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

Monday, April 25, 2016

To Answer Dr. Miller's Question

Yesterday as I was listening and on hold during the second hour of The War Report, James Miller asked the rhetorical question that many have asked over the past 15 years regarding the blindness of educators to the realities of the school privatization agenda.  One school administrator in Buffalo, I think, had Dr. Miller particularly puzzled.

This young man was able to identify a number of the corporate reforms going around around him such as charters, corporate curriculum, and corporate professional development, but he could not seem to wrap his head around the prospect that public school privatization is a well-funded and deliberate strategy being carried out by hostile ideologues, business interests, and corporate welfare experts of the charter school industry.

I did not get a chance to respond to Dr. Miller's question on air, so here is my take, just in case he or his listeners are interested.

Part of the reason has to do with a studied silence on the privatization of schools by the teachers' unions, which are now steered by corporate interests.  New York in an AFT state, and when AFT misleaders don't acknowledge the threat of privatization and, in fact, engage in acts of privatization themselves, how are its affiliates and rank and file members to realize the depth of the problem.  

If you go to the AFT website, Dr. Miller, I hope you will enter "privatization" in the search box.  You will find that it is not even part of the AFT vocabulary.  Nothing, nada.  

Recently, Randi Weingarten and Lily Eskelsen signed  a letter to Pearson urging a reconsideration of Pearson's efforts to privatise education on the African continent.  Have Weingarten or Eskelsen ever demanded that Pearson stop its efforts to privatize education in the U. S.?  

The answer, of course, is no, because the unions' U. S. presidential picks over the past 25 years depend upon Pearson and McGraw-Hill, Gates, and Broad to fund their campaigns.  When privatization in not part of the national union discussion or even part of its vocabulary, educating members about the threat takes on monumental proportions.

Last week for the first time, Lily Eskelsen acknowledged that state and local affiliate members had raised the red flag on the threat posed by charter schools.  What kind of union leadership would depend upon members to warn the national union about the threat posed to the profession by privatization?  

There are 7,000 charter schools in the U. S. today and more promised, thanks to the vast federal grants linked to ESSA.  That's the same ESSA that the union affiliate, NPE, energetically supported, and that the teacher union misleadership is so excited about now that it has arrived.

Anyone sending money to NEA or AFT under this rigged and morally-corrupt system is doing nothing more than paying for his own professional funeral in advance.


  1. The union leaders, like the corporate education reformers, depend on people having short term memory and to be too busy with their personal lives have a clear understanding of the privatization agenda. The plan to put privatization in place depends on this because it could not be done democratically. Randi Weingarten in particular has been a sleight of hand artist in concealing her role from the rank and file. I go into detail about some of this history on my blog here: http://www.defendpubliceducation.net/the-broad-foundation-and-the-u/

    Now all of a sudden Randi is concerned about corporate education reformers such as Eli Broad whom she has collaborated with, and been praised by (see previous link) for years. This article by her recently in the Huffington Post shows that, as ever, she sees which way the wind is blowing and, counting on most people's lack of awareness, she wants to get ahead of the growing opposition to corporate education reform in order to steer it into a safe channel (particularly for Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party).

    "A Coordinated National Effort to Decimate Public Schools" by Randi Weingarten

  2. Randi Weingarten is very Orwellian in her methods. When she comes on strong to portray herself as a progressive, behind the scenes she is doing the opposite of what she is saying. Look at what she says, in the midst of anti-corporate ed rehetoric in the Huffington Post article, linked in my previous comment, about the AFT's collaboration with charters. In New York City this agenda is being advanced by her ally Mayor de Blasio with devastating consequences for public schools. See this article on Ed Notes Online:

    "Haimson - A dispiriting night at the Panel for Education Policy"

    Watch the linked video and read the ICE article.