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Originally published at Eclectablog.

You know the corporate funders driving the push to dismantle and privatize as much of our public school system as they possibly can are freaking out when they do stuff like this tweet from the Great Lakes Education Project (GLEP):

You also know they've stepped in it when they have to tweet out four explanatory tweets following the tweeted meme explaining themselves.

PRO TIP: If you have to explain your meme, especially if it takes four tweets to do it, you blew it and should just go ahead and delete the damn thing before too many people see just how out of touch you are.

The meme attached to the tweet compares State Superintendent Mike Flanagan and his vow to increase oversight of charter schools in Michigan to the racist Governor of Alabama George Wallace in 1963. Wallace stood in front of the doors to the University of Alabama to defend his inaugural promise of "segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever" by preventing non-white students from enrolling. He was, of course, pushed aside under direct orders of President Kennedy and three African American students were allowed to enroll and attend the university. The event put Wallace on the map as one of the most notorious racists in the country at the time.

Flash forward 51 years to this summer. An astonishing exposé by the Detroit Free Press showed a horrendous lack of oversight of charter schools in Michigan, 80% of which are for-profit. Nepotism is out of control as "school" administrators enrich their family and friends and many of the schools are showing provably terrible education results. The state legislature has created a situation that allows the charter schools and the groups that charter them to operate unchecked.

So, Supt. Flanagan responded by putting over 25% of the charter school authorizers on warning that they may have their chartering privileges revoked.

This, to GLEP, is the same as a hideous racist barring the doors of a university to stop black students enrolling. What's particularly hilarious is that Flanagan's action, should he decide to take it, won't close a single school. It simply prevents charter authorizers from chartering any MORE schools.

I'm guessing I don't have to take four tweets to explain to you why this is so hyperbolic, inaccurate, and offensive.

GLEP is headed up by Greg McNeilly and wealthy corporatist Betsy DeVos, two people who have long wished (and worked) to destroy our public school system and to siphon off our tax dollars to for-profit privatized education corporations like K12 and others. They even have the failed fake Democrat Cody Bailey on staff.

Apparently GLEP, realizing they don't have the support of most Michiganders, has now turned to offensive race-baiting in order to sway people to their cause. It's a clear indication that they know they are no longer going to be able to continue their anti-public school efforts unencumbered, something that scares the bejesus out of them.

Thankfully, their offensive effort fell to earth with a resounding "splat".

Feel free to chime in on their tweet and let them know how you feel.

Originally posted to Eclectablog - eclectic blogging for a better tomorrow on Fri Aug 15, 2014 at 06:06 AM PDT.

Also republished by State & Local ACTION Group, Motor City Kossacks, and Michigan, My Michigan.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (12+ / 0-)

    "Back off, man. I'm a scientist."
    -- Dr. Peter Venkman

    Join me, LOLGOP, Anne Savage, Amy Lynn Smith, & Emma White at Eclectablog.

    by Eclectablog on Fri Aug 15, 2014 at 06:06:15 AM PDT

  •  I thought the entire charter school movement was (7+ / 0-)

    based on "accountability" and how public schools and tenured teachers and the like simply weren't cutting the mustard and how only the privatized charters with their innovations (like underpaid Teach for America types, and nepotism and profiteering and cronyism) could save the country's school system.

    I completely agree that true innovation and creativity in public education should be welcomed and investigated and tried, but someone has to be freshly off the turnip truck if they don't recognize that much of the charter/private school movement and its use of public funds is simply based on good old fashioned greed and opportunism.

    “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

    by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Fri Aug 15, 2014 at 06:23:25 AM PDT

    •  When you own the media, you can spew whatever (4+ / 0-)

      you want. Just ask Michelle "I taped my students' mouths shut" Rhee and Campbell "I Hate Teachers" Brown.

      "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

      by zenbassoon on Fri Aug 15, 2014 at 06:40:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Nothing Whatsoever In Conservatism "IS" Based On (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:


      The messaging about them is based on X,Y or Z. Whatever they need to say to drive toward their sole goal.

      Every conservative claim or proposal is an excuse to hand over more of society to oligarchs.

      There is no other consistent effect of any conservative idea. Everything else is side effects.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Fri Aug 15, 2014 at 06:54:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think much of Conservatism is based on a vision (0+ / 0-)

        of some sweet, rural, agrarian America where manly men fought off intruders and hunted for food while their wifey wives handled the homestead and the family gathered around the flickering flames of the fireplace at night and told each other Bible stories.

        This image then morphs with the fifties, Beaver Cleaver Mayfield which is about as modern as the Conservative mind and zeitgeist stretches.

        “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

        by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Fri Aug 15, 2014 at 07:23:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The "accountability"... (0+ / 0-)

      ...of Charter Schools is to the parents.

      If the parents think that a school is full of corruption and nepotism, and is delivering low test scores, then parents have the option to withdraw their kids.

      That's the whole theory behind "school choice".  It's not perfect, of course.

      Some parents may decide that, "Test scores don't matter" and choose schools that deliver poor scores.

      Some parents work long hours and will choose a school based on how long the school day is. They use the school for childcare instead of for education.

      Some parents may choose a school because it is near their house or on a convenient bus line!

      These are not the reasons I would like people to base their decisions on...but those kids are not my kids.

      This is what Progressives need to understand about the Charter Movement. It has political momentum because it gives actual decision-making authority to a group of voters who are traditionally powerless. If we step in and try to take that power away, we'll be making two mistakes:

      1) We will be betraying our ideals. Instead of "Power to the People" we will be saying "No Power for the People, the People must send their kids where they are told to".

      2) We will make enemies of the inner-city parents who are most concerned about their children's education and who are most dissatisfied with the status quo -- in other words, we will be creating hostile Activists.

      This is bad policy and bad politics, too.

      We need to come up with a politically-feasible solution that improves inner-city schools. Then we can get our credibility back on this issue.

  •  Progressives should not ignore this meme. (0+ / 0-)

    It has more basis in fact than we like to admit.

    Charter schools are overwhelmingly concentrated in poor, minority neighborhoods.

    Charter schools give actual power to parents in these neighborhoods because they can now choose their school. I live in a poor, inner-city neighborhood. I used to have ONE choice, now I have SIX. That's real, concrete power.

    (Rich families already have School Choice. They can afford to move to nice suburbs or they can afford private school.)

    If you close Charters, you are taking power from poor minority families and giving it to the local government.  You're enacting a policy that disproportionately hurts minorities. Just like Payday Loans. Just like Voter ID. Just like Stop-and-Frisk.

    It's not racism, because the anti-charter interests aren't motivated by race. They are motivated by salary, job security, and a misguided fear of change.

    But who cares if the guy blocking your schoolhouse door is a good person at heart or an evil racist? Who cares, he is still blocking your door.

    Lastly, if Charters are going to be closed, they should be closed based on data. Also, they should not be held to a higher standard than other schools. When a Charter delivers low test-scores, anti-reformers say, "See! Charters suck!".

    But when a traditional public school delivers low scores, the same crowd will say, "Well, test scores aren't everything! They don't measure Art, Music, or Love of Learning".

    If test scores "matter" enough to close a Charter, they should matter enough to evaluate a teacher or a public school, shouldn't they? We should be consistent.

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