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

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Rick Hess's Apologia for Child Abuser, Mike Feinberg

KIPP, Inc. would like to forget that Mike Feinberg is co-founder of KIPP, a corporate "no excuses" charter school chain made infamous by a weird macho management style that exhibits sadistic and masochistic excesses toward both students and teachers.  Adults and children are commonly worked to the point of physical and mental collapse and then discarded without any signs of empathy or concern by KIPP CEOs.  

KIPP's discarded victims are most often brainwashed to self-blame for their failure to meet KIPP's expectations, which keeps negative PR to a minimum while insulating the perpetrators from any sense of responsibility for their corrosive and cruel treatment of other humans.  It's a cult technique that continues to be well-funded, as corporate and federal support make the KIPP Model of total compliance schooling the dominant mode of segregating and culturally sterilizing economically disadvantaged black and brown children.

If we have historians a hundred years from now, KIPP Model practices will be viewed the same way we, today, view the eugenics ideology and practices of the 1920s.

While KIPP students are mostly poor and almost entirely black or brown, management is largely white male, and the teacher corps is majority white female.  The KIPP Model is the 21st Century version of the black industrial model of schooling for ex-slaves in the late 19th Century, a theory and practice that was perfected at Hampton Normal and Industrial Institute.  

At Hampton, the future black teachers were indoctrinated to accept their social subjugation and moral inferiority as their just due and to work their fingers to the bone in order to gain acceptance as second class citizens among the white elite. The 80 percent of students who were dismissed from Hampton before earning teaching certificates were viewed as victims of their own recalcitrance and/or laziness.

Last spring Mike Feinberg found himself being dismissed from KIPP, and just as KIPP students or teachers who are viewed as liabilities are disposed of without a second thought, so was Feinberg fired when his sexual dalliances with a middle school student and employees could not be covered up any longer and, thus, became a threat to the KIPP brand. 

Now corporate ed reformer and think tank denizen, Rick Hess, has offered another take on to the unfairness of Feinberg's firing.  Hess doesn't blame KIPP, Inc. nearly so much as he does 1) the timing of Feinberg's public outing, coming as it did during the peak of the Me Too movement, and 2) the "emotionally immature, impetuous, and impressionable" qualities of Feinberg's child accuser. Here's the most disgusting part of Hess's dissembling dissing of the accusations:
Educators work intimately and forge powerful bonds with emotionally immature, impetuous, and impressionable minors. A teacher can’t do their job whole-heartedly or well if asked to live in constant fear that unsupported allegations can ruin their professional lives and public reputations.

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