It's not hard to pierce the rotten veil of today's so-called public education reformers. Some corporate hacks see all that money spent on public education and, as is their habit, they set out to get it.
First, they embarrass teachers and schools with ridiculous, destructive high-stakes tests and rigged "accountability" measures. Second, create an awkward, exploitative alliance with home-schoolers and religious-based private schools to advance corporate-owned alternatives: vouchers, charter schools and virtual schools.
Let's put it plainly. This conservative reform movement has come to bury public education not to save it. It is no more complicated than that. It's simple, but it's a hard message to communicate because to most Americans it seems so un-American it can't be true. But it is true.
Chicago teachers, who have reached a tentative agreement in their dispute with Rahm Emanuel's privateers,made the point explicitly:
"What the union sees, and what the public is beginning to see, is it's about the future of public education," says Tom O'Brien, a social studies teacher at Westinghouse High School on the West Side. "The country is watching us."
It's sad that the privateers have so successfully convicted America's public school teachers of incompetence and failure. The hucksters were tactically smart, I guess. They brand teachers as guilty and then force them to try and prove their innocence in the face of evaluation system that is nothing but a massive, Kafka-esque kangaroo court-of-no-resort.
I could only shake my head at musician John Legend on Bill Maher on Friday. On that show and in an essay he wrote back in March, Legend sounds reasonable, but he is playing into the hands of forces that want to dismantle public education altogether.