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View Diary: Teachers: the new enemy of the states? (174 comments)

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  •  It was much easier to start demonizing the poor (7+ / 0-)

    Because many suburban middle class citizens don't know any or many poor people. So it was relatively easy for the GOP to paint an insidious myth of the inner city welfare queen who is living well on the taxpayer's dime. Nixon got the ball rolling and Reagan was the true master.

    But everyone knows teachers and cops and firefighters.  This attack rings false and is backfiring. Most people know how teachers live and how hard they work. It is laughable to watch these Fox News blowhards talk about how easy teachers have it.

    This whole strategy reeks of Karl Rove, and in the end it may weaken union membership a bit and cut off some money flow to the Democratic Party. That seems to be the primary goal. But at what price electorally? Demographics are trending against the GOP, and now they've pissed off union members who had been voting Republican on social issues and so-called "law and order" issues. In the midwest that is not an insignificant number of voters. I say overreach.

    •  I think another long term goal (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Deejay Lyn, Forward is D not R

      is to weaken public education to the point where corporations would run schools.

      If public education is replaced by vouchers, various companies would basically operate schools from office parks or public school buildings. Some will be good schools and others are there just to receive public funding and provide very little education in return.

      Education would then become what we have for health care today. Rather than just enrolling your kid to the nearest school, you would have spend a lot of time to research and shop around. The good ones will remain out of your financial reach even with subsidy. It would be harder to resolve issues with private schools than public schools.

      The "free market" people insist on "consumer choice." The downside of consumer choice is greater opportunities for companies to cheat.

      •  Except that it doesn't work (4+ / 0-)

        In countries where corporations have run schools, the result is very low standards and huge numbers of kids who go without formal schooling.

        This kind of privatization scheme was tried in Chile after the military coup at the suggestion of Milton Friedman-trained economists (the "Chicago Boys"). Voucher school operators attracted families with goodies such as TVs. On the books, classes had 80 students each, but many of the children never showed up because they were child laborers. And the voucher school operators, who had connections to the Pinochet regime, bought entire islands with the proceeds of their vouchers.

        I had a friend who taught in one of these voucher schools. He was very poorly paid and ended up leaving teaching as soon as he found a better paying job.

        On the other hand, he didn't feel much pressure to teach ideologically correct lessons because supervision was minimal. The owner was only in it for the money and didn't really care what the teachers taught or who they were--as he was a highly visible opposition figure.

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