Friday, February 06, 2015

Ultimately Coro is far more shadowy and cultish than even the Gülen charter school network

""Their real contribution is that they defuse political anger and dole out as aid or benevolence what people ought to have by right. They alter the public psyche. They turn people into dependent victims and blunt the edges of political resistance. NGOs [NPIC] form a sort of buffer between the government and public. Between Empire and its subjects. They have become the arbitrators, the interpreters, the facilitators. In the long run, NGOs are accountable to their funders, not to the people they work among." — Arundhati Roy

Caprice Young, Coro Fellow and school privatizer

Recently I wrote a piece on neoliberal corporate education reform operative Caprice Young. It discussed an exchange I had where I informed California Badass Teacher Association (BATs) members of some of Young's activities since she left ICEF: "…after she [Caprice Young] left ICEF she was doing consulting and working with her fellow right-wing CORO alum, Bill Jackson, at the disgusting "Great Schools" #NPIC". I then needed to add Jackson's name to the list of Coro operatives known to be working to eliminate public education in Los Angeles. I maintained a running list in a footnote of a 2011 Schools Matter piece, but realized that was becoming too unwieldy. Therefore, I've begun this new list. It's of Coro acolytes that have inflicted considerable damage on Los Angeles schools. It isn't intended to be a list of all known Coro operatives. When I get time I'll try to fill in backgrounds and details on those listed here.

Coro operatives menacing Los Angeles schools

Yolie Flores-Aguilar
Wesley George Farrow
Jordan Henry
Bill Jackson
Ricardo Mireles
Alex Padilla
Gabe Rose
Ryan Smith
Caprice Young
Currently Magnolia division of the Gülen Charter school fiefdom

What is Coro?

Information on Coro is hard to come by. Activists rarely get Coro operatives to talk about their organization, and when they do, there's nothing said of substance. During my last quarter at UCLA I reached out to them as a prospective fellow. They encouraged me to apply, but wouldn't provide any details without applying and committing first. I suppose that's like not learning about Xenu until one achieves OTIII (perhaps John Deasy's friend Megan Chernin can confirm that). You can't learn much about them by reading their literature either. The philosophically threadbare propaganda of neoliberalism is typically littered with vapid and vacuous prose, and Coro's explanation of who they are and what they do is no different. To wit:

Coro contributes a group of trained individuals whose personal skills and civic involvement promote broader civic engagement and expand the social capital of the community. By developing a network of local and regional organizations willing to create internship and project opportunities for program participants, Coro creates a safe space in which diverse organizations and leaders enter into dialogue with program participants and with each other.

That's sixty-five words of prose with no meaning whatsoever, putting it right along with "no excuses," or "work hard and be nice." Professor Noam Chomsky addresses these types of phrases best:

It doesn't mean anything... That's the whole point of good propaganda. You want to create a slogan that nobody's going to be against, and everybody's going to be for. Nobody knows what it means, because it doesn't mean anything. Its crucial value is that it diverts your attention from a question that does mean something: Do you support our policy? [1]

[1] Chomsky, Noam. Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda, Second Edition. New York: Seven Stories Press., 1991. pp. 25-26.


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