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Can we be honest now about the war on public education?

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-07-12 04:10 PM
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Can we be honest now about the war on public education?
I think it is time. Arne Duncan played basketball with President Obama on election day. That sounds to me like he's around to stay in spite of the harm done to public schools already.

I am quoting from an open letter to President Obama from Bill Ayers. He says it better than I can.

Open letter to the president

First he congratulates the president on his win. Then he says:

The landscape of educational reform is currently littered with rubble and ruin and wreckage on all sides. Sadly, your administration has contributed significantly to the mounting catastrophe. Youre not alone: The toxic materials have been assembled as a bipartisan endeavor over many years, and the efforts of the last several administrations are now organized into a coherent push mobilized and led by a merry band of billionaires including Bill Gates, Michael Bloomberg, Sam Walton, and Eli Broad.

..."You and Secretary Arne Duncanendorsed in your efforts by Newt Gingrich, Paul Ryan, and a host of reactionary politicians and punditsnow bear a major responsibility for that agenda.

The three most trumpeted and simultaneously most destructive aspects of the united school reform agenda are these: turning over public assets and spaces to private management; dismantling and opposing any independent, collective voice of teachers; and reducing education to a single narrow metric that claims to recognize an educated person through a test score. While theres absolutely no substantive proof that this approach improves schooling for children, it chugs along unfazedfact-free, faith-based reform at its core, resting firmly on rank ideology rather than any evidence whatsoever.

Recent events in Florida show just how extreme we have already become in the giving away public assets.

FL failed charter school did without computers, library, or cafeteria. Principal got $824,000.

The principal in question not only received a $519,000 severance check, but she took home her $305,000 annual salary for a grand total of $824,000 during the 2010-2011 school year. The Orlando Sentinel also reported last week the school only spent $366,000 on teacher salaries and instruction during that school year. Nothing can justify that imbalance, especially for the leader of a charter that failed.

Public school district superintendents don't even make that kind of unconcionalble salary. School boards would face public rage for even proposing such pay.

.."Last week the Miami Herald reported that Charter Schools USA handed out in excess of $205,000 in contributions to political organizations and candidates for this election, three times the amount the Fort Lauderdale-based company spent two years ago.

That money must come from the profits the company earns at taxpayer expense; in effect, the public is paying that political price so charter schools can leverage even greater profits from the Legislature.

It's time to listen to those who believe that public education is vital to our country's future.

It's time for Arne Duncan to reconsider his embrace of the anti-teacher, anti-union pundits, or it's time for him to go.

Twittering about education

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Divine Discontent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-07-12 08:50 PM
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1. hear hear! now, let's get back to keeping the pres accountable to public education n/t
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-08-12 01:28 AM
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2. To hell with learning. Money is all that matters.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-08-12 08:02 AM
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3. Damn, I like this Bill Ayers. nt
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-10-12 11:02 PM
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4. In DC there's a charter school located in a former trash transfer station
And a public school that was converted to a Gold's Gym...

after all the nearby public housing units were torn down to make way for a baseball stadium.
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