Thursday, November 18, 2010

Advocating Public Education Roundup 10W46

"Public Charter" is an oxymoron. — Steve Neat

CMO Corporate Charters discriminate against SWD, Special Ed, and ELL students!
Dr. Diane Ravitch's The Myth of Charter Schools in The New York Review of Books is nothing less than a cogent and complete dismantling of the propaganda piece by the smug mendacious hipster Davis Guggenheim.

In Charter Schools and Civil Rights: What Kind of 'Movement' is This? Brian Jones takes on all the civil rights pretenders in the charter-voucher industry, whose only rights they're worried about are corporate rights. Some highlights:

Third, while it has black faces perched in important places, the charter school "movement" is not a "black movement" for education. Whereas folks participated in the civil rights movement at great personal risk, many of the influential black supporters of charter schools stand to profit handsomely.

While everyone knows about Reverend Al Sharpton taking hundreds of thousands from hedge fund managers to push the charter-voucher agenda, and I'm sure everyone is familiar with Guggenheim's darling, who as the article points out "pays himself half a million dollars a year." However, we do have some local opportunists who have traded civil rights for corporate rights as well. Reverend Eric Lee and Reverend K.W. Tulloss are Los Angeles based shills for the highly profitable charter-voucher school sector. Reverend Lee, with the backing of all the right wing school privatization organizations, is running against community favorite and public school supporter Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte. District 1 is the only LAUSD Board seat the nefarious billionaires including Eli Broad, William Gates, and heirs to the Wall*Mart throne haven't been able to buy yet.

Reverend Tulloss sits on the board of the most unscrupulous and unprincipled 501C3 in Los Angeles, Ben Austin's corporate, er Parent Revolution (née LAPU). Austin's personal record on race relations is spotty at best, and he and his organization have been called into question several times for this. In addition to Code Words and Green Dot’s Pandering to Westside Racism we have several more examples of this, see the links under the heading "A preference for a "certain kind of folk."

Brian also addresses the corporate edreformer's ridiculous idea that "it is a "movement" that claims that the interests of adults (specifically, teachers) are in conflict with the interests of children (students)." That false Austin-esque dichotomy is often at the heart of the AEI/Cato/Hudson/Heritage/Hoover talking points, and Brian dispatches it with unmatched ease and grace. In the privatized charter-voucher versus public schools debate there is only one true division, either you're for corporations or you're for communities!

The whole article deserves careful attention, as it provides a wealth of facts to dispel even to most pernicious of edreform mendacity. See all of Brian's posts on Huffington Post and Socialist Worker.

Our friends at Black Agenda Report posted this incredibly awesome short video by Teacher Sabrina.

[Click if you can't view the video]

Hedge fund filth in action! Predatory parasite Whitney Tilson of Tilson Funds in regards to the lucrative charter-voucher industry he helped create:

"hedge funds are always looking for ways to turn a small amount of capital into a large amount of capital." A wealthy hedge fund manager can spend more than $1 million financing a charter school start-up. But once it is up and running, it qualifies for state funding, just like a public school... "It is extremely leveraged philanthropy," Mr. Tilson said. — Joel Klein’s Lesson Plan

At least the pariah is finally being honest about the real purpose for the corporate charter-voucher "movement," just like we so-called "defenders of the status quo" have been saying all along. Profit is the only superman they've been waiting for. For more on this see: Goldman Sachs Gets Serious About (profiting from) Charter Schools. None of this will matter so long as these privatizers keep charter-voucher schools on pace with their other big money makers, like the prison industrial complex. Of course these days its hard to tell the difference between corporate charter-voucher schools and prisons. Check out this latest egregious CMO offense: Detention First at Segregated Charter School Chain Gangs.

Dr. Danny Weil takes on Kaplan, Phoenix, ITT and other for profit predators leeching pubic funds in his latest Truthout piece Removing Plaque at the Gum Line: For-Profit Universities, Emboldened by the Midterm Elections, Seek to Prevent Any Regulations

Here's yet another example of charter-voucher lavishness with public funds. Friendship Tech Prep Academy is going to drop $410,000 to purchase iPads for its exclusive student body. I'm glad to see the lucrative charter-voucher industry using pubic funds so wisely. What is it that AEI/Cato/Heritage informed greedy hedge fund managers, CEOs, bankers, and other business types say about charter-voucher schools being more efficient than pubic schools again?

While we all want children to have access to technology in schools, this is clear evidence of the kind of segregation charter-voucher schools espouse in principle and practice. Until the poorest school in DC has equal access to the same resources, we should consider this incident for exactly what it is — discrimination.

Megan Driscoll's short piece Strong New Films Go After the Much Hyped "Waiting For Superman" and Its Simplistic Educational Analysis takes on smug mendacious hipster Davis Guggenheim's hedge fund pr0n "documercial." The article mentions several real documentaries that begin to address several of the root causes for problems in education today.

Leading the charge for our schools is an interesting short on SW worth the read, if not for the fact that the perspective on a working class person's day is something completely alien to the wealthy elites like Vielka McFarlane, Ben Austin, Whitney Tilson, Antony Ressler, and Marco Petruzzi.

The following Guardian piece by Paul Thomas The corporate takeover of American schools is best summed up by its own tag line: "The trend for appointing CEOs to the top jobs is symptomatic of a declining commitment to public education and social justice."

Check out this great comment in response to charter-voucher cheerleader Gabe Rose who works with his fellow privatization specialist, the insatiably greedy Ben Austin. Whoever wrote it sounds like they may have attended school with Rose.

John Merrow wrote a surprisingly refreshing piece in Open Classrooms v. Charter Schools. It doesn't only take on the smug mendacious teacher hating hipster Davis Guggenheim, it actually points out that there are many excellent public schools that we can look at as models. Since only 17% of charter-voucher schools do better than public schools, saying we can learn a lot from them is vapid, vacuous, and specious, especially since "they only do better by skimming the strongest students and purging the low-performers, sending them back to the neighborhood schools." Instead we should be looking to public schools as the model, especially like the one Merrow discusses which is the feature of this video:

[Click if you can't view the video]

See Mike Klonsky for After 15 years of mayoral control in Chicago. Dr. Krashan spanks Jay Mathews in Another attempt to show American children are bad at math. The Perimeter Primate featured a guest post recently: We Should Be Careful With Our Words. Lastly, Larry Cuban dispels edreform nonsense in Serviceable Myths about School Reform.


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