"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Saving the Public Schools Through Customer Service Training

Ohio neocons are in a hurry to scuttle as many public schools as they can before the Bush meltdown contaminates their own reservations of white privilege. The State Legislature is on the brink of expanding their voucher plans to allow more parents to push their kids into fundamentalist training camps, thus assuring a continuing base of support for the dismantling of the democratic state.

Are Ohio citizens aware of what is going on? Are they aware that their suburban public schools are at risk, too?

If a bill to tweak the new statewide school-voucher program sticks, 12 more Columbus Public schools will join the 23 already facing voucher competition. More notable, though, is that this time, vouchers would creep into central Ohio suburbs — West Franklin Elementary, a South-Western school.

District spokesman Jeff Warner said the district had no idea it, too, might lose students to vouchers.

Mom and Dad--perhaps it is time for you to climb down from the lofty heights of your matching Ford Expeditions and see what is happening on the ground.

And what are they doing in the public schools of Columbus where they know that privatization is a growing threat? Are they organizing parents and teachers for political action? Or have they accepted the new definition of school and of knowledge as commodities that only need the right ad campaign and the right packaging to make it in the marketplace?

Bosley said the district will fight. Already, a handful of schools in charter-heavy areas or that could lose students to vouchers are developing marketing plans to help retain students. In those schools, staff members have undergone customer-service training, she said.

"We understand that in order for us to continue, we need to make certain we’re addressing the concerns addressed to us by parents. We’re asking what it is we can do to please our customers," Bosley said.

That's right--let's complete that transition from Socratic dialogue to Madison Avenue focus group.

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