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

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11 and the Slow Death of Public Education

In the aftermath of that fateful day on September 11, 2001, an 1,100 page bill that would forever alter the course of American education was passed by Congress. No Child Left Behind was the first piece of domestic legislation to pass in the wake of 9/11. At the time, few members of Congress took the time to read through the legislation. The corporate blood suckers finally were handed the public school system on a silver platter. Anyone who voted for this legislation was either clueless about education and what was in the bill, or part of the school privatization agenda.

Here we are 10 years later, significant damage, possibly irreversible damage has been done not only to public education, but to all area of the public good. We still don't have health care, gun control isn't even on the radar, the wars are still raging in the Middle East and still none of our leaders have found a way to move forward in a positive constructive way that might make this country a more progressive, humane place to live with a future. Today, more people are beginning to connect the dots between the failure to educate an entire generation because of corporate greed, so monstrous in its nature that it now threatens to destroy the final vestiges of democracy. With a populous so ignorant that they would even consider some of these lunatic Tea Party candidates who are proud of killing over 200 death row inmates in Texas, is a testament to the success of No Child Left Behind.

Here is an article written in 2004 from In These Times. The writing was on the wall back then. Just like the writing was on the wall back then of an imminent attack on U.S. soil. Where do we go from here?

Proposed on January 22, 2001, two days after Bush took office, NCLB passed a year later in the heady months following 9/11 when Bush’s popularity was high. The bill effectively merged the privatization agenda of right-wing Republicans with the corporate-supported standardization and testing agenda of centrists in both parties. Backing by Democrats, including Kerry, ensured bipartisan support for what has become an albatross—some say noose—around the neck of public education.

Few in the country had even read the 1,100-page bill when it passed. But in the last two years, as its draconian measures have become clear, opposition has grown throughout the country’s 15,000 school districts and 95,000 public schools serving 48 million students.

NCLB is “like a Russian novel,” says Scott Howard, former superintendent in Perry, Ohio. “That’s because it’s long, it’s complicated and, in the end, everybody gets killed.”

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