to artificially inflate its ranking", then yeah. I'm sure traction is on the way.'
Jazzman pointed out how her low ratings contrast with Rhee's “dream book tour” that included numerous national media outlets including The Daily Show, Charlie Rose, and This Week with George Stephanopoulos.
One week later, Jazzman points out that:
''Rhee still hasn't cracked the NY Times list." ''How's her book doing on Amazon?''
The answer is, her ranking is now #5,488 on amazon.com.
Referring to her publisher, HarperCollins, Jazzman's reacted:
'Oh, dear. I wonder if Harper has a merit pay plan for Rhee, based on her sales; you know, a plan like the one she insisted on for her teachers...'
Rhee is the founder and president of StudentsFirst, but Jazzman asserts,
'The only reason Michelle Rhee gets any attention is because a group of very wealthy people bought her access to national media outlets. But even with this outsized reach, her message just doesn't resonate.
'She has no real grassroots support: she is the consummate astroturfer, pretending to lead a national movement that, in reality, has very little parent or teacher support.'
He adds, ''No one should take Michelle Rhee seriously - and, it turns out, no one does.''
Jazzman says his objection to Rhee is mostly to her exaggeration of her record:
'….an exaggeration so large that Rhee should have known her own claims were outrageous when she was making them in preparation for taking the Chancellor's job in Washington. The only person who seemed to care at the time was Bob Somerby, who was universally ignored by a fawning press.'
Blogger Students Last said,
'Despite its reception, Ms. Rhee is working hard to promote the book. She's been on several talk shows around the country and has even resorted to engaging in what could best be described as "stunts."'
'Interesting to note that we have yet to receive a visit (from Rhee) in Chicago. Could be that she'd see at least 5,000 teachers (+ parents & community) in the streets, here?'
In January DCPS Examiner exposed the world-wide scorn that the WTU has received for remaining passive as 15 public schools are scheduled to close, 2,600 students are displaced, and hundreds of teachers and staff lose their jobs.
'Also--were any of you as shocked as I was that she was one of the women interviewed as a mover & a shaker in America, alongside others such as Gloria Steinem & Bella Abzug?
'Excuse me, but WHAT was SHE doing in that mix?'
Blogger Galton added...
'Her second husband has a history with underage girls that would prevent him from teaching in NJ public schools.'
'Rhee is the perfect Poster Girl for the reformers.'