Monday, July 20, 2009

Worth Reading: Bracey and Horn

Bracey at Huffington Post – Mayoral Control of Schools: The New Tyranny
[Excerpt] "The Spring 2009 issue of Rethinking Schools, said that, as Daley's man, Duncan "has shown himself to be the central messenger, manager and staunch defender of corporate involvement in, and privatization of, public schools, closing schools in low-income neighborhoods of color with little community input, limiting local democratic control, undermining the teachers union and promoting competitive merit pay for teachers."

The most important corporate involvement involves the 132-year-old Commercial Club of Chicago. Yet that organization recently published Still Left Behind, slamming Chicago's public schools as awful and that the reforms they've endured were designed to make the adults running the schools look good, not improve the lives of children. You could say the Club stabbed Arne in the back except that they did it upfront in the open, without once mentioning Duncan's name. The Club report backs up its case with many data.

Newsweek said the [Chicago] district "is mired in urban woes--and, in some cases, a sense of complacency." Complacency? Daley has had control of Chicago's schools for 13 years and Duncan was there for seven of them, but the test scores above are evidence that they didn't do much to stir anything but the public relations pot. [Make sure to read the entire thing as he also deals with dicator Bloomberg.]

Jim Horn at Schools Matter –Right Wing Sludge Tanks Gush Over Obama's "No Excuses" Philosophy
In fact, "no excuses!" is not new at all, but the title of a book by the high-powered Brahmin couple, the Thermstroms, whose 2003 No Excuses: Closing the Racial Gap in Learning sounded the clarion call to declare all-out war on the deficient cultures of the black, the brown, the poor--anyone outside the acid vanilla values of a shrinking middle class scrambling for the front seats of the global economic bus. It was the official opening of the the 21st Century anti-cultural war against the weak (see Edwin Black for history of the 20th Century version), a war that is being spearheaded by the push for segregated corporate charter boot camps intended to brainwash poor children with the worldview that comes naturally to soccer-playing, carefree lads of the leafy suburbs.


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