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

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Tell Business to Mind Their Own Businesses

I was doing some office cleaning, and I came across a 2002 Kappan article by Alfie Kohn called "The 500-Pound Gorilla." It begins with this this great quote from Kozol:
The best reason to give a child a good school . . . is so that child will have a happy childhood, and not so that it will help IBM in competing with Sony. . . . There is something ethically embarrassing about resting a national agenda on the basis of sheer greed.
Still relevant to uncovering the privatization agenda, you can find the article reprinted here at Teachers.Net, a great resource for educators, by the way. I have clipped the ending here:
Not long ago, as historian Joel Spring pointed out, you would have been branded a radical (or worse) for suggesting that our educational system is geared to meeting the needs of business. Today, corporations not only acknowledge that fact but freely complain when they think schools aren't adequately meeting their needs. They are not shy about trying to make over the schools in their own image. It's up to the rest of us, therefore, to firmly tell them to mind their own businesses.
Interestingly, much of the work of Kohn and others, once marginalized as over-the-top conspiracy theory, has now been confirmed by the right-wing conservatives, themselves, inside the U. S. Department of Education, who now openly promote education policies of big business, by big business, and for big business. And all of it is masked in the empty and cynical rhetoric of helping the minority poor who they could not care less about.

There is a deep rumble inside America that is finally beginning to be heard.

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