This space explores issues in public education policy, and it advocates for a commitment to and a re-examination of the democratic purposes of schools. If there is some urgency in the message, it is due to the current reform efforts that are based on a radical re-invention of education, now spearheaded by a psychometric blitzkrieg of "metastasizing testing" aimed at dismantling a public education system that took almost 200 years to build. JH August, 2005
Thursday, August 05, 2010
Charter Industry Sends Out Their A Team Against Civil Rights Leaders, Part I
The dollarbots inside the education reform industry mainframe have been ominously humming since the NAACP, the Urban League, and seven other civil rights organizations came out swinging against the Gates-Broad-Walton racist blueprint that Arne Duncan is trying to pass off as the inheritor of the NCLB debacle. NCLB 2.0 is planned as a policy built on the conclusion that large swaths of the American population will be losers in the Race to the Top. One of my favorite lines from the 17 page civil rights framework for education reform notes that
"If education is a civil right, children in “winning” states should not be the only ones who
have the opportunity to learn in high-quality environments."
But the voices of privilege are not going to give up without a battle, apparently to be waged from the protection of the editorial pages of the Oligarchs' scream sheet, the Wall Street Journal, even if they have been outed by the civil rights community that they lamely purport to represent. Of course, Bush did the same thing, using the racism of impossible school goals to blow up public education while attacking any sane critics for the "bigotry of low expectations." Well, the civil rights groups have finally seen through the smoke and broken mirrors of the Billionaire Boys' Club, and it doesn't matter if the Boys have a top guy who happens to be black.
The latest strategy by the Boys is an old one of divide and conquer, this time to put black parents on one side and the the NAACP with the teachers' unions on the other. With no evidence and no argument to debunk the wilting critique by civil rights groups of the Duncan Deform plan, all that is left is to use divisive propaganda. Enter stage right, Harvard dons Peterson and West, called down from their ivory tower to do what they do best: cook survey data and then serve up just the parts they want to feed, just as Dr. Petersen did some years back when he voided his academic reputation with an influential voucher study that was later called out for design and analysis flaws.
The evidence by Peterson and West that the NAACP is out of touch with what minority parents know, or don't, as the case may be? An annual survey designed by edu libs and cons to gauge the power of the sludge tank operators to shape the public attitudes. Evidence that black parent love charter schools, and that the NAACP should, too?
Support for charters among African Americans rose to 49% in 2009, up from 42% in 2008.
More impressive numbers are in store from the 2010 survey, but we will wait for the release to report those. What Peterson and West leave out is the inherent mushisness of that African-American support (complete support only 14% in 2009 and 15% in 2008) and the uncertainty expressed by parents who neither support nor oppose (48% in 2009 and 42% in 2008). Just a couple of details that you will never find in editorials made possible by Rupert Murdoch.
In Part II, I will try to explain to Peterson and West why organizations charged with Civil Rights protections could be opposed to the the apartheid-enabling policies of the Boys.