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

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Newsweek Tries Slop, Sleaze, and Slime To Pressure Obama on Education

If you thought the Election signaled an end to the school privatization crusade or the corporate welfare edu-schemes or the chain-ganging of urban school children, you should look no further than Newsweek's December 1 issue to see that you were very wrong.

Editor and closet neocon, Jon Meacham, has allowed in an article, commentary, ediwhorial, you tell me, that represents a shameless, slimy variety of journalistic extortion aimed at wringing support from the new Administration for the continued parasitic preying by corporations on public schools. Given the fact that the really bigtime corporate hoodlums have bankrupted the nation, the $600+ billion that Americans spend each year on education represents an even more juicy target for the testing-industrial complex and the Bush league edu-entrepreneurs.

Newsweek is playing up the stand-off between the union-busting dragonlady of DC, Michelle Rhee, and the DC teachers who are trying to hang on to due process and tenure. By presenting Rhee as the beacon of hope and the symbol of change, and not simply the freshest transplant from the corporate education hothouse of Eli Broad, Meacham and Co. obviously hope that their cynical and biased reporting will paint Mr. Obama into a corner: hope and change or more of the same?
. . . .As president, however, Obama will have a chance to greatly improve D.C. schools—and, possibly, inner-city public education across the country. The chancellor of the D.C. system, Michelle Rhee, has proposed an innovative teachers' contract that could allow her to reward the best teachers and dismiss the bad ones. Educators everywhere are watching to see what Obama says and does. If he backs Rhee's proposal, he will send a powerful signal to struggling inner-city schools that reform is possible. If he fudges or says nothing, it will be a signal that little will change for the poor and mostly black children in the capital's nearly dysfunctional apparatus. . . .
So help the poor black children, Mr. Obama, or crush the teachers' union--you have your choice--and remember--you're either with us or against us.


  1. Anonymous12:49 PM

    This is a huge test for OBAMA and his values and true heart.

    I heard Barack use the phrase, "Failing schools" yesterday, so that is a worry.

    But when is Obama going to hear from one of US--A teacher, or actual Public School Educator, instead of the usual corporate people with their predictable anti-Public School agenda?

    If we could just send someone like Susan Ohanian to the White House to make OUR case, we might have a chance of influencing policy.

    Obama doesn't know that most Public Schools are doing all that it is possible for them to do, but are being asked to cure social and family problems that are NOT Education-related.

    And Charter schools just take the public money, fake records & test scores, cover-up what they are doing, and then try to get even MORE money, while NOT CURING ANY OF THE SOCIAL ILLS THAT PLAGUE PUBLIC SCHOOLS.

    It is taxpayer robbery, plain & simple.

    But, I suppose, if Obama is clueless, then he's no different from at least 50% of teachers, who also remain in the dark about the nationwide Corporate assault on Public Education.

    Talk about Culture War---THIS IS


  2. Anonymous11:07 AM

    Why don't we start taking donations thru various Edublogs and call the Drive:


    If she could have 20-minutes audience with Obama, she could make a difference.

    I'll pledge $25 right now, as a start.

    I am so sick & tired of not having a competing voice in Washington!!

    Let's get some more teachers to put their money where their mouths are!


  3. Anonymous8:40 PM

    Education as a "Cash-Cow." What a concept! Blame schools and the teachers....they can't solve the problem by themselves, so they are an easy target. We can pick them off one school district at a time!