Over at the Black Agenda Report, you can listen to Bruce Dixon talking about one of the sideshows in ed news these days. He’s referring to the multi-city tour that Duncan, Sharpton and Gingrich are embarking on this fall to spread the Obama administration’s vision of public education.
Here’s an excerpt from the transcript of his remarks, which is also posted at the Black Agenda Report:
Since the public debates on charter schools and privatizing education are ones that our elite cannot win, they have decreed there will be no debate. Instead of an honest public examination of the disastrous impact of No Child Left Behind, and its attendant decade of creeping educational privatization, corporate media, the Obama administration and its bipartisan allies are sending in the clowns with a 21st century three stooges remake starring the Rev. Al Sharpton, along with Republican former Speaker Newt Gingrich and Obama Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, elbowing and slapping at each other, yukking it up about their supposed political differences while they all come together around the corporate elite’s version of “school reform.”
One of the people who has left a comment at the end of the post makes his position very clear:
The Obama administration must be stuck on S-T-U-P-I-D!!!
First, to believe in this privatization stuff at all, and then to send this trio out to talk it up.
Someone else says we have to do more than sit around and talk about all this:
The next productive step is a call to action to advocate what you write. Learn to be an activist in your community, church, school, and yes, the j-o-b.
GEM is of course on the same page, and is co-sponsoring a forum on “The TRUTH About Charter Schools” scheduled for Sept 2nd (see sidebar). From the federal level right on down through state and local governments, there are elected officials and business interests determined to get schools like these installed in public school buildings across the city. In every borough, that is, certainly not in every neighborhood (read between the lines on that one).
Charters should be finding their own space and not be displacing whole floors of public school classrooms. Pulling them into the system the way Bloomberg and Klein are going about it, and getting a lot of help from Albany, threaten the social fabric of inner city communities. There’s virtually no community input, and laws are being both enacted and broken to allow it to happen.
The forum will take place at the State Office Building in Harlem beginning at 6 o’clock. If you plan on coming, you might want to get there early. It might get packed.