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When rolling out the Republican Senate's education reform bill in early May, NC Senator Pro Tem Phil Berger praised educational reforms in Florida as did the unusual brochure that accompanied the bill's roll-out. "We are following the reforms in Florida," he said.

Sorry to inform you Senator, but the reforms don't work. Newspapers all across Florida have and are running stories about the huge mess the reforms have caused Florida's K-12 and parents are up in arms, too.

The Tampa Bay Times, previously the St. Pete Times, says it time for it to be over.


"Children are crying, parents are obsessing, and educators are sweating."

Berger's Excellence in Public Schools Act establishes an A-F school grading system in North Carolina, too; a system in Florida that has created a $250 million dollar bonanza for a private testing firm. The Act also includes merit teacher pay, doing away with tenure and new reading requirements for third graders and more.

In fact, though slightly modified--most likely for a little political cover from angry Superintendents--Beger's reforms and other bills from last year and in this session all mirror the American Legislative Exchange Council's education task force agenda. A senate sponsor with Berger, Sen.Tom Apodaca (R-Henderson) is a member of ALEC's national education committee:

The Republican agenda includes: a slickly worded corporate tax give away for private school vouchers bill, attacking the State's teachers association, de-funding K-12 in favor of privatization, an open door to charter schools--even for-profit online charters--and denouncing the present school system which has recently accomplished the highest graduation rates on record.

For those not familiar with ALEC's education agenda, according to the Center for Media and Democracy, ALEC's education agenda encompasses a 20 year effort to privatize public education through an ever-expanding network of school voucher systems, which divert taxpayer dollars away from public schools to private schools. ALEC bills also divert public funds into private charter schools or for-profit internet schools. ALEC bills also allow schools to loosen standards for teachers and administrators, exclude students with physical disabilities and special educational needs, escape the requirements of collective bargaining agreements, and experiment with other causes like merit pay, single-sex education, school uniforms, and political and religious indoctrination of students.

The Orlando Sentinel: "With test data we cannot trust, a system that does not evaluate teachers based on what each teacher teaches and a complicated model that is not based on sound research, we are not only jeopardizing our teachers and administrators; we are also jeopardizing our whole public-school system, including our students.

Too much is riding on testing data that cannot be trusted.

Berger's Excellence in Public Schools Act's brochure can't be trusted either. It's ALEC propaganda with a large dose of Jeb' Bush's educational leadership thrown in. Heads up NC: Jeb Bush to bring ALEC's "educational reform" agenda:

Bergers brochure states that NC's K-12 education received a D- on ALEC's report card. National magazines and the New York Times have debunked ALEC's report card. Not surprisingly, states that have enacted ALEC's educational reforms score far better than states that haven't.

Shrewdly, Berger's brochure uses Education Week's report cards as a resource; it shows that NC received a C+ in 2012, but neglects to state that Florida received a C+ from Education Week in 2012, too. Just a slight-of-the-hand omission by Berger; NC's K-12 must be bad and Florida's must be good in order to move the corporate agenda.
Florida Drops in National Ed Ranking:

The Excellence in Public Schools Act passed the NC Senate this week and the House will take it up. The Republican leadership's latest ruse is for us to accept that now the House will consider passing Berger's education agenda in return for the Senate's approval of the House's budget. In other words, Republicans compromising with Republicans. Give us a break, we North Carolinians are not yet all flat-earthers, but that's exactly we we are headed if this legislation is enacted.

This diary is getting long, but I'm pissed.

I am puzzled by the lack of investigative reporting by our major newspapers, they have only danced around the edges of the true, for-profit, corporate agenda of the Republican-led legislature.

Compare Berger's Brochure: to Alec's education agenda:

4,000 more third-graders than last year could be held back because of latest FCAT reading scores. - Tampa Bay Times

Billionaire privatization activists pushing neovouchers for NC.

Public Money Finds Back Door to Private Schools

Please raise some hell Kossacks and thanks for reading.

Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 1:48 PM PT: Not much hope in Raleigh, the Republicans are moving all the Alex inspired bills through committees fast. Still have not seen the major press put out an investigative story disheartening.

Originally posted to smiley7 on Sun Jun 10, 2012 at 04:36 PM PDT.

Also republished by American Legislative Transparency Project.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I think Rachel Maddow has put her finger (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    smiley7, irate

    on the real reason for all this sturm und drang regarding public education: teachers' unions support Democratic candidates. If Republicans can destroy teachers unions, by attacking public education, they win. Everything. For ever.

    Citizen's United is just the latest nail in the coffin of populist, progressive democracy. Since our right wing packed Supreme Court decided money is speech, the only voice speaking out against the billionaire boys club is the voice of organized labor. Which, in effect, means public sector employee unions, since private sector unions have been dwindling for years and are practically on life support in many parts of the country.

    "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

    by Orinoco on Sun Jun 10, 2012 at 06:16:12 PM PDT

    •  There are billions of dollars available (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Orinoco, Just Bob

      when the repugs can vend out education; testing, online accreditation, for profit schools, non-profit schools vending out education services to for-profit companies and on to digital learning without teachers...

      Money, religious indoctrination and you are right, future votes all are behind these ALEC inspired bills.

      "Lets show the rascals what Citizens United really means."

      by smiley7 on Sun Jun 10, 2012 at 06:30:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm sure the graft... excuse me... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        campaign contributions are a big part of the attraction, but I think what really gets them going is the possibility of being the only party in line to hand out those favors to their private sector cronies.

        "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

        by Orinoco on Sun Jun 10, 2012 at 06:38:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Yep, there is a lot of corporate (0+ / 0-)

    brain power behind those ALEC closed doors where the legislative members vote with the corporate lobbyists on model legislation.
    What's most frightening is the degree of flaunting both ALEC and the Republicans have adopted. Secure in Citizens United, I guess. There is no shame.  Too damn bad, the poorest children in NC will be hurt the most initially, then the whole state goes down.

    "Lets show the rascals what Citizens United really means."

    by smiley7 on Sun Jun 10, 2012 at 06:58:41 PM PDT

  •  Great diary. Thanks for shining a light on this. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    smiley7, Hector Solon
  •  The ALEC Agenda is an experiment (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    smiley7, Hector Solon

    where they are using the US as their laboratory and the people of the US as the unknowing subjects.

    All of the ALEC privatization/profitization experiments have been failures and it is diaries like this that bring that to the attention of others.

    As Thom Hartman has said - their is no society that has ever existed as a total free market based society - which is what ALEC is pushing across the US.  The ALEC profitization experiment that is destroying public services from schools to water to foster care.

    Thanks!  for taking the time to write this diary.  People need to know.

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