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

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Democants Free Republicons to Pursue War on Teachers and Public Schools

When it became clear early on that Obama would rubber stamp the Bush-Spellings NCLB school privatization agenda by passing over Darling-Hammond and promoting to Secretary the pasty, befuddled yes-man to corporate tyranny, Arne Duncan, the conservatives had a spirited, brief celebration and immediately set to work to move the education agenda even further to the Right.  This meant they could give their full attention to dusting off the school voucher portfolio and their anti-union bombs and strategies.

By moving Right from their previous position while painting Obama as a Muslim socialist 24-7 on hate radio and Fox News, Obama, over time, will be forced to move toward them (further Right) in order to demonstrate that he is, after all, a real American, and not the dreaded "Other."  Pure racism. Works like a charm, especially when you have a President who believes you can reason with pit vipers.  When we most need a Teddy Roosevelt, we end up with a Neville Chamberlain.

And so the Republicons are engaged in a 50 state strategy to elect governors who will hammer home the message of tax dollars for private schools, corporate vouchers that allow tax credits for sending kids to church schools, and a full frontal attack on teacher job security, seniority, tenure, retirement, and health benefits.  Chris Christie has become the poster-fathead for this antiquated sociopolitical blueprint, but there are active fronts in Florida, Tennessee, Idaho, Ohio, Utah, and Indiana, to name a few.

This battle for public schools and for the integrity of the teaching profession will not be won by cowering union heads sitting on their hands or making nice while cashing their 6-figure paychecks.  Yesterday there were signs that educators and parents in Indiana finally got the memo that Little Mitch Daniels is leading the State toward the 19th Century if they don't block the way. Civil disobedience will be required to stop this, in Indiana and elsewhere.

Hundreds of teachers and their supporters descended on the Statehouse on Tuesday to support public education and denounce proposals backed by Republicans who control the House and Senate.

The Indiana State Teachers Association and the Indiana Federation of Teachers urged teachers to pack the Statehouse for their "Rally for Public Education."The unions object to several proposals from Gov. Mitch Daniels that are gaining traction in the Republican-controlled General Assembly, including restrictions on collective bargaining, merit pay for teachers and vouchers that would direct taxpayer money to private schools. . . .
Could democracy break out in Indiana, too!

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