Education Reform?

private prisonsI have often commented that as much as I feel education to be an important part of life I also understand that it has been traditionally used to provide cheap labor, trained at the taxpayer’s expense for the increased profits of the plutocrats. An article in Truthout suggests quite convincingly that the clamor for education reform and especially for the privatization of education is an insidious pipeline to remove the less-fortunate members of society and to expand and enrich the capitalists who have opened yet another hole in our Democracy where tax-dollars can be siphoned off by the rich and privileged, not to mention the greedy and dishonest. The formula is simple: put the less desirable members of society in schools where by design they will fail and then write laws that will move the failing students quickly from the education gulag into the prison gulag. What a good deal: eliminate the problems of society and make a good profit doing it. No wonder the fascists have so many well funded think-tanks: brilliant ideas like this are worth the effort and the cost.

Henry A. Girous writes in Truthout:

Market-driven educational reforms, with their obsession with standardization, high-stakes testing, and punitive policies, also mimic a culture of cruelty that neoliberal policies produce in the wider society. They exhibit contempt for teachers and distrust of parents, repress creative teaching, destroy challenging and imaginative programs of study and treat students as mere inputs on an assembly line. Trust, imagination, creativity, and a respect for critical teaching and learning are thrown to the wind in the pursuit of profits and the proliferation of rigid, death-dealing accountability schemes. As John Tierney points out in his critique of corporate education reforms in The Atlantic, such approaches are not only oppressive – they are destined to fail. He writes:

Policies and practices that are based on distrust of teachers and disrespect for them will fail. Why? ‘The fate of the reforms ultimately depends on those who are the object of distrust.’ In other words, educational reforms need teachers’ buy-in, trust, and cooperation to succeed; ‘reforms’ that kick teachers in the teeth are never going to succeed. Moreover, education policies crafted without teacher involvement are bound to be wrongheaded. …

Don't PrivatizeThe situation is further worsened in that not only are public schools being defunded and public school teachers attacked as the new welfare queens, but social and economic policies are being enacted by Republicans and other right-wingers to ensure low-income and poor minority students fail in public schools. For instance, many Tea Party-elected governors in states such as Wisconsin, North Carolina and Maine, along with right-wing politicians in Congress, are enacting cruel and savage policies (such as the defunding of the food stamp program) that directly impact on the health and well-being of poor students in schools. Such policies shrink, if not destroy, the educational opportunities of poor youth by denying them the basic provisions they need to learn and then utilizing the consequent negative educational outcomes as one more illegitimate rationale for turning public schools over to private interests.

When billionaire club members, such as Bill Gates and right-wing donors such as Art Pope, are not directly implementing policies that defund schools, they are funding research projects that turn students into test subjects for a world that even George Orwell would have found hard to imagine.

This is a long article, full of ideas that tend to be pushed aside by the corporate owned media in this country. I highly recommend reading the complete article, investigating the footnoted references, and looking around online for more evidence that our country is being converted into a commodity designed to transfer all the wealth to a select few capitalists. Remember what Benito Mussolini said:

Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.

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