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

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Duncan to Speak at MLK, Jr. Event; Capitalism, Democracy, and MLK?

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will speak at an August 25th event put on by the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, Inc. Just for a quick review of Duncan's past, take a peek at these video of the Ariel Community Academy, the school Duncan started in Chicago:

Training children to be stockbrokers: is this compatible with the legacy and activism of MLK, Jr? From his Presidential Address to the Souther Christian Leadership Conference in August of 1967 (thanks to John Lacny for the transcript):
What I'm saying to you this morning is that communism forgets that life is individual. Capitalism forgets that life is social, and the kingdom of brotherhood is found neither in the thesis of communism nor the antithesis of capitalism but in a higher synthesis. It is found in a higher synthesis that combines the truths of both. Now, when I say question the whole society, it means ultimately coming to see that the problem of racism, the problem of exploitation, and the problem of war are all tied together. These are the triple evils that are interrelated.
and:

..And one day we must ask the question, Why are there forty million poor people in America? And when you begin to ask that question, you are raising questions about the economic system, about a broader distribution of wealth. When you ask that question, you begin to question the capitalistic economy. And I'm simply saying that more and more, we've got to begin to ask questions about the whole society...

You'd think Duncan would have a difficult time speaking at an event dedicated to a man that questioned capitalism, advocated for some form of democratic socialism, and spoke out against the Vietnam war; Duncan started a school based on the stock market, uses ubercapitalist references (Race to the Top, competition, etc) in his reform agenda, and presided over the expansion of military schools while CEO of the Chicago Public Schools.
But Duncan has never had difficulty lying through his teeth. And we're in for another 7 1/2 years of his bullshit. Do yourself a favor and visit Substance News to get the non-PC sanitized version of Duncan's legacy.
From the Business Wire:

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to Headline 46th Anniversary of March on Washington and "Kids for King" Even on Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Site

WASHINGTON - (BUSINESS WIRE) - The leadership of the Washington, DC Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, Inc. announced today that U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will speak at an August 25th event on the National Mall on West Basin Drive near Independence Avenue. Beginning at 10:30 a.m., the live press conference will commemorate the 46th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. King's famous 'I Have a Dream' speech. The Memorial Foundation will also launch its nationwide Kids for King Education Initiative.

Earlier this year, The Travelers Companies, Inc. announced a $1.25 million donation to the Memorial Foundation to support the building of the Memorial and spearhead the Memorial Foundation's Kids for King Education Initiative. The initiative will inspire youth from grades 3-12 to write an essay, create a piece of art or produce a short video about the lasting legacy of Dr. King and his ideals of democracy, justice, hope and love. The program also contains a lesson plan for teachers and parents to educate the youth about Dr. King. The program details and incentives will be announced during the press conference. The National Parent Teacher Association (PTA), the National Education Association (NEA), YRC Worldwide, Inc., and The LEAGUE will also support the "Kids for King" initiative. The year-long program will culminate in the fall of 2010. To learn more about the program visit www.kidsforking.org.

"Travelers is proud to support the creation of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial and Kids for King Education Initiative," said Brian W. MacLean, President and Chief Operating Officer of Travelers. "As a company we are committed to investing in education and we believe in the importance of teaching Dr. King's legacy and message of equality to students across the country and to visitors to our nation's capital."

In addition to Secretary Duncan, the August 25th speaking line-up will include: Harry E. Johnson, Sr., President and CEO, Memorial Foundation; Brian W. MacLean, President and COO, Travelers; Byron V. Garrett, CEO, National PTA; and Dennis Van Roekel, President, NEA.

"We challenge every teacher, parent and youth leader to make Dr. King's legacy relevant to this generation and to explain the importance of building a lasting memorial to honor this legacy. I call on the youth of America to express your ideas about Dr. King by sharing an essay, a piece of art work, or a video about why Dr. King is important to you," said Johnson.

The Memorial Foundation has raised $104 million out of the needed $120 million to build the Memorial. Travelers joins the following major donors to the Memorial: General Motors, Tommy Hilfiger Corporate Foundation, NBA/WNBA, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., W.K. Kellogg Foundation, The Walt Disney Company Foundation, The Coca-Cola Foundation, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Ford Motor Fund, Toyota, AARP, AFLAC, BP America, Inc., CIGNA, Credit Unions of the United States, DuPont, ExxonMobil Foundation, Fannie Mae Corporation, FedEx Corporation, GE, Ann and Joel Horowitz Family Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Sheila C. Johnson-Newman, Lehman Brothers, George Lucas, MacFarlane Partners, The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation, McDonald's Corporation, MetLife Foundation, National Association of Realtors (NAR), National Education Association (NEA), Nationwide Foundation, PepsiCo Foundation, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Pfizer Foundation, Prudential Financial, Inc., Shell Oil Company, State Farm Insurance, Verizon Foundation, Viacom, Wal-Mart and Morehouse College, among others.

About the Washington, DC Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, Inc.
A Memorial honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will be built on the National Mall, situated adjacent to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial and in a direct line between the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials. Congress passed Joint Resolutions in 1996 authorizing Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. to establish a Memorial honoring Dr. King to be built in Washington, D.C. The ceremonial groundbreaking took place on November 13, 2006, and the Memorial will be completed in 2011. McKissack & McKissack / Turner Construction Company/ Gilford Corporation / Tompkins Builders, Inc. Joint Venture will serve as the Design-Build Team. McKissack & McKissack is the oldest minority-owned architectural firm in the United States. For more information or to make a donation, please visit www.buildthedream.org.

About Travelers
Travelers is a leading provider of property casualty insurance for auto, home and business. A Fortune 100 company, Travelers has 33,000 employees and 2008 revenues of approximately $24 billion. Travelers stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: TRV) and is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The company provides support for charitable organizations in the community through the Travelers Foundation and with corporate funding and in-kind services. The company's community giving is focused on education, community development and the arts. Travelers employees are consistently active in community initiatives and perform thousands of hours in volunteer time each year. For more information, visit www.travelers.com.

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