In The Face Of Tragedy, Testing Goes On!Arne Duncan, the Obamanista Education Minister, is a corporatist, privatizing, authoritarian, militaristic control freak who confuses 'obedience' with 'learning.' The Obamanista Plan for schools is just more and worse interference by the Feds to punish schools which don't truckle to their fascistic plans. Via Andy Kroll, Truthout:
"Before an audience of big-city mayors and school superintendents in late March, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan offered an early - and troubling - indication of his vision for the future of public K-12 education in the United States.Duncan's pledge to put more big-city mayors in charge of their school districts would exclude democratic forms of school governance and let big businesses decide the fate of public schools.
Duncan told audience members at the Mayors' National Forum on Education in Washington, DC, that more mayors need to take control of low-performing, urban school districts, and that he was prepared to do whatever it takes to shift leadership of urban districts from school boards to City Halls. 'I'll come to your cities. I'll meet with your editorial boards. I'll talk with your business communities,' Duncan said. 'I will be there.'
For those familiar with Duncan's controversial legacy in Chicago, one that emphasized the privatization and militarization of that city's mayor-led public schools, Duncan's vow to give more big-city mayors control over their city's schools is a worrying harbinger of reforms to come."
His vocal support of mayoral control in underperforming urban school districts looks an awful lot like an attempt to replicate the Chicago education model of shuttering public schools, replacing them with privatized or militarized schools, shutting out teachers' unions and taking power away from community members and citizens - all on the recommendation of the city's corporate elite - on a national scale. (This from an appointee of the guy whose MOST compelling historical experience was as a 'community organizer? Yeah, CHANGE WE CAN FUCKING BELIEVE IN. W.)Follow the link and read the rest. It's sure to enlighten and enrage. Another good site on which to track the Obamanista Revolt Against Public Schools is linked just below: Susan Ohanian's blog. And read her books too. She's very smart, very concerned, and very, very correct...
This is hardly the kind of "change" needed to boost student achievement, encourage more young people to become teachers and turn around this country's underperforming schools. Instead of empowering local school boards in urban districts to better govern their schools, promoting mayoral control of schools would likely consolidate power in the hands of a single leader - and a politician at that, someone beholden to wealthy supporters and special interests, always with an eye on reelection. By giving more big-city mayors control over their school districts, Duncan is essentially handing that control to the corporate elite of these big cities to craft educational reforms with their own interests in mind.
People who do 'well' in school are prepared thereby to...yes, DO WELL IN SCHOOL.
But goddamn little else.
DOTOF™: Susan Ohanian/SusanOhanian.Org for the photo