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

Friday, February 11, 2011

Waiting for Superman: The Neighborhood Party Version

If you thought the stakes were high for getting education reform right in this country, you just need to have a look, Mister, at the new animation offered up by the Gates-funded producers of the not-going-the-Oscars propaganda film, Waiting for Superman.  The achievement gap? Excellence? Equity?  Just small potatoes!

The Oligarchs who funded the WfS docu-ganda piece are now urging parents who didn’t see it on the big screen to buy a DVD and host a house party.  And to whet your appetite, ladies and gentlemen, they have put together an animated ad that proceeds with fear of impending world disaster where nervousness about the disaster of schools left off with the first round of advertisements.

The clip opens with the familiar ticking time bomb piano keys and a cascade of animated images swirling, ducking, and then disappearing into the emergence of a new set, all accompanied by the semi-strangulated staccato little girl 20-something voice of one of those Ivy League (soon to be Junior League) white missionary types who punch their clocks at a KIPP for a couple of years before moving on to one of Wall Street’s vulture philanthropy firms.

The clip quickly moves to focus, for several milliseconds, on the crisis that the U. S. has sunk to 20th in high school graduation rates among Western nations.  (Sad, but at least we are moved up to #1 in childhood poverty rates, and none of the OECD nations can touch us there).  But poverty, according to the Oligarchs who paid for this ad, can only be fixed with, that’s right, see the movie to find out.

But then the infantile Ayn Rand voice gives it away:  the key to solving poverty, plus all these problems—health care, economy, national security, discrimination, poverty, water pollution, unemployment, immigration, climate change, energy, and don’t forget pandemics—“rests on solving one thing first—education.”

But you still have to see the movie to find out that it is education via corporate charter schools run by CEOs that offers THE WAY.  But there is more.  Call your neighbors, get down the popcorn popper, order your DVD, and invite over a teacher to ridicule.  It’s gonna be bigger than the Superbowl, or even the Academy Awards!

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