Wed Oct 17, 2012, 12:25 AM
HiPointDem (20,729 posts)
It’s About Innovation, Not ‘Privatization’
When it comes to the best way to turn around our disastrous public schools virtually everyone who is anyone agrees: the schools need “stuff,” lots and lots of “stuff.” But the question remains: what kinds of edu-products should we use to fill in the achievement gap? In other words, once we’ve finally freed up all those edu-bucks by getting rid of the LIFO lifers with their outrageous salaries and benefits, what cool products should we spend the money on...?
Reader, I’d like to introduce you to a product pioneer. His name is Joel Klein and he is on the job 24/7 thinking about the edu-stuff that will FINALLY turn around our failing schools.... Mr. Klein and his colleagues at Amplify, the edu-products division of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, have already solved this challenging conundrum. Drum roll please. The answer is: An interactive 4G tablet, with WiFi and technical assistance provided by AT&T... Let’s watch the promotional video together (I’ll be watching mine on an interactive 4G tablet):
I got a little dizzy from all of the interactivity but I did catch the part where the tablet instantly recognizes who you are, what you’re studying, what your homework is and even when it’s due—sort of like a teacher only more interactive… Nor did I find it at all creepy that none of the students depicted here or their teacher/tutor (isn’t it cool that he could be either???) ever make direct eye contact with another human.
OK then—we can all go home, right? Not so fast. You see whenever a visionary (Joel Klein) offers an innovative solution (4G interactive tablet with WiFi and technical assistance provided by AT&T) to a complex problem (bad teachers who earn too much money despite being less interactive than a 4G tablet) the haters pile on....
What’s that haters, you’re still not buying it? You think that Mr. Klein is nothing more than a glorified snake oil salesmen peddling techno gimmickry to schools in order to sop up tax payer money? Jeez, go easy on the brother, haters! It turns out Mr. Klein doesn’t think much of you either...
3 replies, 1036 views
It’s About Innovation, Not ‘Privatization’ (Original post)
Response to HiPointDem (Original post)
Wed Oct 17, 2012, 12:32 AM
HiPointDem (20,729 posts)
1. Quickly, someone get Joel K the fainting couch! He is deeply offended that anyone would ever
question his motives!
Why, Joel Klein would never say such a thing about... oh, say, teachers unions. He would never, ever, question the unions' motives, like people are questioning his!
Klein: No one has previously brought the education debate to life the way (Steve Brill) has. And not a moment too soon. This is the most important issue our nation faces and, unfortunately, most Americans either don’t know or don’t care much about it. But if they read Brill they will see that the depressing picture he paints of the current state of public education is (unfortunately) accurate and that, in no small measure, this is because the unions effectively promote their own and their members’ self-interests, even when doing so hurts kids.
Well, that's just one quote; it's not like Klein has questioned unions' motivations other times...
Klein: And it reminds us all that our job is to give voice to the voiceless and the powerless kids that are currently being denied the education they need and deserve. Because, let's face it -- they can't afford union dues.
OK, two quotes. That's it, right?
"The union is going to protect incompetent workers -- that is their job," said Klein, who now works for News Corp., owner of The Post. Klein remarked that unions are unhappy with the growth of high-performing charter schools because it threatens their "guaranteed client base..."
"Unfortunately our party is killing you, isn't it? We should be for the kids but, truth is, we're beholden to the unions."
As Albert Shanker, the late, iconic head of the UFT, once pointedly said, "When schoolchildren start paying union dues, that's when I'll start representing the interests of schoolchildren."
This last one tells us more about the character of Joel Klein than anything: there is no proof that Shanker ever said those words. Klein's weaselly non-apology after Leo Casey called him out is a real window into the man's soul. Klein and his many fellow travelers in the corporate reform world live to bash the motives of teachers unions and, by extension, teachers. His vitriol against the AFT and the NEA knows no bounds. For him to claim that calling into question his profit motive is "deeply offensive" is hypocrisy of the highest order. Sorry, Joel: live by invective, die by invective.
Response to HiPointDem (Reply #1)
Wed Oct 17, 2012, 12:39 AM
HiPointDem (20,729 posts)
2. Rephormy Little Liars
So Joel Klein’s father was not an illiterate turd farmer who once tore up the pages of young Joel’s only book and smoked them in his corn cob pipe—what’s the big deal??? When you are literally trying to close the achievement gap with your own bare hands, facts have a tendency to stray. The important thing is that Mr. Sidney Harris, the teacher whom Joel Klein credits with rescuing him from a low-expectations hell, inspired Klein to launch his life-long crusade against teachers.
Low Expectations High School, which Joel Klein attended. Physics teacher Sidney Harris rescued Klein from near certain mediocrity and launched him on his life-long crusade—against teachers.
If you’ve missed the latest scandal to rock the hallways of Education Reform, Inc, allow me to break it down for you. It turns out that Klein wasn’t adopted by African American sharecroppers, and that little flourish he throws in on the edu-stump about having dyslexia and being locked in the closet at school only to be freed by a sassy barkeep...? That’s fiction too. But the ending, where Klein is hired by Rupert Murdoch, to peddle edu-products to the public schools while playing the part of a high-minded innovator, that alas is all too true.
To be fair to Chancellor Klein, he is only the latest rephormer to be caught wandering deep into phantasy land. In fact, the #edreform world is so riddled with serial truth stretchers, edu-exaggeraters and outright fabricators that whole archetypes of misleading-ness have emerged...
The miracle teacher
This life-long educator spent two years in Teach for America accomplishing unbelievable pheats and performing untold edu-miracles along the way (see below), before moving on to a job at an approved Education Reform, Inc. organization. Special home town shout out to rephorm phave Jason Williams, chief of Massachusetts Stand for Children. Mr. Williams’ two years in TFA were so innovative, so outstanding that he was nominated for California Teacher of the Year...
Pheats of strength
It is essential that the rephormer lay claim to almost unimaginable successes...in regards to test scores and achievement gap closing. See Rhee, Michelle, who claimed that after the three years that she taught at Baltimore’s Harlem Park Elementary school, 90% of her student scored at the 90th percentile or higher. Now that is @#$% outstanding! And was also found by researchers to be demonstrably phalse....