The truth as I see it.
September 24, 2011
Given the unprecedented concentration of financial and political power bent on “reforming” the American public school system, it is well within the realm of possibility that within the next few years, the system that has educated the vast majority of Americans for almost two centuries and helped propel this country from an agricultural backwater to, for better or worse, the greatest power in human history, will cease to exist in any recognizable form if, indeed, it exists at all.
That same system, according to self declared “reformers,” is now so utterly hopeless it must be completely altered or eradicated altogether. Now. Before it is too late. There is not a moment to lose. Not if, in the bizarre words of Barack Obama, “we are to win the future.” If the “reformers” get their way, the crown jewel of American public life will become merely the latest and the greatest of our public institutions to be devoured by the ever-grasping hands of what is called the free market. If this comes to pass, the system’s destruction or utter transformation comes, not as the result of an election, an uprising of the people, a revolt of parents (who, like educators have been completely ignored) or anything resembling a democratic process or mandate. It will come, rather, as did the Iraq war: entirely as the result of the machinations of a handful of extraordinarily powerful men who, aided and abetted by corporations who stand to reap billions in profits, waged a brilliant and relentless public relations campaign based on gross distortions and out -right lies to manufacture a false sense of crisis wholly out of proportion to the reality of the situation.
With the indispensable assistance of a completely subservient media, this false crisis was used to impose their will upon a largely unwitting nation, come what may. Their will, as we now know, was war and profit, resulting in mountains of corpses and rivers of innocent blood.
Addendum: an excerpt from this essay will appear in the October – September issue of The Catholic Worker newspaper. I will be speaking on another aspect of corporate education reform on September 30, 2011 as part of the Friday Night Meeting series of The Catholic Worker. My talk is titled The Intellectual and Spiritual Price of Corporate Education Reform.
Friday Night Meetings are held at Maryhouse located at 55East Third Street between First and Second Ave very close to the 2nd Ave F subway stop or the Broadway/Lafayette stop on the 4, 5, or 6 trains. Their number is 212 777 9617. The talk will begin at 7:45 and will be followed by a question and answer period in which all are encouraged to participate.
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