Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The water is rising: the end of public education

Arne Duncan should have been tossed when he praised Hurricane Katrina's effects on education. His words, it turns out, were not an aberration.

from Alexander Phillips, Urban Times, August 10, 2010

We try to stay away from all those things that might confuse our children.
Eternity Christian Academy, Westlake, La
On the verge of receiving public monies via vouchers

[I]gnorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.
Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man
About to be extinguished in some quarters of Louisiana

John White, a disciple of Eli Broad and the man Arne Duncan praised as a "visionary leader" for his work in New Orleans, after Hurricane Katrina, "the best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans," now leads the way to disabling science in Louisiana.

Arne remains silent.

I have given him the benefit of the doubt for years, as I have Chris Cerf, our state Education Commissioner, and many others who have come through the Eli Broad pipeline, silencing critics with their mantras, zip code is not destiny, children deserve to be college and career ready, biggest civil rights issue of our time.

New Jersey may well be hurtling towards Louisiana's fate--Chris Christie, an opportunist with a loose relationship with truth, is trying to out-Lipton Bobby Jindal as he boxes his way to supremacy in the GOP, a position that requires support from The Artists Formerly Known as Tea Baggers. No surprise, then, that Arne and Christie share the same bed.

Arne Duncan's policies have contributed to the dismantling of public schools, to the dulling of democracy--his actions are anti-American, and traitorous. His allegiance should be to our broad stripes and stars, not Eli Broad's board of corporate stars.

Public school teachers are notoriously polite and patient, except when their children are threatened. Our silence reflects our ignorance, not complicity--too many of us trust the facile words of smiling faces, unaware of the billions of dollars behind ulterior motives.

A local connect the dots! Why not connect yours?

It's time we wake up.
Know who's running the show in your town. 
And when your adrenaline starts surging, use it to take America back.

By traitorous, I mean that Arne Duncan places Eli Broad's ideals over those public discourse and interests, plutocracy over democracy.


Anonymous said...

Wow! I thought the conservatives were bad with their conspiracy theories. I have never seen such an angry response to people who are trying to make a positive change to a largely lazy profession.

doyle said...

Dear Anonymous,

No conspiracy theories here--the Eli and Edythe L. Broad Foundation, like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation are open about their philosophies and their goals.

Arne Duncan is a bit more opaque, but more because he sticks to sound bites--I suspect he's none too bright. His Katrina comment is one of many comments that suggest this.

If indeed you "have never seen such an angry response," well, you need to broaden your horizons. I am flattered that given your apparently limited exposure to words, you chose to read and respond to mine.

Thanks for stopping by.

John T. Spencer said...

I see you're tackling trolls, too.

Locally, we have a man who has really screwed up ELL education. His name is Kevin Clark and he is surprisingly elusive. He has a few articles he's written that have been published in six or seven places, but I can't seem to find out any information about him. I know he worked with a conservative think tank. I know he lives in the town where I grew up. However, he doesn't interact on any social media, doesn't blog, doesn't have contact information up, etc. Nobody seems to know anything about him and yet districts have spent millions using his consulting firm over the last five years.

Once you get into the inner workings of the ELL legislation, it gets really shady. People are making a hefty salary consulting on topics where they wrote the legislation.