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Forum Post: This article NAILS what's REALLY going on with public education in the U.S. by using the "P" word...

Posted 4 years ago on June 5, 2013, 9:26 a.m. EST by therising (6643)
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The whole article nails it on public education but here are the key paragraphs:

"The 'reform' movement (and its loyal media outlets) cast a discussion of poverty as taboo because poverty and inequality are byproducts of the same economic policies that serve that movement’s funders.

To understand this pernicious bait and switch that writes economics out of the education story, simply think through the motives.

Think first about how the dominant policy paradigms in America — tax cuts for the rich, deregulation and budget cuts to social services — exacerbate inequality and poverty, but also benefit the major corporations that fund the “reform” movement. Then think about how it isn’t a coincidence that the “reform” movement’s goal is to divert the education policy conversation away from anything having to do with poverty and economic inequality.

You can tell that’s not a coincidence because unlike other issues, the topics of poverty and economic inequality will inevitably prompt a conversation about changing the underlying economic policies (regressive taxes, deregulation, etc.) that create crushing poverty and inequality. For corporations served by the existing economic paradigm and for the politicians and activists those corporations underwrite, such a conversation is simply unacceptable because changing the policies that create poverty and inequality potentially threatens their existing financial power and privilege. Thus, those corporations, politicians and activists in the “reform” movement do whatever they can — bash teachers, scream strong-but-meaningless words like “accountability,” criticize public school structures, etc. — to shift the education conversation away from poverty and inequality.

Reality, though, is finally catching up with the “reform” movement’s propaganda. With poverty and inequality intensifying, a conversation about the real problem is finally starting to happen. And the more education “reformers” try to distract from it, the more they will expose the fact that they aren’t driven by concern for kids but by the ugliest kind of greed — the kind that feigns concerns for kids in order to pad the corporate bottom line.

Full article (well worth reading): http://www.salon.com/2013/06/03/instead_of_a_war_on_teachers_how_about_one_on_poverty/

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[-] 3 points by Ache4Change (3340) 4 years ago

Yes, we have 'now reached the point where the economics-omitting “reform” propaganda has jumped the shark, going from deceptively alluring to embarrassingly transparent. That’s because the latest Department of Education study isn’t being released in a vacuum; it caps off an overwhelming wave of evidence showing that our education crisis has far less to do with public schools or bad teachers than it does with the taboo subject of crushing poverty.' from the excellent article, you link to.

And again, 'The more education “reformers” try to distract from it, the more they will expose the fact that they aren’t driven by concern for kids but by the ugliest kind of greed — the kind that feigns concerns for kids in order to pad the corporate bottom line.'

Thank you for this important post and also consider that those - 'who thinks education is the “civil rights issue of our time” need to look at what’s going on in Chicago.

In three days of protests over the weekend and lapping into Monday, people who look like they would be involved in a civil rights cause – mostly African-American and Latino/a teachers, parents, and students, many living in low-income communities – were protesting against the city’s decision to close their neighborhood schools.

City officials have claimed that the closures are for the sake of “reforming” the city’s schools, but people who the schools actually serve aren’t buying it.'

from- http://www.nationofchange.org/forces-driving-america-s-education-spring-1369577132 and also

see - http://www.nationofchange.org/shuttered-how-america-selling-out-its-schools-1364307870 from

NoC- http://www.nationofchange.org/education

Also take note of - http://www.nationofchange.org/cinderella-story-how-koch-brothers-use-florida-gulf-coast-university-promote-their-agenda-1364568456

Never Give Up On The Kids! They Occupy The Future! Solidarity.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 4 years ago

Poverty is big business (as are prisons). As things stand, regular folks just don't have the weight they need influence policy. The forces dismantling safety net and profiting from it..... They have much more weight.

Maybe it's too simplistic but it seems like campaign finance reform / voters choice act might help change this. Not only would it give other voices a chance but it might also get more citizens to actually participate because they feel like they have a voice. We both know citizens COULD now have a voice if they participated. I just don't totally blame them for not participating (I wish they would but understand why they might feel it's useless.... Because they feel that the system is rigged and their interests aren't represented).

It seems like a vicious cycle that we need to spin ourselves out of if we're going to ever push back successfully against the monied interests for whom deregulation and privatization are the name of the game. In my view they, like the guys on Wall St., are just cashing in on America while undermining it.

Part of this, it seems to me is a community / spiritual crisis. If the powerful realized that they'd be happier and more successful in a strong community with good public infrastructure, they'd surely be defending it. Too many Gordon Gekkos out there that haven't yet discovered that half of life is living in community with others and fostering the strength of that community.

At some point, I think political leaders need to get up and actually say this stuff. In my view, it is then that citizens will feel the strength and possibility that is vital to them taking a grassroots stand. I think it starts with leaders saying it out loud and appropriating the "general dis-ease" people feel and giving it a name... Really laying out what is actually causing the general uneasiness and instability.

I just rewatched the excellent film "Inside Job". Worth viewing again if you haven't seen it in a whole. It lays this out so beautifully and shows the dysfunction and the possibilities. Imagine if Wall St. paid a sales tax like the rest of us. Our budget crises could very well be eliminated.

So many problems. Yet one underlying solution would fix most: if the ministers and teachers and political leaders who shape young minds and minds of all ages could convey the benefits of community, it seems that everything else would follow from that understanding. Maybe that's the real work. The rest is all just hard work and details.

At some point, current leaders will look back on their lives and what they've contributed to the common good. It would be great if we all started thinking more and more about this now. As a wise person has pointed out to me on numerous occasions, once the people really move on something and say it loud with one voice, institutions, governments and policies move to, no matter how heavy.

Too often, I think we try to take the shortcut of acting behind the scenes to change institutions or policies. If we don't take the longer route of engaging the people, the journey is often a waste. The weight, the force comes from rising public will. Look at what's happening in Turkey....

[-] 1 points by grapes (5092) 4 years ago

The deciding factor in education (or rather the lack thereof) is Culture.

Poverty is a major correlate of poor education and money DOES help but only to a certain extent and subject to priority choices. It is NOT the physical school (not the latest technological tools, not the brand-new building, not the highest compensated teachers and administrators, etc.) that makes a school great. It IS the Culture of the students' families, the HIGH expectations of the teachers and parents, the provision of needed and desired resources such as books, libraries, quiet, well-lit, and comfortable study facilities, couches, cafeteria, drinks, laboratories, etc.

Simply put, feed the body and feed the mind and mount the whole thing on a powerful enough cultural rocket (NOT necessarily a Titan IV or a Saturn V depending on where the target is) and ignite. The predominant U.S. culture is too distracting (yeah, playing ball is more FUN or even worse, watching the ubiquitous dumb-downers) and anti-intellectual (it is NOT cool to be smart; it even invites bullying) to achieve anything great (that was why we had to take Nazi scientists and countenance Japanese war criminals and planning to retain or rather steal the talented people of the other countries through our pending immigration reform bills) but that was actually anticipated by a French historian who foresaw the rise of the U.S.