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"Education’s dying, Arne Duncan’s lying!"

A video on how Arne Duncan’s neo-liberal, pro-corporation plan for Chicago schools now being pushed nationwide in the form of federal grants and law is available online here. It’s produced by Labor Beat.

Jackson Potter, teacher:
What’s happening is these edu-preneurs like Arne Duncan is setting down with the business community, and the business community is telling ‘m we want to cut pensions, we want to cut salaries, we want to do our own thing with the schools.
We have no educational experience.
We don’t talk to parents.
We don’t talk to students.
We don’t talk to teachers.
But that’s not important: We know how to make money.
And these are the folks who are running our policies right now, and are running our schools into the ground simultaneously.

The video has good segments of parents and teachers homing in on all the key points we need to bring home. Here are some excerpts:

If we’re supposed to compete, then give us the resources and support we need. Kids get moved around as schools are reorganized and closed: local officials, parents, teachers and students all not informed, the black and brown communities are targeted. It’s not a question of under-utilization. They’re trying to push people of color out of neighborhoods so they can build. One teacher cites a report published by the University of Illinois on the relationship of school reorg and gentrification; I couldn’t quite make out the title on the video but she might be referring to the two reports on the patterns of gentrification and school closings at the Teachers for Social Justice website.

George Schmidt (Substance) on Obama’s record in the Illinois senate: He never opposed Duncan or corporate Chicago on matters pertaining to public schools. This agenda is a more dangerous version of the Bush agenda because it has billions of dollars behind it.

They’re steering kids into the military charters, which offer a “career choice” — this when the country needs troops for aggressive wars.

Chicago promised not to lay off teachers last June, and then did. Hundreds of them.

The Caucus of Rank and File Educators (CoRE) is the most active group shouting back. At the December 2008 meeting of the Chicago Board of Ed, teachers spoke up against Duncan’s doings in the Chicago schools. They demanded no more schools should be turned around, no more outsourcing of public education. Duncan walked out of that meeting. Reminds you of Liebman slipping out the back door to get away from parents and Klein on his blackberry here and here during PEP meetings showing studied indifference.

The 2nd round of stimulus money — the 5 billion “Race to the Top” program — is contingent on states accepting the Chicago model, that Duncan, Sharpton and Gingrich are going to sell to every state. But the money myth, the current neo-liberal model, isn’t working. We need a teacher-centered model.

Last words by one teacher, and we should keep this in mind when we speak up:

If the Board of Ed can’t do the job of educating, it’s THEM that’s gotta leave, not the teachers.

More great commentary over at Ednotes.

There’s also this paper on the Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies: :

Abstract: This paper analyzes the relationship between neoliberalism and school restructuring in Chicago. I provide an account of the ideological foundation of neoliberal education policies as well as an account of their development and implementation in the city. Additionally, I analyze Chicago’s newest education agenda, Renaissance 2010. Passed into law in 2004, the policy is a continuation of previous Chicago school reforms and the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), but, as I will argue, it is also representative of an emerging urbanism defined by uneven economic development and public abandonment. The policy has been implicated in clearing the ground for corporate development through privatization and school closures, while undermining educational quality, just distributions of resources, and the democratic participation of communities. As such, I contend that Renaissance 2010 represents a policy commensurate with what Henry Giroux has referred to as a “politics of disposability”. It is a politics where the imperatives of the market come at the expense of public life, democracy, and responsibility toward the future (Giroux, 2006).

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Discussion

One thought on “"Education’s dying, Arne Duncan’s lying!"

  1. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

    Margaret

    http://grantsforeducation.info

    Posted by dayana | August 22, 2009, 1:30 am

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