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Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:13 PM

BAD bipartisanship: Obama ed sec to speak at Jeb Bush public ed privatization conference

There are some areas where the argument can at least be made that Obama was forced to compromise with the right, but K-12 public education "reform" isn't one of them.

He appointed a secretary of education fully committed to the right wing agenda of repetitive standardized testing for traditional public schools to prove they are failing so their unions can be targeted for busting and the schools can be replaced by for profit charter schools--which are then largely exempt from accountability and can screen out difficult kids in any case.

These schools do worse than traditional public schools more often than not and the punitive approach to motivating teachers has filtered down to potential teachers, and enrollment in teacher education programs in California has dropped by HALF.

The only thing this has succeeded at doing is diverting tax dollars into the pockets of Wall Street sharks and got them in a feeding frenzy for more.

What is even more mystifying about Obama's bipartisanship on this is it not only screws kids and teachers, but gives a big boost to Jeb Bush's presidential prospects since this is his pet project.

Marx said something about the capitalists selling you the rope you'll hang him with, but in this case, they're bribing Democratic politicians to buy the rope to hang their political careers, and not incidentally, our kids education.

About That Bipartisan Consensus to Privatize Public Education

by dianerav

If ever evidence was needed about the bizarre mind meld between the Obama administration and the far-right of the Republican party, here it is.

Secretary Arne Duncan is giving the keynote to Jeb Bush's Excellence in Education summit in Washington, D.C. on November 28. Another keynote will be delivered to the same gathering of the leaders of the privatization movement by John Podesta of the Center for American Progress, who headed the Obama transition team in 2008. This is sickening.

Jeb Bush's organization supports vouchers, charters, online virtual charters, and for-profit organizations that run schools. It also supports evaluating teachers by student test scores and eliminating collective bargaining. Jeb Bush believes in grading schools, grading teachers, grading students, closing schools, and letting everyone "escape" from public schools to privately-run establishments. The free market is his ideal of excellence, not public responsibility, not the public school as the anchor of the community, but privatization.

http://wp.me/p2odLa-31t

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Reply BAD bipartisanship: Obama ed sec to speak at Jeb Bush public ed privatization conference (Original post)
yurbud Nov 2012 OP
lalalu Nov 2012 #1
yurbud Nov 2012 #3
lalalu Nov 2012 #8
yurbud Nov 2012 #6
lalalu Nov 2012 #9
yurbud Nov 2012 #10
Igel Nov 2012 #13
yurbud Nov 2012 #17
Angry Dragon Nov 2012 #2
yurbud Nov 2012 #4
Squinch Nov 2012 #7
yurbud Nov 2012 #11
Squinch Nov 2012 #14
yurbud Nov 2012 #18
Squinch Nov 2012 #23
Doctor_J Nov 2012 #21
Squinch Nov 2012 #5
yurbud Nov 2012 #12
Squinch Nov 2012 #15
yurbud Nov 2012 #16
Bill USA Nov 2012 #19
Doctor_J Nov 2012 #20
FiveGoodMen Nov 2012 #22

Response to yurbud (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:18 PM

1. Agree this is bad but

 

President Obama is also doing this because of democratic pressure. There are segments of the democratic base who believe the hype about charter and private schools. In urban communities there is a lot of support for charter and private schools.

This is upsetting because to me it will just lead to another form of segregation and separation. Public schools are great at bringing various people together. The focus should be on improving them.

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Response to lalalu (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 03:12 PM

3. I disagree about the source of pressure: it's coming from people with money

Obama has shown a willingness to overlook public opinion when it conflicts with what big money wants, like NOT prosecute Wall Street for the fraud that led to the crash, NOT having at least a public option in health care reform, NOT winding down the Afghanistan War sooner and NOT calling the recommendations of the cat food commission a non-starter and embarrassment.

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Response to yurbud (Reply #3)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 03:17 PM

8. Yes, the pressure is coming from people with money.

 

They want the billions of public education funds to go to their private companies.

The problem is many people believe the hype about private and charter schools. They don't look at the details such as how they get to pick and choose students and the cherry picked results.. The majority of charter schools are located in urban areas.

One of the most amazing things is parental response at charter and private schools. Parents who never attended PTA meetings at public schools will do so at charter or private schools where it is mandatory. It never dawns on these parents that the same participation at their public school would have helped.

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Response to lalalu (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 03:15 PM

6. that explanation also doesn't hold up when you consider that Arne is consistent with the appointment

of Rahm Emanuel as chief of staff, probably one of the most corporate compliant Democrats there is.

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Response to yurbud (Reply #6)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 03:29 PM

9. That is exactly what I am saying.

 

There are democrats on board the privatizing of public education. Emanuel made no secret of his push for charter schools and yet he won with a large portion of the urban and black vote.

We need to take the attack on public education as seriously as the attack on social security. We need to educate the public about what is going on. You would be surprised at the people who are turning their backs on public education.

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Response to lalalu (Reply #9)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:38 PM

10. Rahm probably won in spite of that not because of it, given the recent dust up

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Response to yurbud (Reply #10)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 03:45 PM

13. It's a mistake to say that because you and I don't like it, it's not something other Democrats do.

The entire high-stakes testing push and common core has been bipartisan.

It's a way of making sure that reluctant districts teach everybody equally. It's there to monitor teachers and others and make sure that the regulations are enforced and goals are met. This impulse to control isn't just (R). It's also (D).

Notice that part of the objection to charters on the part of progressives is the lack of accountability--which means lack of supervision and control by superiors. Laws and regs made for public schools don't necessarily apply, and many of those laws and regulations were made by (D).

A lot of the push for testing comes from parents. They want to make sure their kids are learning what they need to know. If (R) want creationism (rather a broad brush for a narrow slice of the group), then (D) want to make sure STEM requiremetns are well implemented.

Don't forget that Ted Kennedy, hardly a corporatist by most measures, was behind the a recent bout of the high-stakes testing binge-fest.

The assumption is that the schools can make up for everything society--and by "society," I mean families--flubs. Poverty? Schools can ameloriate it. Poor socialization? Schools. Ignorance? Schools. Lack of representation by minorities in STEM careers? Schools. Inequality, imbalances in society, bullying, intolerance ... Schools. Seven woes, one answer.

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Response to Igel (Reply #13)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:23 PM

17. progressives don't like the lack of "accountability" because it is the stick used to beat regular

schools and shows that isn't the goal at all.

I doubt that many parents who know how frequent and time consuming testing and test prep is think it's appropriate to do it that much.

It's like taking your kid to the doctor with a high fever, he sticks a rectal thermometer in the kid confirms it's a fever, then asks the nurse for another thermometer. And when the fever doesn't come down, he's fired.

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Response to yurbud (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:38 PM

2. I have thought for a long time that Arne should be gone

and the way Charters are working today they should be gone also
Charters should not be set up outside the public schools

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #2)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 03:14 PM

4. the concept of charters is not bad, but the way to keep it honest is it should come from

public school teachers and academics and be entirely a creature of and within the public schools with no private contractors managing, calling the shots, or collecting profits at all.

If conditions like those were rigorously enforced, the push for charters would probably dry up overnight.

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Response to yurbud (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 03:15 PM

7. I don't really understand what you mean. If it comes from the public school teachers and

is within the public schools, how is it a charter school?

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Response to Squinch (Reply #7)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 11:47 PM

11. in the sense that it is free from some of the regulation and curriculum requirements and is more

free to experiment.

Of course we could cut out the middle man and just let ALL public schools do that, but again, that's not really the whole point of the "movement."

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Response to yurbud (Reply #11)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 05:10 PM

14. I think if you DID allow public schools to do that again, a lot of the problems in education would

solve themselves. But my understanding of charter schools is that they are by definition separate from the public schools and the administration of the school has nearly total control. That's how they mostly work around here.

Plus, they suck at teaching kids. Otherwise they are just fine.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #14)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:28 PM

18. they are separate in terms of supervision, but they can leech resources and even buildings

they have one idea that is especially insidious: co-location.

If a public school has un or under-utilized space, a charter can claim it and set up shop there. So all of the sudden, a gym or auditorium is no longer available to the regular school.

And if the charter should leak over into spaces the real public school needs, who is the real school going to appeal to to get them out?

District administrators know which side politicians fall on, and they don't get those jobs by being rebels.

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Response to yurbud (Reply #18)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 07:19 PM

23. Yes. This is true. And the charter schools are always visibly better funded too.

So they have all these advantages, and still can't keep up with public schools.

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #2)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 05:07 PM

21. He would be gone, except that

the president agrees with him that public schools should not exist.

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Response to yurbud (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 03:14 PM

5. Charter schools are a disaster. As is high stakes testing.

Both are supported by the right because they allow for segregation and they redistribute money from the public sector to the corporate sector.

We're raising a generation of children whose creativity and critical thinking have been sacrificed in order to make them proficient in a test put out by companies with ties to right wing political agendas.

Teachers are not allowed to actually teach ANYTHING. They are given lesson cookbooks that don't take their children's strengths and weaknesses into account. They are punished, and eventually fired if they don't follow these cookbooks, at the expense of their students' learning.

The problem is that as fewer and fewer children succeed under these conditions, the people supporting "educational reform" can then point to the failures and say, "See. It's the lazy and incompetent teachers."

This is one area where I disagree with Obama. I am always shocked that he is supporting such an ignorant and destructive educational agenda.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #5)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 11:49 PM

12. you're right. teachers try to work around it but my wife teaches K-12 and her principal comes

around to make sure they are "faithfully implementing the curriculum." In other words, teaching the textbook lessons verbatim.

Ironically, good teachers have a word for that kind of teaching: lazy.

The text should be a tool not a Bible.

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Response to yurbud (Reply #12)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 05:19 PM

15. I am not a teacher but I work closely with teachers. What I see is that the children who truly

have special needs are absolutely lost. And the teachers are not allowed to slow down or teach differently to try and reach them. The teachers who do so will get unsatisfactory ratings, and in NYC, two "U's" and you are out. So they have no choice but to treat these slower kids like collateral damage while they try and teach the kids who can learn from the curriculum and methods they HAVE to use.

This is a tragedy, especially when you know and are fond of the kids who are being left behind. We used to value all children, and understand that even kids who are slow and learn differently can have nice lives and contribute. Now we are throwing them away in the education system, and there will be an enormous bill to pay when these kids become adults who know nothing and can't get a simple job and can't take care of themselves.

The other casualty from this system is quality teaching. The new teachers have never had any experience other than teaching from the cookbook. They have never been allowed to use different methods to reach different kids. They are only allowed to "level" their lessons, which doesn't address different learning methods. So the knowledge of how to do that is being lost, and the problem will be lasting for years and years unless we let the old, experienced teachers have some free rein again.

So sad. And the teachers are starting to feel helpless and hopeless.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #15)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 05:44 PM

16. that's a good summary

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Response to yurbud (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 05:00 PM

19. Good post. recommended.

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Response to yurbud (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 05:06 PM

20. More triangulation from the president

the message from 2010 apparently didn't get through.

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Response to Doctor_J (Reply #20)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 06:31 PM

22. But, the message from 2012 is: If the other side is bad enough, then YOU can get away with anything.

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