Kind of a shame that they’d have to do this sort of thing to pay for college. As we all know a college education is one of the most unaffordable things for many in the 99 percent. Many of us go into a lifetime of debt to get that college degree.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has tasked a “cleaner,” Barbara Byrd-Bennett with gutting Chicago’s public education system to make way for charter schools. She has a history of doing this sort of thing in other cities. Byrd-Bennett will come in and fire a lot of people, close a lot of schools and then pack up and leave. I think she’d fit right in on Wall Street.
From In These Times:
Byrd-Bennett has proven herself so skilled at the art of “cleaning” districts that she has part time job with the Broad Academy training school superintendents in the ways of corporate education reform. The Broad Academy is a billionaire-funded venture that closely resembles Teach for America, but it trains aspiring school district superintendents instead of teachers. “Broadies” often come from business or law backgrounds and have a keen interest in neoliberal education reform.
They remind me of Milton Friedman’s Chicago Boys who did a lot of damage to Chile with their privatization schemes. As for Rahm Emanuel, going back even to his days in Congress, I’ve often wondered why was he a Democrat. He seems like such a conservative authoritarian figure to me.
For quite some time now we’ve had conservatives and some Democrats calling for “school choice” and they have been promoting vouchers and charter schools as the answer.
This is the type of campaigns that they run:
The wealthy benefactors use a system of “rewards and consequences” across the states. It includes funding the campaigns of pro-voucher candidates and funding attack ads against anti-voucher candidates. Legislators who oppose funding private schools with public funds are accused of selling out to teachers’ unions–the primary “villains” behind underperforming schools in the pro-voucher narrative.
So my question is: what happens when the public money is gone? How will parents then afford to pay for these private schools? Or do conservatives plan to give corporate welfare to private schools and subsidize them through vouchers?
What about charter schools? They too receive public money and private donations. But are they to get public money in perpetuity? Another corporate welfare scheme? The other problem with charter schools is the reality that you’re creating a two-tier school system and using public funds to do it.
via In These Times.
For me this is what it all comes down to on education reform:
Notice that no one is pushing charter schools in wealthy communities because public schools there are thriving. In other words, the school district I grew up in is still a good school district — not because of unions or vouchers or high-stakes testing but because of taxes.
I’ll keep on saying this until I turn blue–there’s a reason why a school in Scarsdale, NY is doing better than one in the Bronx. The same goes for any state in the union. It’s all about the tax base and the surrounding community. The other problem to keep in mind is the destructiveness of what all these charter school advocates propose. They will create a two-tier school system and that’s unfair. Waiting for Superman isn’t the answer. Giving someone a voucher isn’t the answer either. They’re slowly trying to privatize education, but what happens when it’s all private and there’s no more taxpayer funds?
Quebec students have been protesting since February over Quebec premier Jean Charest’s move to sharply increase university tuition. The movement has become the longest and largest student strike in the history of North America and led to the single biggest act of civil disobedience in Canadian history, as students continue to defy Charest’s ‘emergency law’, which made the student street protests and campus strike illegal.
The schools are trying to squeeze blood from a stone. If they increase tuition and people can’t afford to pay it; then they’ll loose out on getting any money at all. Also how dare the premier declare a strike illegal? What are the consequences for them striking? Can the schools expel them?
This is the problem with the current mindset of education reform that has set in since the era of the Bush administration’s No Child Left Behind. When the utmost effort is made to solely judge teachers and schools by test scores, you’ll end up with principals promoting cheating like this story talks about.
And a state-commissioned review of 2009 PSSAs found a suspicious pattern of erasures on Cayuga’s fourth-grade reading tests, with the odds of them occurring naturally greater than 1 in 100 million.
"My son came home one day and said his teacher kept telling him to erase his answers and write different answers," one parent said.
This is also similar to what we’ve heard about Michelle Rhee’s “eraser-gate” problems here in Washington, D.C. Now no one is saying that tests aren’t important, but there are also other factors that should be considered when judging a teacher and their school’s performance.