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

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Moral Collapse of Education Reform

In 1954 the U. S. Supreme Court declared 9-0 that separate schools based on race are inherently unequal. That decision launched the American Civil Rights Movement, and it provided a moral and legal foundation for civil rights gains among women, the disabled, English language learners, and the LGBT communities.

Now six decades hence, the U. S. has a Secretary of Education admits to having a "Rosa Parks moment" while watching the Hollywood documentary, Waiting for Superman, which celebrates the virtues of black children schooled in segregated total compliance testing camps run by white CEOs and staffed by white temporary missionaries with no professional teacher preparation.

At the same time, the black civil rights leadership has been hijacked, emasculated, and corrupted by growing numbers of neoliberal self-serving traitors like Howard Fuller, Cory Booker, Floyd Flake, Kevin Chavous, and Rod Paige.

In Massachusetts, we have the best and whitest law firms in Boston planning to go to court to force unlimited expansion opportunities for segregated corporate reform schools as an affirmation of their civil rights priorities.

In New York we have white moms calling for more testing to further label, sort, and segregate, and for more charter schools to warehouse black and brown children whose poverty distinguishes their test scores from those of white middle class children, whose advantages have been preserved by the racist sorting machine.

In Washington, we have washed up bureaucrats like Peter Cunningham confessing a bankruptcy of imagination and will to keep alive the legacy of Dr. King and Thurgood Marshall.  How can someone with any functional moral compass intact support another generation of racist accountability practices as the best we can do to realize educational equality?  What kinds of capitulation and cowardice have infected our society, that such utterances can be considered as anything but insane?

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