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Mon May 7, 2012, 07:38 PM

Wall St wants to privatize public community COLLEGES too

One of the reasons I like teaching community college instead of high school (which I had a credential to do) is the greater freedom to teach the way I think is best for my students and the relative freedom from attempts to kill the institution and let Wall Street jackals feed on the corpse--which is exactly what is going on with K-12, with the narrowing of the curriculum, repetitive testing to prove failure, mass firings to break unions, and ultimately, contracting public education out to private, for profit education management companies and charter schools.

What is usually left unsaid by the reformers is their jewel in the crown, charter schools, only 17% produce better results than public schools and 37% do worse. That's even less impressive when you consider the advantage they have in being able to boot kids with behavior problems, and that typically, it takes a motivated, involved parent to get their kid into a charter in the first place.

And yet our politicians, including our Democratic president, keep selling this as if it's the cure for cancer.

Now it looks like that shitstorm is coming to community colleges too. Sadly, two salvos came the supposedly progressive bastion of Santa Monica, first from one of our state legislators, then Santa Monica College itself. Both wanted to set up a second tier of completely unsubsidized to tuition, in the case of legislation, by making a provision for private contractors to administer the classes through the college extension--a backdoor privatization of college the way charter schools are being used in K-12.

Apparently, a similar push happened a couple of years ago with for profit college scam factory Kaplan trying take over a share of California community college classes.

This article uses "despicable" way too much, but it's a good intro to what's going on:

Santa Monica College students fight privatization: Anti-privatization conference held for 112 Community Colleges serving 260,000 students in the State of California

If this kind of privatization had taken place before I went to college, I'd have five times my current $100K in student loans, and my student loan payments would be most of my salary.

Faculty and students, that's not the future I want for us. Start tracking this issue and looking for ways to fight back.

The attack on K-12 education is much farther along, and the results are not pretty.

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Arrow 21 replies Author Time Post
Reply Wall St wants to privatize public community COLLEGES too (Original post)
yurbud May 2012 OP
Dawson Leery May 2012 #1
yurbud May 2012 #13
KamaAina May 2012 #2
yurbud May 2012 #12
fascisthunter May 2012 #3
FiveGoodMen May 2012 #5
Baitball Blogger May 2012 #4
daleanime May 2012 #6
SJohnson May 2012 #7
HiPointDem May 2012 #8
KamaAina May 2012 #14
texshelters May 2012 #9
yurbud May 2012 #16
FiveGoodMen May 2012 #20
yurbud May 2012 #21
bluedigger May 2012 #10
yurbud May 2012 #11
yurbud May 2012 #15
Arugula Latte May 2012 #17
goclark May 2012 #18
yurbud May 2012 #19

Response to yurbud (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 07:45 PM

1. Here are the Santa Monica Whores.....Police with the pepper spray!

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/04/santa-monica-college-protest-pepper-spray.html

"About 100 students protesting a plan to offer high-priced courses at Santa Monica College this summer tried to storm into a meeting of the college's Board of Trustees on Tuesday evening.

A handful of protesters suffered minor injuries as campus police tried to prevent dozens of students chanting, "Let us in, let us in" and "No cuts, no fees, education should be free," from disrupting the meeting during a public comment period."

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Response to Dawson Leery (Reply #1)

Tue May 8, 2012, 11:41 AM

13. I teach there. The administrators did one good thing with that pepper spray incident:

I don't have a single student who isn't paying attention now and asking a lot of the right questions.

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Response to yurbud (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 07:49 PM

2. Didn't Santa Monica College's two-tier plan get smacked down in court?

 

Then again, just like Ahh-nuld, "they'll be ba-ack..."

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Response to KamaAina (Reply #2)

Tue May 8, 2012, 02:53 AM

12. not in court, but state chancellor of community colleges and attorney general said

it violated the law--but they still tried to push it through.

When a bureaucrat or politician thinks that violating the law is no big deal, that tells me their confidence comes from some big money people are telling them what to do and promising them cover.

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Response to yurbud (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 07:59 PM

3. corporate take-over of our Commons without our consent

 

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Response to fascisthunter (Reply #3)

Mon May 7, 2012, 08:32 PM

5. And so few even seem to notice!

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Response to yurbud (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 08:02 PM

4. They haven't been right about anything. Why do they have the power

to create this "shitstorm."

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Reply #4)

Mon May 7, 2012, 10:14 PM

6. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

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Response to yurbud (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 10:30 PM

7. Fight - Fight - Fight!




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Response to yurbud (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 10:35 PM

8. Already well-underway. The goal is to privatize all education except a handful of top state schools

 

for a chosen few from the lower orders.

Anyone who can't make the grade will have to pay through the nose to go to college -- including trade school and CC.

Privatized colleges will be divided into market niches, by degrees/certificates and by cost. The better/more valuable the credential, the more you'll have to pay.

People don't get it. They think these people are just tinkering around the edges and their world will stay in place. No, it won't.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #8)

Tue May 8, 2012, 12:09 PM

14. "except a handful of top state schools"?

 

The University of California system now receives so little state aid that one observer said it is now essentially a private university, funded mostly by (corporate) research grants, etc.

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Response to yurbud (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 10:41 PM

9. Well, they did such a good job with the banks

by running them like a casino and getting bailed out then they were over leveraged, so why not?

PTxS

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Response to texshelters (Reply #9)

Tue May 8, 2012, 12:55 PM

16. they can't even run their own business right, but they're taking our kids' education to gamble with

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Response to yurbud (Reply #16)

Tue May 8, 2012, 05:33 PM

20. They ran their own businesses perfectly

They gambled with other people's money, raked in a bunch of dough, and got us to give them even more when the scheme (inevitably) fell apart.

These people aren't making mistakes, they're doing evil.

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Response to FiveGoodMen (Reply #20)

Tue May 8, 2012, 06:29 PM

21. well put--you would think that wealthy people who made their money by

coming up with a great product or service that people wanted to buy would see the financial sector and their power as an even greater threat than we do.

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Response to yurbud (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 10:42 PM

10. I have a friend who is currently TA'ing at a well known public university in the Northeast.

She sometimes shares excerpts from her student's papers on FB. Their lack of knowledge of the rules of grammar and inability to construct simple sentences is frankly shocking. I can only conclude that education has become a "pay-to-matriculate" commodity. We are well on our way to producing a generation of functional illiterates.

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Response to bluedigger (Reply #10)

Tue May 8, 2012, 02:51 AM

11. colleges have to fix the shortcomings of high school education where overcrowded classroom

micromanaged curriculum, and large classes don't leave teachers much room to maneuver to help kids who don't get it easily.

My wife teaches elementary school where they are inundated with testing, and I asked her what they have to do if they don't do up to par on the tests.

They have to buy an additional pre-packaged text book and exercises.

And they don't have a choice.

For the price of that giveaway to textbook companies some corrupt pol put in NCLB, that school could hire a tutor or reduce classes sizes instead, but they can't.

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Response to yurbud (Original post)

Tue May 8, 2012, 12:27 PM

15. what's really aggravating is they can't make the argument that our public colleges are failing

people come from all over the world to go to our universities, colleges, and even community colleges.

They make stabs at it by pointing out the graduation rate of CC's, but that is more a result of kids not having the financial means to finish school or in some cases, deciding that higher ed is not for them, which is a lot better way to find out than have a counselor or rejection letter tell you.

They are ramping up to make the same underperformance argument they do for K-12 by making course objectives quantifiable with Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs). Instructors and committees spend countless hours putting those together even though they will only be used to beat us over the head down the road when the next demand is that we start collecting data on them.

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Response to yurbud (Original post)

Tue May 8, 2012, 01:21 PM

17. Oh HELL no!

 

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Response to yurbud (Original post)

Tue May 8, 2012, 01:21 PM

18. Oh my , please say it isn't so

I worked as a Educational Consultant for two major universities in LA.

Most of the student teachers that I mentored were in Public Schools.

Two were in Charter Schools ~ it was a horrible sight to see and to compare.

Before some of you get outraged because you know of some wonderful charter schools ~ I do as well.

However ~ I can give you unending stories about the lack of "standards" that are OK in Charters that would NOT be acceptable in a Public School.

Just to give you a sample: One charter used the parking lot for staff as their playground. I'm serious ~ I had to beg the teacher to make sure all of the children stopped playing ball so that I could back my car out to go home.

The office was staffed by Parents, the Office Staff came in later in the day ~ parents handled the files and the mail

The Principal checked in for a few minutes about once a week- maybe every two weeks.
The parents provided all the Library Books for the classrooms.
The teacher had no "Teacher's Guide" for Reading
There was not a Library on the site -- the site was a very old church.
In order for the children to come to school, they (and everyone else) had to walk up about 20 tiny, old, broken stairs to get into "the school."


I could go on and on but trust me

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Response to goclark (Reply #18)

Tue May 8, 2012, 04:03 PM

19. they have figured out how to get around crappy or no facilities: colocation

if they can prove existing public schools have "unused" space, they can move in (sort of like an Israeli settlement in the West Bank, or Europeans moving into North America). Then they take over more and more space, and because charter schools are politically connected, the real public school has little recourse to limit their encroachment.

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