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

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Green Dot Public Schools, Inc.: Don't Tase Me, Bro

If the KIPP brainwashing camps are the cultural replacement solution for brown and poor middle schoolers, the choice among the oligarchs for the high school reform school model of containment is the Broad/Barr invention, Green Dot Public Schools, Inc. Caroline Grannan has a response to the recent Barr profile in the New Yorker, which discusses, among Barr's many manly exploits, last fall's Green Dot takeover of John Locke High School from LAUSD. My favorite clip from Grannan's piece:
Post-takeover [at John Locke], the article reports: "Green Dot [has] blanketed the school with guards from a private security firm, club-bouncer burly, carrying handguns and pepper spray. ... Guards have occasionally displayed a heavy hand. Twice this year, they pepper-sprayed students..."

I wonder what public commotion would ensue if private security guards hired by a public school repeatedly pepper-sprayed white middle-class students – but oh well, these are only poor minorities. The outcry would probably be considerable if the guards were vendors for LAUSD, too, but charter-school Teflon protects Green Dot.

And I’ll bet my firstborn that if Green Dot owns up to two pepper-spraying incidents, there have been far more. Gosh, how idyllic. And critics call KIPP the "Kids in Prison Program" -- Green Dot is mounting a challenge for that title. I know; the supporters’ view is: whatever works. Don’t tase me, bro!
This snippet also caught my eye: [Barr] "started a citywide group called the Los Angeles Parents Union, an activist alternative to the Parent-Teacher Association, in the hope of mobilizing foot soldiers for Green Dot's escalating war against the district. He even put a school-board member on his payroll – ‘a mole,’ Barr said -- to report back on closed meetings."

"Escalating war against the district." Gee, that’s good for our kids and schools. And is it actually legal to pay a school board member to reveal information about closed sessions? Whatever works.

If this experiment succeeds, great, and we’ll all learn a lot. Perhaps this will be the one that will transform urban public education. Will it show us that what all our schools need is to be blanketed with burly private security guards wielding handguns and pepper spray? And wage escalating wars against our school districts? What a cheering scenario. Whatever works.


  1. Anonymous9:24 PM

    This from today's NYT - Education on Military Recruiting in Miami Dade and other poor school districts around the country: Green Dot - what better way to prepare today's youth for waging war.

    An exerpt:

    Southwest Miami High is a sprawling but orderly place that offers a wide range of classes, including cosmetology, auto shop and Advanced Placement calculus, to 2,800 students, most of whom are Hispanic and from low-income families.

    Like many such high schools, it is also a focus for military recruiting. Hundreds of students take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, or Asvab, test each year. More than 100 are enrolled in the Army J.R.O.T.C., drilling, marching and using dummy guns. And every Tuesday and Wednesday, recruiters from the Army, Navy and Marines set up tables in the lobby outside the cafeteria, handing out water bottles, key chains and stickers and talking up the benefits of a military career.

  2. To anyone with eyes truly open, the "hidden agenda" that most Americans still can't see, doesn't seem very hidden.