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Pat Bagley | Charter Schools / media.cagle.com

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How Billionaires Are Successfully Fooling Us Into Destroying Public Education—and Why Privatization Is a Terrible Idea

The billionaire-backed privatization movement is stealthily advancing an undemocratic agenda, cloaked in deceptive rhetoric, that the public is not aware of and does not understand.

Related: When schools become dead zones of the imagination, Henry A. Giroux <www.henryagiroux.com>, Philosophers for Change

Diane Ravitch, Basic Books / AlterNet

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Editor%20Comment%20graphic_0.jpg Evergreene Digest Editor's Note: The following is an excerpt from the new, expanded edition of  The Death and Life of the Great American School System by Diane Ravitch (Basic Books, 2016). 

July 21, 2016 | Something unprecedented is happening to American public education. A powerful, well-funded, well-organized movement is seeking to privatize significant numbers of public schools and destroy the teaching profession. This movement is not a conspiracy; it operates in the open. But its goals are masked by deceptive rhetoric. It calls itself a “reform” movement, but its true goal is privatization.

This movement has had strange bedfellows. Some of its funders and promoters on the far right of the political spectrum are motivated by ideological contempt for the public sector; others earnestly believe they are providing better choices for poor children “trapped in failing schools.” Still others believe that elected local school boards are incompetent and should be replaced by private management, or that the private sector is inherently more innovative and effective than the public sector. And some are motivated by greed, while others are motivated by religious conviction. These strange bedfellows have included the US Department of Education (during the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama); major foundations and think tanks, both conservative and centrist; billionaires committed to free-market solutions—and certain they know what is best because they are so rich; entrepreneurs hoping to make money from school privatization or by selling technology to replace teachers; the far-right American Legisla­tive Exchange Council (ALEC), which has drafted model legislation to promote corporate interests and to expand the privatization of almost all government services, including education; and numerous governors and legislators (mostly but not exclusively Republicans) who want schools to operate in a free-market system of school choice.

Diane Ravitch is Research Professor of Education at New York University and a historian of education.

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When schools become dead zones of the imagination, Henry A. Giroux, Philosophers for Change

  • Some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak. — Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • A critical pedagogy manifesto
  • Related: Today’s Students and Professors ‘Know Hardly Anything about Anything at All’

 

When schools become dead zones of the imagination

  • Some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak. — Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • A critical pedagogy manifesto
  • Related: Today’s Students and Professors ‘Know Hardly Anything about Anything at All’
  • How Billionaires Are Successfully Fooling Us Into Destroying Public Education—and Why Privatization Is a Terrible Idea

Henry A. Giroux, Philosophers for Change

https://philoforchange.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/ed6.jpg?w=720  If the right-wing billionaires and apostles of corporate power have their way, public schools will become “dead zones of the imagination,” reduced to anti-public spaces that wage an assault on critical thinking, civic literacy and historical memory.[1] Since the 1980s, schools have increasingly become testing hubs that de-skill teachers and disempower students. They have also been refigured as punishment centers where low-income and poor minority youth are harshly disciplined under zero tolerance policies in ways that often result in their being arrested and charged with crimes that, on the surface, are as trivial as the punishment is harsh. [2] Under casino capitalism’s push to privatize education, public schools have been closed in cities such as, Philadelphia, Chicago and New York to make way for charter schools. Teacher unions have been attacked, public employees denigrated and teachers reduced to technicians working under deplorable and mind-numbing conditions. [3]

Corporate school reform is not simply obsessed with measurements that degrade any viable understanding of the connection between schooling and educating critically engaged citizens. The reform movement is also determined to underfund and disinvest resources for public schooling so that public education can be completely divorced from any democratic notion of governance, teaching and learning. In the eyes of billionaire un-reformers and titans of finance such as Bill Gates, Rupert Murdoch, the Walton family and Michael Bloomberg, public schools should be transformed, when not privatized, into adjuncts of shopping centers and prisons. [4]

Henry A. Giroux holds the Global TV Network Chair Professorship at McMaster University in the English and Cultural Studies Department. His most recent books include: On Critical Pedagogy, Twilight of the Social, and Youth in Revolt. 

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Prof: Today’s Students and Professors ‘Know Hardly Anything about Anything at All’, Daniel Lattier, Intellectual Takeout

  •  http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/sites/ito/files/blank_stare.jpgEsolen’s above lament is supported not only by similar laments from his fellow professors, but also by statistics that show only a minority of American students are proficient in reading and writing, and by the fact that billions of dollars each year are spent on remedial courses in college.  
  • Do you think that things can be turned around in the near future? Or are we destined to slip further into an educational dark age?
  • Related: School climate: Students are stuck in a dysfunctional system

 

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How Billionaires Are Successfully Fooling Us Into Destroying Public Education—and Why Privatization Is a Terrible Idea, Diane Ravitch, Basic Books / AlterNet

  • The billionaire-backed privatization movement is stealthily advancing an undemocratic agenda, cloaked in deceptive rhetoric, that the public is not aware of and does not understand.
  • Related: When schools become dead zones of the imagination, Henry A. Giroux, Philosophers for Change

 

Education Ruling: OK To Shut Out Disabled Kids?

Frightening is the underlying notion that the level of societal expenditures on an individual ought Beyond that, this notion could lead to a termination of benefits for the elderly, as well as the disabled. It is a notion out of the selfish and stern philosophy of Ayn Rand.

We must, as a society, reject such an approach. We need to focus on unlocking the potential of all our citizens. We need to focus on the contributions made by each of our neighbors. Only by helping those most in need can we create a just society.

Andrew Feinstein, Hartford (CT) Courant

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September 10, 2016 | Judge Thomas Moukawsher issued a monumental ruling Wednesday in the case of Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding v. Rell, finding that Connecticut's system of funding education is irrational and unconstitutional. As to his basic findings, Judge Moukawsher is to be applauded.

The excellent decision came, however, containing a very dark poison. Judge Moukawsher proposed that certain children with severe disabilities be denied a public education. He says, "The call is not about whether certain profoundly disabled children are entitled to a 'free appropriate public education.' It is about whether schools can decide in an education plan for a covered child that the child has a minimal or no chance for education, and therefore the school should not make expensive, extensive, and ultimately pro-forma efforts." He claims, inaccurately, that "no case holds otherwise, and this means that extensive services are not always required."

Andrew Feinstein of Mystic is a lawyer with a particular focus on special education.

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16-Year-Old Reveals America's Real Dress-Code Problem

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  • “You [the principal] are literally sending the message to young girls, who are already struggling with self-confidence, that hiding their body makes them more attractive,” High school student Marion Mayer wrote. “You are establishing a sense of shame in these young, developing minds and bodies. A human has the right to wear whatever they feel comfortable in.”
  • High school student Marion Mayer takes a stand against principal's sexist comments.
  • Related: The only thing shameful about 'revealing' prom dresses are adults who obsess over them

Suzi Parker, TakePart

http://www.takepart.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/MarionMayer2.jpg (Photo: Marion Mayer/Facebook)

Jan  22, 2014 | Sixteen-year-old Marion Mayer is trying to educate her new high school principal on how not to talk to kids, but he won't hear her.

Mayer realized two weeks ago there was a problem when her Lakeland Senior High School classmates told her about comments made by principal Arthur Martinez as he discussed the new dress code, specifically with regard to how girls should dress in school. Those remarks reportedly included the phrases “Modest is hottest” and “Boys will be boys.”

Suzi Parker is a regular contributor to TakePart. Her work also appears in the Christian Science Monitor and Reuters.

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The only thing shameful about 'revealing' prom dresses are adults who obsess over them, Jessica Valenti, Guardian

  • Schools aren’t worried about proper attire - they’re worried about young women’s sexuality and any display of it.
  • Teen Girl Kicked Out Of Prom So Her Dress Wouldn’t Lead Boys To ‘Think Impure Thoughts’. 
  • Are shoulders pornographic?

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