Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Education Beat: Adventures of ALEC, the Privatizer; Shamwow's Education Agenda (Term 2)

For-Profit "Revolutionaries"? Really?: Keep a barf-bag handy when you scroll through the putative  "accomplishments" and "agendas" of these "anointed" leaders of educational technology. Who says so?  Forbes Magazine (the BIG money) says so.?

These fuckers are disgusting: 15 "New Age" scammers trying desperately to get THEIR grubby fingers into the TRILLION DOLLAR educational pie, via privatization and profit.

The main way to do so is to use "technology" by-pass the professoriate, deskilling "scholarship," and reducing the idea of the University education to fucking TEST PREPARATION! And FORBES extols their "virtues."

These people, despite their grand pretensions, are not "revolutionaries," they're Fifth-Columnists, working behind the scenes for the CorpoRats' full-frontal attack on the commons.
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"Two in the Bush!": One of those greedy, grasping education privateers is Jeb Bush (sooo-prahs!), following in brother Neil's shit-filled footsteps as an educational entrepreneur.
This week in Washington, DC, Jeb Bush's "Foundation for Excellence in Education" (FEE) is meeting just five blocks away from the post-election conference of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the controversial corporate bill mill working on profitizing public education among other legislative changes, but the ties between the two groups are even closer.
Aptly named FEE, Bush's group is backed by many of the same for-profit school corporations that have funded ALEC and vote as equals with its legislators on templates to change laws governing America's public schools. FEE is also bankrolled by many of the same hard-right foundations bent on privatizing public schools that have funded ALEC. And, they have pushed many of the same changes to the law, which benefit their corporate benefactors and satisfy the free market fundamentalism of the billionaires whose tax-deductible charities underwrite the agenda of these two groups.
FEE and ALEC also have had some of the same "experts" as members or staff, part of the revolving door between right-wing groups. They have also collaborated on the annual ALEC education "report card" that grades states' allegiance to their policy agenda higher than actual student performance. That distorted report card also rewards states that push ALEC's beloved union-busting measures while giving low grades to states with students who actually perform best on standardized knowledge tests.
Res ipsa loquitur, as the Romans usta say: The facts speak for themselves. NB: The ALEC Connection!
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 It's Alive, It's ALIVE!: ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council), which suffered some bad press earlier this year, and achieved some notoriety when several high-profile client/sponsors publicly withdrew from the outfit, never went away, despite what you might have heard. The right-wing, pro-CorpoRat, astoturf lobbying outfit is still active, drafting "model legilsation" for state and municipal bodies to enact and further the interests of the corpoRat pirates and their cronies, including State departments of Education.
This video contains surreptitiously captured video of the proceedings of an ALEC session and a demonstrator who objects to the scam.

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Obama's Not Much Help: Every election cycle, teachers vote for their extremely limited choices in the usually vain hope that some NEW face in officialdom turn back the tide of fundamentally unjustified criticism of teachers and install needed reforms. It never happens. And, according to this correspondent, it's not happening AGAIN under Sir Barry, the pale, either. While giving Obummer and his asshole hoops buddy Arne DUncan an "F" grade for their "work" with schools, the author, a professor at Furman University, observes:
For three decades now, one block of American voters and workers has lost politically regardless of which party or candidate has won—educators.*
That was again likely the case in 2012 despite the re-election of Barack Obama and despite a few positive political victories vis a vis education ballot initiatives and the election of state-level education leaders. Since the rise of Ronald Reagan and the release of “A Nation at Risk” (a politically biased report under Reagan that characterized public education as a failed institution), educators have had no political party, because both major political parties have dedicated their entire education agenda and policies to the accountability movement – founded on a laughable “our standards and tests are better than your standards and tests” ideology.
And NOTHING changed on Nov. 6.

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