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

Monday, March 07, 2016

Margaret Spellings Equally Ignorant on Education and Civil Rights

The next time you hear one of the elite corporate know-nothings spouting about education being the new civil rights, please remind them that civil rights, 1) are not priced so that many cannot afford them, and 2) civil rights are transformative, rather than dehumanizing (see the KIPP Model).  

A clip from the Daily Tar-Heel that makes these points well:
....Spellings has had a busy week in the media, including her Feb. 29 response to the UNC Faculty Council, her March 1 appearance on “The State of Things” and an email to the entire UNC system. Spellings certainly seems aware of the discourse and codes one must know and use in order to secure a modicum of political alliance within higher education institutions — diversity and inclusion being near the top of the list. However, espousing sexy Twitter-ready aphorisms such as “education is the new civil right” will only take Spellings so far when she is administering a university system and not advising a campaign. 
First, civil rights are the rights of citizens based on their status as citizens without regard to financial means. Markets, on the other hand, by definition create elite hierarchies based on ability to pay. Spellings’ opening message set against her continued public embrace of free market lexicon staples such as “value proposition” and students as consumers troublingly straddles an ideological line. She needs to fall on one side convincingly to maintain credibility. Second, education being a civil right is not, in American history, quite “new.” It is in fact the relatively new assaults on education as a civil right by Spellings’ political party that need combating. 
If Spellings truly believes her statement, which is supported by her rhetorical commitment to access, affordability and value, she can show good faith by relentlessly requesting that Raleigh and state taxpayers find funding avenues that will maintain quality offerings and output while reducing tuition costs for in-state students, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds whom she specifically mentions in her system-wide email....

Read more: http://www.dailytarheel.com/article/2016/03/opinion-spellings-needs-to-further-clarify-positions
Quoted from The Daily Tar Heel

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