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Sun Feb 21, 2016, 03:56 PM

Corporate reformers wreck public schools


Both parties embrace all the wrong education reform ideas. Why is it so hard to invest in kids and teachers?
NIKHIL GOYAL

When Barack Obama was elected president of the United States in November 2008, I was grinding my way through the eighth grade, my final year at John F. Kennedy Middle School before I was to move up to high school. While I followed the election closely, the candidates’ positions on education policy weren’t of much interest to me. And at the time, I didn’t give any thought to how my school experience could be different.

Among many progressives and liberals, there were flickers of hope that Obama’s election signaled the prospect that his presidency would lead to the reversal of the No Child Left Behind Act and Bush-era policies. It sure seemed that way once he named Stanford professor and NCLB critic Linda Darling-Hammond to head his transition’s education policy team.

But then in December 2008, any remaining optimism suddenly vanished. The president-elect appointed the CEO of Chicago Public Schools and his friend (and basketball pal) Arne Duncan to the post of secretary of education. A report by the Broad Foundation, a group that has financed anti– public education reforms, noted that Obama’s election and the appointment of Duncan “marked the pinnacle of hope for our work in education reform. In many ways, we feel the stars have finally aligned.”

As head of Chicago schools, Duncan shook up the system—in a disturbing manner. He bounced kids around from school to school to make it appear as though schools were “turning around.” He did not confront the effect of poverty on learning in a city system where 80 percent of schoolchildren live below the poverty line. He dumbed down standards, misleading the public when he pronounced that test scores had improved. He shuttered “failing” schools, replacing neighborhood schools with charters, often financed and run by fat cats and corporations. This is the man Obama put his faith in to run the Department of Education of the most powerful nation in the world.

more

http://www.salon.com/2016/02/21/corporate_reformers_wreck_public_schools_billionaire_foundations_and_wall_street_financiers_are_not_out_to_help_your_kids_learn/

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Arrow 3 replies Author Time Post
Reply Corporate reformers wreck public schools (Original post)
n2doc Feb 2016 OP
abelenkpe Feb 2016 #1
DirkGently Feb 2016 #2
elleng Feb 2016 #3

Response to n2doc (Original post)

Sun Feb 21, 2016, 04:20 PM

1. K&R

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Sun Feb 21, 2016, 04:37 PM

2. The profit model doesn't work outside of widget-making.


Kids aren't widgets. Wars aren't widgets. Prisoners. Medical patients. Anything that matters more than which car or sweater people are going to buy, basically.

Putting money first just doesn't fit with critical societal goals like health, safety, or education. It's pretty obvious why people like Duncan and Jeb Bush and Michelle Rhee like to argue that it does -- they have friends waiting to cash in.

But at some point, after Halliburton has electrocuted enough military service people in the shower, or enough judges have been caught sending children to boot camp for kickbacks, or enough people have died because they can't afford decent medical care, MAYBE we'll all catch on?

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Sun Feb 21, 2016, 04:56 PM

3. True and utterly tragic, for ALL of us!

My favorite candidate for Edu Sec when PrezO was selecting was, and still is, was among the prominent Obama campaign advisers on education Stanford University professor Linda Darling-Hammond.

She is the Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education at the Stanford Graduate School of Education, where she launched the School Redesign Network, the Stanford Educational Leadership Institute, and the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education. Darling-Hammond is author or editor of more than a dozen books and more than 300 articles on education policy and practice. Her work focuses on school restructuring, teacher education, and educational equity. She was education advisor to Barack Obama's presidential campaign [1][2] and was reportedly among candidates for United States Secretary of Education in the Obama administration.[3] She was awarded the 2012 Grawemeyer Award for Education from the University of Louisville.[4]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linda_Darling-Hammond

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