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

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Penal Pedagogy for Corporate Interests: The Seeding of Violent Revolution

The hungry corporate beast advances in LA. From the LATimes, Dec. 11, on the proposed "restructuring" of Fremont High:
. . . .A similar effort was undertaken by an outside entity last year at Locke High, near Watts. Green Dot Public Schools, a charter organization, dismissed the staff -- and rehired a small percentage -- when it converted the campus into small charter schools that are operated independently of the district. Fremont, jampacked with 4,500 students, is substantially larger than Locke.

Boston College education professor Dennis Shirley called the reconstitutions harmfully "disruptive," and said "policymakers seem to think there's this limitless pool of people who want to work in the most impoverished and struggling communities."
Now at the apartheid Locke High, hired goons patrol the hall, ready at any moment to pepper spray and take down students when given the signal by the intercom code. As a separate entity ungoverned by the civil restraints and due process requirements of public schools and elected boards, Locke has been fashioned as Steve Barr's Big House, scary enough to to send Barr, himself, running for a less exposed position inside the corporate education bubble of Gates, Broad, the Waltons, etc.

This new corporate system of penal pedagogy, enabled by spineless and corrupt pols who don't give a shit about the poor, or the children of the poor, represents the squalid end of the path of least resistance for a society blinded by greed, the culmination of a generational malignant neglect of the principles of justice and social justice, thus assuring the acquiescence to a policy of segregation, containment, and constant surveillance that is worse than segregation during Jim Crow. At least then the black teachers in the apartheid schools were professionals who had the children's best interest in mind, rather than the de-certified ragtime corps of white female corporate missionaries intent upon a few years of do-gooderism before law school or breeding.

Unless this corporatization of American urban education is turned back by a society that now seems intent upon ignoring it, we will have successfully planted the certain seeds of violent revolution, or worse, the kind of terrorism that, heretofore, we have had to look abroad to war against. Any economic system that, in the end, must feed upon its own children to survive, is doomed, as it should be. Just as any political system that enables such atrocities to occur surely deserves the same end.

Today Beverly Hills decides it will take no more outsiders.

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