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

Saturday, February 18, 2023

DeSantis Holds Children's Education Hostage to Score Political Points with FL Fascists

The videos below provide a thumbnail sketch of the dire situation in Florida schools, where the fascist DeSanti-tizers, under the direction of their thin-skinned bully governor, have taken it upon themselves the ban library and classroom book collections that includes millions of titles until they are reviewed by a small group of school librarians, whose numbers have been repeatedly diminished by continuing funding cuts across the state.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

David Coleman is the Face of College Board's Dishonesty and Cowardice

With more and more colleges and universities no longer requiring the racist and classist SAT for admissions decisions, the billion dollar non-profit that owns the SAT is desperate to maintain the College Board's test-based empire.

And so its CEO, David Coleman, has turned to further promotion of the College Board's subject area AP courses and the tests that go with them to maintain its revenue stream.  The creation of an AP course in African-American history promised to bring renewed attention to the College Board's portfolio of AP courses and tests.  (It is my deeply-held belief that any student who passes an AP exam and who subsequently is granted college credit for doing so has been cheated out of a real learning experience that can only be gained by successfully completing college courses). 

Coleman's desperation to get Florida's approval of its new AP course is evidenced by ongoing, secret negotiations with the racist history whitewashers who DeSantis has hired in Florida to cancel any efforts in Florida to preserve or expand diversity, inclusion, integration, or social justice in any public institution of learning.  Coleman's claim that his decision to modify, i.e., water down the course had nothing to do with efforts to mollify the DeSanti-tizers can easily be refuted.  Some examples from a February 13 article in the NY Times:

. . . the College Board also hurt its own cause among supporters, by whittling away material during the months it was engaged in discussions with the DeSantis administration, according to interviews with scholars, teachers and College Board officials, as well as a review of several drafts of the curriculum.

The organization also did not tell some of its academic colleagues of those frustrating discussions — or about the significant omissions.

Now, the College Board is defending the A.P. course it has spent years developing. The nonprofit has infuriated many African American studies scholars for what they view as a stealth betrayal. And its once-heralded course is mired in dissension.

. . . .

As the College Board prepared to unveil the final curriculum, leading Black studies scholars heard rumors that politics had influenced the revision process.

“We all suspected that the changes to the curriculum were prompted by political pressure,” wrote Robin D.G. Kelley, a historian at the University of California, Los Angeles, in an email.

On Jan. 31, one day before the final course was unveiled, Dr. Kelley and several scholars — including Professor Crenshaw and the legal theorist Cheryl Harris — met by Zoom with College Board executives, to ask if they had engaged in negotiations with the DeSantis administration.

“We were told by Trevor Packer that there was absolutely no communication with them,” Dr. Kelley said, referring to the head of the A.P. program.

. . . .

When the final course was released, a new set of concepts was now mentioned only in passing, as optional topics for a final project: reparations, incarceration and Black Lives Matter.

The term “police brutality” disappeared. But Black Republicans, such as Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, were added.

And there was a preamble that the College Board said will now accompany other A.P. courses as well: “A.P. opposes indoctrination. A.P. students are expected to analyze different perspectives from their own, and no points on an A.P. exam are awarded for agreement with any specific viewpoint. A.P. students are not required to feel certain ways about themselves or the course content.”

Professor Harris, the U.C.L.A. legal scholar, said the course’s legitimacy had been called into question.

“There is no way you can properly teach this material under the rubric of what DeSantis et al. are demanding,” she said. “This is a train wreck.”



Sunday, February 12, 2023

The Solar Powered Megalopolis that Big Oil Built

Once capitalism becomes world government without borders, all kinds of "disruptive innovations" will be loosed upon a melting world, sort of like this one in the Middle Eastern desert, where dystopian sci-fi, unrestrained greed, and 10th Century social codes get mixed into a toxic brew and served up by Prince Bone Saw as a futuristic past captured in a trillion-dollar bubble, and where both irony and hypocrisy have been permanently banished or summarily beheaded.

This “civilizational revolution” now underway will form the backbone of NEOM, a futuristic city-state roughly the size of Belgium near the border of Jordan and Egypt that will, at an estimated cost of $500 billion, include a floating, semi-automated port and innovation hub; a year-round ski resort (in the desert); and a man-made freshwater lake (also in the desert). The Guardian reported in 2020 that an artificial moon, glow-in-the dark beaches, robotic butlers, holographic teachers, and something akin to Jurassic Park were also being considered. In any case, it promises to be surveilled by a corps of drones and facial recognition software held accountable only to the Saudi security state and its de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. If this sounds like some kind of dystopian nightmare-cum-PR-project, that’s because NEOM is both of those things.

Monday, February 06, 2023

Will Schools Become Training Grounds for Fascist Politics?

As I read Trip Gabriel's New York Times article, Education Issues Vault to Top of the G.O.P.’s Presidential Race, it became obvious to me that as American right-wing agendas get sidetracked, one by one, by their own public unpopularity, the education DeSanti-tizers are moving to the political forefront in hopes of creating an election issue and societal problem for which their censorious, anti-intellectual solutions can be applied.  With an American citizenry turned off by anti-gay, anti-abortion, anti-democracy, anti-diversity, anti-immigrant, and anti-black/brown hate politics, the squalid remnants of conservatism-gone-berserk are in need of a different kind of American, one that can be trained up and miseducated from childhood to embrace all of their Christian fascist failed priorities.  

And so the battle to preserve democracy and human decency moves to the schoolhouse.

KIPP's Illegal and Unethical Union Busting Tactics Lead to Filing of Federal Complaint

KIPP, Inc. has received billions of state and federal dollars to fund KIPP's chain gang schools where children undergo behavioral and cultural sterilization.

Now the corporate schooling nightmare in Columbus has taken off the gloves to fight an effort by over 70 percent of its teachers to conduct a vote on whether or not to establish a union.

Wednesday, February 01, 2023

College Board Allows Florida Nazis to DeSanti-tize African-American History Course

We have known for a long time that David Coleman is a tool of corporate education reform, but now we find out that he is a traitor to intellectual inquiry and democratic principles. Never has such a small ring of scum been allowed to control the intellectual development of such a huge swath of America's youth.

From the New York Times:

After heavy criticism from Gov. Ron DeSantis, the College Board released on Wednesday an official curriculum for its new Advanced Placement course in African American Studies — stripped of much of the subject matter that had angered the governor and other conservatives.

The College Board purged the names of many Black writers and scholars associated with critical race theory, the queer experience and Black feminism. It ushered out some politically fraught topics, like Black Lives Matter, from the formal curriculum. . . .


Moskowitz Readies War Chest to Fight Co-Location Denial in NYC

The largest chain gang charter school company in NYC has over $100 million in assets, and it pays its CEO, Eva Moskowitz, almost $1 million each year.  In fact, the top eleven execs at Succ. Academy have higher salaries than the mayor of New York City, whose base pay is $260,000. Click chart to enlarge.

Even with unlimited funds available from Wall Street hedge funders, whose investments allow 1) dollar for dollar tax savings, 2) an ironclad social control mechanism for the black and brown populations, and 3) massive returns, Success Academy continues its strategy of targeting vulnerable public schools for co-location.  

Last week public school parents and children were able to halt the infection of three of their schools by the Success Academy virus. You can bet that Evil Eva is not done, however.