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This student-made video protests New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's plans
for the "turnaround" of one school.
Michelle Rhee calls her organization StudentsFirst, a common affectation among corporate-style education reformers, who often like to claim that the tens of millions of dollars they pour into remaking education policy are spent on behalf of students and parents. But in fact, the policies they push—promoting testing, making it easier to fire teachers, opening charter schools, and bringing profit motives into education in a dozen more ways—are not only empirically flawed and anti-teacher, but are often opposed by actual students and parents, who are increasingly pushing back.

In Florida, a so-called "parent trigger" bill failed last month. Though it was sold as parent empowerment, "Not a single major Florida parent organization supported the bill, including the PTA," with many opposing it, believing that it "would lead to the takeover of public schools by for-profit charter management companies and other corporate interests."

In Seattle, a growing group of parents have opted their kids out of standardized tests:

"We're not against testing," Purcell said. "But in the context of all the budget-cutting, we're saying: Can we at least spend the money on a more useful test?"
And in New York, students at several schools slated for "turnaround" have protested in a variety of ways.

Kids and parents don't have the money to put into their protests that the corporate reformers have to put into the agenda being protested. But at least they're speaking in their own voices, not trying to claim to speak for someone else to cover up a profit motive.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 02:06 PM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions, American Legislative Transparency Project, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  for profit is for suckers (5+ / 0-)

    Very few things are made better by introducing greed into the equation.

    The nicest and most intelligent people are the ones that share my point of view.

    by jbou on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 02:20:03 PM PDT

  •  punishing students first... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rebel ga

    and teachers every day.

    It's not a fake orgasm; it's a real yawn.

    by sayitaintso on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 05:56:20 PM PDT

    •  Discrimination (0+ / 0-)

      Two of its many forms.

      Elitism is the belief or attitude that some individuals, who form an elite  a "select group" of people with intellect, wealth, specialized training or experience, or other distinctive attributes.

      Those considered; whose views, on a matter are to be taken the most seriously or carry the most weight; whose views and/or actions are most likely to be constructive to society as a whole; or whose extraordinary skills, abilities or wisdom render them especially fit to govern.

      Alternatively, the term elitism may be used to describe a situation in which power is concentrated in the hands of a limited number of people.  

      Anti-intellectualism is hostility towards and mistrust of intellect, intellectuals, and intellectual pursuits, usually expressed as the derision of education, philosophy, literature, art, and science, as impractical and contemptible.
      wikipedia

      Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

      by rebel ga on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 06:12:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Tell Me About It! Rec'd and Tipped. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli

    Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

    by rebel ga on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 05:58:56 PM PDT

    •  typical second-tier school's power-grab (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rebel ga

      while McCormick's weak to give the former Glasboro State College a branch campus near Philly and is symptomatic of the inability of NJ to coordinate its higher education institutions.

      slutty voter for a "dangerous president"; Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Sciant terra viam monstrare." 政治委员, 政委!

      by annieli on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 08:09:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I wrote a diary late last year about this school (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vadorbell5, BMarshall, bkamr

    privatization issue.  I was seated next to a woman representing Basis Schools, Inc. in AZ. who was returning from Indianapolis where her corp was trying to expand after we passed school privatization legislation allowing expansion of Charter Schools here. I learned a lot and research showed exactly where these attacks on education are coming from, why and who is involved.

    Check out the link to the 2011 Philanthropy Roundtable provided in the diary...

    "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled" http://piecp-violations.com/

    by Bob Sloan on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 08:54:07 PM PDT

  •  We can't let this happen (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, bookgirl

    Schools are not businesses they are institution of knowledge and of education. So they should not be run for profit, and when any thing is run for profit, the people pocketing the profit forget about the people who they made that money off of. And in this case it is the students. And we can't let that happen.
    A similar bill is being considered in Idaho, where I attend college. We can't let this happen.

  •  That is a marvelous video (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vadorbell5

    and I really love the ending.  Incredible how the "elites" don't actually step in schools for more than a visit -- they have zero clue about the challenges, successes and reasons for failures.

    I loved the guy in the video who said he was an alum (now a teacher I assume).  He was an ESL student.  I was a transfer student in my Junior year to an all girls Catholic high school.  Later, I taught literature there -- and then it closed.  I know the feeling of loss these folks are anticipating -- because of bureaucrats and lack of investment.

    Vi er alle norske " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 07:46:29 PM PDT

  •  It would be good if we could stop using the word (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Silverleaf, Matt Z

    "reform" for this.  I think most of us agree that American education does need reform.  Allowing right-wingers to own the concept of "educational reform" thus forces us to tie ourselves in linguistic knots.

    I'd humbly suggest "privatization" as a more neutral and descriptive term for these sorts of initiatives.

  •  What really pisses me off... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BMarshall, Matt Z, livingthedream

    Is the fact that well connected, well funded corporate deformers used the work of civil rights lawyers against children of poverty and demonized their teachers in order to marginalize public education in the name of greed.  

    www.dumpduncan.org

    Educational experience based on behaviorism is mind control.

    by semioticjim on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 08:04:26 PM PDT

  •  Book-learnin' is fer dem Harvard snobs! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BMarshall

    Remember, the Repub plan is to keep the children of the plebes dumb, uneducated, and Bible-fearing so they'll be good little sheep. Only the children of the ruling classes will be educated, so the money and the power will stay in the proper hands.

    Damn now I'm going to go read 1984 again - it's gotten here a few decades late, but it seems to be picking up speed.

    Hi, I'm Mitt Romney, and I love America! I have some very good friends who own it.

    by Fordmandalay on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 08:06:06 PM PDT

  •  Talk to any Connecticut teachers lately? (0+ / 0-)

    Our Democratic governor, a corporatist, is pulling the same crap reform policies in order to close the learning gap in minorities.

    Gov. Malloy is a fan of ConnCan, Students First and back-dooring a way of killing bargaining rights.

    Of course, the blame for inner city schools failing is the total fault of teachers, who, he claims, just show up for four years of work, and get tenure. And, he says, we all know one or two teachers who are alcoholics.

    This from a dyslexic who managed to be a success because of the very teachers he disparages.

  •  Nationwide... (0+ / 0-)

    Here in my town, we just consolidated our two school districts into one, with largely disastrous results so far, according to the teachers I know.

    Our new superintendent is a graduate of something called the Broad Academy, a private institution designed to take people from other walks of life (corporate America, typically) and turn them in to EDUCATORS. The academy preaches a reliance on testing, uncertainty caused by churning personnel, closure threats and so on...word on the street is that the Broad Academy itself seeks to place its graduates in school districts perceived to be weak, without a lot of local activism. And here in the Corridor of Shame, that's pretty much all of them, with a few exceptions. Our city district used to be one such exception, but the principal just retired, and none of the teachers I know are excited about teaching kids under the constant threat of relocation or firing.

    It's a national agenda, a national corporatist, fascist agenda seeking to remove one more public option while seeing to it that the private option, the one with the profit motive, is well provided for.

    There will be people in the streets before November, and certainly before January. There had better be, or this country is over.

    -5.38 -4.72 T. Atlas shrugged. Jesus wept.

    by trevzb on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 02:28:04 PM PDT

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