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A Lesson As We Head Back to School: While Elites Cut, the Masses Build


A Lesson As We Head Back to School: While Elites Cut, the Masses Build

Kevin Kumashiro

As students and educators gear up for back-to-school this month, more and more of us are asking how we should make sense of public education in this political moment. The history of social movements makes clear that people want political education in moments of crisis and repression, and that they want to mobilize when they see reasons for hope. The Highlander Folk School, for instance, offered such education and hope for the building of the Civil Rights Movement, which then seeded hundreds of citizenship schools and freedom schools across the South.


“Education can strengthen our democracy when it raises our consciousness, reframes the debate, and mobilizes the public to retool the core levers of change to advance equity and justice.”


“In our dream we have limitless resources, and the people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hand. The present educational conventions fade from our minds; and, unhampered by tradition, we work our own good will upon a grateful and responsive rural folk. We shall not try to make these people or any of their children into philosophers or men of learning or of science. We are not to raise up among them authors, orators, poets, or men of letters. We shall not search for embryo great artists, painters, musicians. Nor will we cherish even the humbler ambition to raise up from among them lawyers, doctors, preachers, statesmen, of whom we now have ample supply."​
–Frederick T. Gates (advisor to John D. Rockefeller)

“Never let your schooling interfere with your education.” (paraphrase of an idea often attributed to Mark Twain)


“Education can strengthen our democracy when it raises our consciousness, reframes the debate, and mobilizes the public”

Why do you think public education has been dumbed-down, de-funded/underfunded, and privatized over decades? The way Public Ed is (generally) funded is thru property taxes on our homes…and that is no accident either! Home-owners are made to choose between paying what they cannot afford or good education…those least able to pay…usually the choice is less .just to survive. The wealthy PTB use property taxes to avoid paying their fair share and under-funding Public Ed. We must change to a system of progressive income-tax funding (those most able to pay) for pubic ed!

In NY we had a vibrant strong movement for real prop tax reform but were betrayed by politicians! Cuomo led the betrayal, and many lower-level sellouts dropped to their knees for him…Cuomo sold us out and sabotaged the movement - now he is claiming he is a “leader” he is a full-of-shite sellout liar!.

The Equity in Education Act was shelved and its elected rep proponents bought-off…you know who you are!

" It is a long-recognized fact that school property taxes are the greatest burden to homeowners in much of New York State, outside the City of New York. Equally known is that the quality of education that children in this state receive is unequal and highly dependent upon the wealth of the community they live in. Now is the time for a workable solution to assure equity in education and relief of the local school real property tax obligation and substitute it with a plan for complete state funding of primary and secondary education and a formula that assures that every student has the same opportunity without regard to their zip code. I am the prime sponsor of The Equity in Education Act (A.91) and the 21st Century Schools Act (A.112) that would accomplish those goals in five years’ time. Acknowledging the problem is not the same as addressing the solution. It’s time for the Governor to move on to the latter."

http://nyassembly.gov/mem/Kevin-A-Cahill/story/78825 - the public sold-out by corruption, fear and timidity!


Yep, it appears that there has always been a caste system in America…all women of any race and persons of any non- white skin need not apply. Thank goodness most didn’t listen---------otherwise , what a sad and boring society we would be. Although it’s often a struggle----but then the prize is even greater then. ( recently inspired by a tape of Mario Salvio. : )