Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bailing Out the Foes of Public Education

This article dovetails the politically and ideologically based ed reform movement (as opposed to education driven) with the current bailout mania. Note how Price starts with "A Nation at Risk" in 1983, which is exactly where Vera Pavone and I started with our review of Kahlenberg's Shanker bio (see sidebar for a pdf). Shanker's embrace of ANAR was a key element in the downhill spiral of the UFT/AFT in its alliance with the business community.


Bailing Out the Foes of Public Education
Quoting Friedman All the Way ...


By TODD ALAN PRICE
We live in dubious times when staunch deregulators howl for vigorous and immediate regulation.

Lessons from the past

In 1983, the release by the Reagan administration of the report A Nation at Risk, launched over two decades of attacks on public education by right wing foundations and corporate pundits. Teachers and students were ill equipped to defend against the Heritage Foundation, the Hoover Institution, and the American Enterprise Institute, just a few of the many shock troops aiming their sights on the public schools.

The document stated that we were losing the battle against economic powers such as Japan, "unilaterally disarming ourselves" by miseducating youth.

In a previous Fighting Bob article, Demolition Reauthorization, it was described how "some of the loudest critics of public education, the Hoover Institution, the Fordham Foundation, the Aspen Institute, Bill Gates, Eli Broad, Milwaukee's Bradley Foundation and Fortune 500 corporations everywhere have partnered with the federal government in an effort to, they claim, save our public schools."

The strategy employed so successfully in this all out blitz of the media by supposedly august foundations and think tanks is to attack the public schools, try and drain them of funds through tax payer vouchers to private schools, then to 'save' the remaining public schools, placing them under increased regulation, and when they fail, restructure them and reopen them as newly reconstituted charter schools.

The collapse of the banking, investment and housing industry draws similar parallels.

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