Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Is Arne Duncan Guilty of Murder? Will BloomKlein Be Next?

The violence around Chicago schools has received national attention. Today's Times has a major story, but as usual only tells half of it. "Derrion Albert, the 16-year-old who was beaten to death recently with wood planks after getting caught on his way home between two rival South Side gangs, neither of which he was a member..."

George Schmidt told a different story where he blames the corporate reform which closes schools, turns them into "reform" schools which only take select students and force thousands of students out of their own neighborhoods and into schools in hostile territory:

"It's just seven and a half days since Derrion Albert had his skull crushed in that now-world-famous gang fight on 111th St. in Chicago. And most people still don't realize that "turnaround" was a partial cause of that death.

And the White House is sending Arne Duncan and Eric Holder to Chicago next week to keep the cover up alive and well.

And most of Chicago's media will go along with that cover up, just as they've been cheerleaders for corporate school reform for 14 years now, since Mayor Daley became dictator over Chicago's schools.

But since Arne Duncan is going to force every state in the USA to do Chicago-style "turnaround" or lose stimulus money, let's take a close look at what just happened in Chicago. Not the hype. From the streets around Fenger High School I've been walking the past few days as a reporter, blacklisted Chicago teacher, and former "director of security and safety" for the Chicago Teachers Union. And, oh, as editor of

"Turnaround" and a decade of corporate media manipulation in Chicago and now beyond Chicago's lies, hoaxes, and Orwellian nonsense.

I published the full piece over the weekend: 'Chicago Turnaround' the deadliest 'reform' of them all

Now, the amazing stuff Schmidt writes at Substance doesn't often get into the mainstream press, and of course the Times' article did not give a hint. I loved this opening about Arne Duncan's replacement, Ron Huberman:

The new chief officer of the public schools here, Ron Huberman, a former police officer and transit executive with a passion for data analysis, has a plan to stop the killings of the city’s public school students. And it does not have to do with guns or security guards. It has to do with statistics and probability.

It's just too funny to see how a former cop and transit executive is making educational decisions, just as Duncan and Paul Vallas before him created the Chicago ed deform movement called Renaissance 2000 something or other.

But low and behold, I am listening to a report on NPR this morning on the murder of Derrion Albert and they make exactly the same point George made in linking the gang violence to the forced evacuation of thousands of students from their own neighborhoods, even pointing to the fact that the local high school was turned into a military academy by Duncan.

Is Duncan guilty of murder? Maybe not. How about an unindicted co-conspirator along with Mayor Daley, Huberman and the rest of the ed deformers, which unfortunately includes our current president.


Paul Moore said...

I hope no one is under the illusion that the death of another 16-year-old child of color will actually move the corporate mauraders and their political shills Obama and Duncan to change course. Their public relations based response to Derrion's brutal murder has been as predictable as it has been perverse. It's a technocrat's "data driven" approach that will be as ineffective in the real world as it has been in the schools.

Anonymous said...

Your headlines and tone cheapen you credibility.

ed notes online said...

What credibility? This is a muckraking blog. Go to the NY Times for tone and credibility.

On second thought, skip the latter and stick with the tone. Even this rag has more credibility than them when it comes to ed coverage.

Anonymous said...

There are many educators that I've spoken with since reading the headline who think that it poses a legitimate question. Youth violence is erupting in NY and Chicago. It is imperative that we examine educational policy that influences the lives of our youth. We know from experience that Abu Ghraib was the result of policy decisions at the top levels of our government, whether they were held accountable or not.
The current push by Duncan and Obama to privitize our educational system with a business model approach that uses competition, has resulted in the most needy students being left behind like toxic assets.
We shouldn't wait for more needless deaths before asking this question tough questions? Thank you for asking it.

Karen Horwitz said...

As a Chicago resident as well as an education activist, I knew that this whole "investigation" into this out of control violence including CNN's reporting of it was a joke, but this helped me understand the specific fraud in this situation. I wrote a book about the widespread but covert education fraud, White Chalk Crime: The REAL Reason Schools Fail, and detailed all kinds of scams going on nationally. So I knew that this out of control situation about which they are pretending to care was in fact a direct result of White Chalk Crime, something they - those running our schools and the reporters who keep them in power - will be as inclined to reveal as will the Mafia coming clean about their wrongdoing. So thanks for the perspective.

I have documented that no one in power cares about the truth or any of our kids so this will be buried as all else that could help fix the schools. They do not want to fix things and put their White Chalk Crime bonanza out of business. But at least this situation will be buried with a name so that one day when someone with power like Oprah really wants to save our kids from White Chalk Crime, she can. My contribution to all of this is documenting everything and connecting the dots for someone who might care some day. That person will perhaps come along when the masses understand that the effects of White Chalk Crime are responsible for the crumbling of our society, including the economic downfall as well. I have contacted Anderson Cooper, who continues to look saddened about our children's plights and he does not seem interested in finding out the truth either. Reporting and acting are now combined careers. I keep trying to reach Michael Moore who blames Wall Street while letting off the hook these EducRAT$ that are rotting out the foundation of democrat. But thanks to people like George Schmidt the truth is out there for those of us who do care about children. His tone may seem harsh, but would we really want to hear this truth any other way? This reality is about as harsh as it gets - betrayal of our children for money and power.