Thursday, March 28, 2013

Teh Ed Beat: Charter Thievery, Chicago Blues; Privatizers; Common Fail

Charter Robbery...
: We have mentioned MANY times here that the "charter school" movement, at it's root, is both result of and the tool for the the overwhelming CorpoRat plan for the privatization/destruction of "public schooling," in the USofA. A couple of corpoRat hack/political lickspittles at the NYTimes recently weighed in with an approving, summary piece, the MOST 'critical' part of which reads:
“We’re not providing adequately now,” said Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association. “Why would you take away financing from public schools?" Why indeed. The same forces that want to cut taxes for themselves do not want to pay for your public education system. So divide and conquer. Here in NC, they're pushing charter school exemptions like no teacher certification, which will lower wage expenses for profit-driven operations - but at what cost?
Charters were developed primarily to DRAW MONEY and support away from public schools and to enrich educational "entrepreneurs." They do NOT "enhance" student performance, or any other indicators of achievement.They target mainly poor folks with promises they have no intention of keeping, of grants, etc, for schools--the tuition for which the grants do not completely cover.

Here's how it works in Ohio:
Last school year, 6,143 Akron-Canton area students all shared one thing in common: They withdrew from traditional public schools to attend publicly funded, privately run charter schools that had lower academic ratings than the public school they left, according to state data. And as they left, they took with them $46.2 million in tax dollars that otherwise would have gone to the public schools.
What ELSE will school admins and state legislators do to screw with the schools? Here's a useful compendium of recent events in the Nation's glans, Florida.


A Toddling Town: Pres. LowBar's asswhole pal and former Chief of Staff, now Chicago mayor, Rahm, Emanuel, is busy trying to (either) "bring order" to Chicago's tumultuous schools (or) to eliminate yet another focal point for community involvement in minority schools by closing a bunch of them. Communities are resisting.You'll remember the Chicago teachers staged an ineffectual strike last autumn. This is Emanuel's payback for embarrassing him. Emanuel hired as the new superintendent of CPS an executive whose previous experience includes presiding over the collapse of DETROIT's school system. The scheme seems to be an out-right attack on 'neighborhood' schools, but only in SOME neighborhoods.

Even Al Jazeera has noticed and sent reporters to cover the dismal Chicago story.
These closings have been targeted at some of the most depressed and resource-starved communities ... When you shut down schools in those communities, which are often the anchor of the communities, it increases the blight and a lot of the social problems in the community. So it is a big issue in terms of neighbourhood and community issues, aside from the educational problems it causes," said Michael Klonsky, Small Schools Workshop.
It may be nothing but a coincidence, but "neighborhood schools" (in big cities, often a euphemism for "colored" children) in Philadelphia are also under attack from the same bean-counting white people. Parents there are also resisting, though in all these cases, resistance will likely be virtually futile.

Rationale (Snark): Here's an oldie, but a goodie, from 2012, by a teacher who suggests, with considerable irony, that ALL Murka's school problems could be if we'd "Just Privatize!"
IF YOU ARE AN EDUCATION NEWS JUNKIE, and who isn't, you've probably heard Governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin and Governor "Candy Bar" Chris Christie in New Jersey talk about problems in education. Usually, when they mean "problems," they mean teachers and unions. Their favorite solution? Let's privatize America's public schools. It's the Tea Party Holy Grail. If we are to believe what they say we would know that government is always bad and business is pure and good. So let's see how privatizing schools is working in that place we liberals call "reality."
Not all that fucking well, from the data and the anecdotal evidence. Oh, it works fine for one class of students--wealthy/advantaged. They could got to school in tents and sheds and wouldn't be affected. They get the majority of their instruction in the home, anyway. It's poor, lower-clazss and minority kids who get it in the shortz, and not just in Catholic schools.


Follow the Money: And now, finally, two pieces about the "Common Core Curriculum," a bit of standardization designed to assist the entrepreneur/predator capitalists to make the wholesale capture of the schools (and their BILLIONS AND BILLIONS of dollars)  easier. Both are from the blod of former Raygunaut ed warrior, Diane Ravitch who, along with (now Sen) Lamar Alexander, the bloated, bloviating national scold and formere Ed Sec Bill Bennett, led the way to "reform" USer schools after "A Nation At Rish, and who NOW--finally--has apparently seen the error of her ways (though appallingly LATE in her career).

In "Exploring the Origins of the Common Core," a Ravitch colleague, Jim Martinez divulges the fully political (as opposed to the educational) impetus of the plan. One of the heavyweights, Marilyn Jagger Adams, was previously a colleague of Ravichs' amont the Raygunauts. She wields the heavy hand of institutionalized "fonix."

In a a critique on her work in the 1990s that refers to her government directed research on phonics instruction, several of my own former friends and colleagues take Adams' claims apart.
Common Core includes in it’s history, No Child Left Behind and other national educational policy reports dating back to A Nation At Risk (1983). It’s important to remember that most research is government funded and so it is unfair to critique educational research for it’s funding source. However, it is absolutely fair to question who gets to decide what the research is about and how that research is presented and used.

Adams and her cohort of flunkies have been granted audiences incredibly disproportionate to the amount (or lack) of agreement their research has engendered

Our last bit, today, is an interesting musing by a working teacher on the purposes of the Common Core, and she concludes the REAL purpose is to ensure that SOME children and schools will ALWAYS fail: 
(W)e were told that it would be possible at some point for all students to be successful. Assessment was designed to create a culture where all students would, in a few years, be “Proficient and Above.” The Bell Curve was out. The reality is that the finish line (the level at which one must achieve to be designated proficient/successful) has constantly and continuously been moving. The reason is to ensure that we would *never* reach that point and that there would always be failures. CC is the next step in ensuring failure – the real, although largely unspoken, goal.

No comments:

Post a Comment