Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Whole Truth about the Attack on Public Education. A Must Read.

The Jersey Jazzman related this back and forth between education historian Diane Ravitch and the Obama administration. Believe me, if you ever wanted to get caught up on where we headed thanks to privateers like Scott Walker, this is it. Hint; look what corporations did to wages and quality in manufacturing:
Weasel words are flying out of the Obama/Duncan Department of Education … Here's the story: First, Diane Ravitch tweeted the most important question right now in the education world: Who will transform education: entrepreneurs or educators?

Enter Justin Hamilton, the current Press Secretary for Education Secretary Arne Duncan,with a truly ridiculous tweet:
False choice, I would hope both RT@DianeRavitch

Really, sir? Perhaps, then, you can explain this, via Valerie Strauss?

"President Obama hosted an education roundtable at the White House and I’ll give you one chance to guess who wasn’t high on the guest list. Educators. Below is a list of people who were invited to the event, which was described on the president’s schedule this way: Marguerite Kondracke, president & CEO, America’s Promise; Alma Powell, chairwoman, America’s Promise; General Colin Powell, founding chairman, America’s Promise; Craig Barrett, former president & CEO, Intel; Glenn Britt, CEO, Time Warner Cable; Steve Case, former chairman & CEO, America Online; Brian Gallagher, president & CEO, United Way Worldwide; William Green, president & CEO, Accenture; Fred Humphries, senior vice president, Microsoft; Rhonda Mimms, foundation president, ING; Kathleen Murphy, president, Fidelity Personal Investments; Ed Rust, CEO, State Farm; Randall Stephenson, chairman & CEO, AT&T; Bill Swanson, chairman & CEO, Raytheon; Laysha Ward, foundation president, Target; David Zaslav, president & CEO, Discovery Communications; Former governor Bob Wise, president, Alliance for Excellent Education; Anne Finucane, chair of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, Bank of America."

The sad fact, of course, is that we educators have been almost completely left out of the debate … We are patronizingly told how important we are, then left to figure out how to teach in our underfunded classrooms, while the “very serious people” gather in wood-paneled rooms and figure out how to use bubble tests to screw us out of our workplace protections. Fortunately, Diane was not taking this garbage lying down:

@EDPressSec I have never met a teacher who looked for ways to make a buck off his/her students, like for-profit orgs now prowling for $.
Diane Ravitch sums it up with this logical and powerful warning to everyone:
My takeaway from our exchange: the US Department of Education welcomes for-profit entrepreneurs and will never turn its back on them, no matter how paltry their results or how constricted their definition of “education.” The advance of corporate greed into the education sector, in my view, has nothing to recommend it. Corporations will seek to replace teachers with computers, will shave costs wherever possible, and will deliver a product that is as cheaply produced as possible in order to maximize profits. I fail to understand what that has to do with education, as I understand the meaning of the term.-Diane

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