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

Monday, February 24, 2014

Political Cowards Blaming Parents for School Closures

Tomorrow evening the titans of King Cotton in Memphis will decide the next round of public school turnovers to the corporate welfare kings and queens lined up at the public feeding trough.
Superintendent Dorsey Hopson is correct about one thing: closing these schools is not about saving money. If it were, he would be hard pressed to explain the economics of handing over $7500 per child to corporate charter operators hand selected by the "Achievement" School District, which is headed by a former corporate charter kingpin.  See this earlier piece on how the charter takeover cycle works.
For that $7500 per child, the County gets a culturally sterilized child who is taught to answer "how high" when told to jump by white corporate missionary girls from TFA or or MTR who are placed in positions once occupied by teachers.
If anyone were to believe Mr. Hopson on any of his other points, they would have concede that it is the parents'  fault that these poverty-wracked and malignantly neglected public schools should be closed. In fact, Hopson takes this own irresponsibility one step further by making his closure choices contingent upon whether parents have submitted an improvement plan to keep them open:
“The problem is that the population in these communities does not support the schools,” Hopson said. “Again, neither of these proposals addresses the declining population.”
Really? Community schools should be decimated because parents working two minimum wage jobs cannot put together a school plan that can stand up under the scrutiny of lawyers and economists and greedy charter operators?
This rationale ranks right up there near the pinnacle of all time political cowardice, and those who show up tomorrow evening should be taking close notes who not to vote for in the next round of elections.
Shelby County has a chance to do something to address educational inequality and segregation as it redraws boundaries examines its option, but instead of using proven methods to make schools attractive so that parents will come back to them, Mr. Hopson and his handlers have a corporate apartheid solution in mind that destroys the profession of teaching and the art and science of education.

Meanwhile, those claiming that education in Memphis is the civil rights issue of this generation are working overtime behind the scenes to institute the the kind of Jim Crow schooling that Memphis children have not seen for a half century.

Be at the School Board Meeting Tuesday, Feb. 25 at 5:30.  160 South Hollywood.

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