- www.forbes.com/.../reed-hastinMay 11, 2012 – REED HASTINGS: About half my work in education is US political reform around school districts and charter schools, and creating more room ...
- www.forbes.com/.../netflix-May 3, 2012 – I cover education as a sector and as the bedrock of all sectors. ... on competition, technology, and accountability as three pillars of education reform, ... Below are excerpts from Reed Hastings' Education Innovation Sumit talk, ...
- www.schoolsmatter.info/2011/..Sep 24, 2011 – When it comes to education, R&D cycles can take years, producing results that are out of date the minute they're ... That Reed Hastings doesn't miss a beat, does he! .... If the Public Mattered to Arne and the Reform Scho.
Crooks and Liars:
I blame John Amato for getting me hooked on the new Netflix Series, House of Cards. Kevin Spacey is fantastic, the pace is great, but unfortunately, the policy issues they tackle in this first season are predictably corporate.
Nothing screams corporate like the storyline about education reform. After Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) forces his colleague to abandon education reform because he's "too left", Underwood finds himself negotiating a package with union representatives that feels a lot like Reed Hastings' dream "reform package."
Adam Bessie introduces Ms. Reform, Hastings' dream girl of education reform:
Ms. Reform is the Marilyn Monroe of domestic policy. The corporate media – and the President himself – can’t get enough of her.
It’s no surprise she’s become famous. Ms. Reform is sexy and seductive, especially to the powerful: she looks like a philanthropist – kind and nurturing, committed to helping the poor, forgotten black and brown children in the inner-cities. Who in their right mind could be against her plans to help our children – especially our most vulnerable and least privileged – have a fair shot in life? But inside – a side she never shows the camera, and when she does, it’s Photoshopped – Ms.Reform is a cutthroat businesswoman: she’s read Ronald Reagan’s economic advisor Milton Friedman’s Capitalism and Freedom from cover to cover, she has complete faith in “free enterprise,” she’s never heard of John Dewey nor deigned to teach a day in her life, and boy, does she friggin’ hate unions. In short, Ms. Reform appeals not just to the bleeding heart social justice Obamaites, but also, to venture capitalists that think Obama is fomenting a socialist take-over of America. The only surprise is that she didn’t become famous sooner.Alyssa Rosenberg at ThinkProgress noticed it too:
Elsewhere in the education fight, the only discussion of policy are facile mentions of charter schools, collective bargaining, and performance standards. A union official appears in one scene to declare that “Charters jeapordize our ability to organize, which is reason enough” to object to Frank’s draft of the bill. Otherwise, the movement is represented only by picketers who melt when Frank and his wife serve them barbeque, and by a paid lobbyist who is manipulated into decking Frank in his office, giving him the advantage he needs to force a settlement to a teacher’s strike and a legislative deadlock. When Frank manipulates Congressman Russo (Corey Stoll) into running for Governor of Pennsylvania, his opposition is largely personified by the head of a shipbuilder’s union decimated by the BRAC process that shutters a local shipyard.It's true that Hastings didn't write the script, but I can't help thinking he shaped a narrative that lends itself to such a script. The casual treatment and perception of unions as thugs, of teachers as incompetent, of solutions as simply privatizing the effort altogether while using data analysis as the benchmark for nearly everything is characteristic of today's reform discussion.
News broke late tonight that Chicago Public Schools may be closing 50 public schools. FIFTY. There is absolutely no way the school system can absorb that kind of shock. I don't think the number 50 is a coincidence. Back in the days when the Gates Foundation thought charters were the answer to everything, the foundation put millions into the district to create charter schools, including 50 new high schools under their "small high school" initiatve.