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Arne Duncan: Testocracy Tsar. Educational Alchemist. Corporate Lackey


#1


#2

Don't forget to disdain his predecessors and the many apparatchiks who have seized control of the "public" school system. From the Prussian model to privatization, the public schools were seen by the rich to serve ONLY as training facilities to mint labor. EDUCATION was to be the purview of the rich, exclusively. The "philanthropy" of J.D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie was largely aimed at just this end. In 'murca, if you want to be trained to do X, go to school Y; if you want to be educated, do it yourself.

The evisceration and constraint of public education has done FAR more damage to the US than any terrorist ever could. One might say it was an inside job.


#3

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#4

Micro managing education works about as well and everything else we have tried to manage; the forests, wildlife, fisheries, the ocean. In other words...NOT.


#5

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#6

Like a 500 piece puzzle with all the pieces from different puzzles.


#7

The author's personal antagonism toward Duncan aside, the secretary of Education only reflects the prevalent American neo-liberal ideological framework, which is fixated on economic competitiveness and technofetishism. Accountability ("are you getting your money's worth?") in education =quantification=standardized tests, the go-to of politicians who are lawyers and business people and have zero understanding of how children learn (and probably are completely indifferent in most cases). It's a big social experiment that the American public has participated in until they realized that it was making children tune out and leave in droves. The testing won't go away until the underlying narratives are proven false.


#8

Problem--Reaction--Solution:

"One of Duncan’s primary objectives has been the privatization of education through the dramatic expansion of charter schools. But as The Washington Post reported, an audit by the Department of Education’s own inspector general found “that the agency has done a poor job of overseeing federal dollars sent to charter schools.” This lack of oversight laid the foundation for a recent report from the Center for Popular Democracy and the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools (AROS), which found some $200 million in “alleged and confirmed financial fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement” committed by charter schools around the country."

By underfunding public schools, setting impossible test score standards, and robbing children of meaningful learning, a pretext is developed to serve as rationale for funneling public funds into private institutions.

For years I have pointed out that most of these charter schools are religious, and I received ZERO support from this so-called Progressive forum. A cursory review of European history shows what happens to ALL civil liberties (and any premise of a free society) once the church and state act in unison.

There are very real laws that separate church from state and prohibit public funds from funding church-run institutions.

I am about mid-way through Barry Lynn's book, "God and Government." It was gratifying to find confirmation through his massive research on what I knew to be true (without having documentation to prove it).

Here are a few significant quotes from said text:

(p. 39) "The goal of many in the Catholic hierarchy and their friends in the Protestant Religious Right is an affirmative demand for funds for their missions and ministries, including parochial schools. In South Carolina, there has been a great deal of money given from out of the state by individuals and foundations that are trying to gin up enthusiasm for school vouchers or tuition tax credits (most accurately characterized as "back door vouchers"), which would indisputably primarily assist religious schools. Legislation to give tax credits for private school tuition and the cost of "home schooling" has also been introduced. The efforts in S.C. would allow tax deductions for tuition spend at private schools and for certain costs of home schooling."

(P. 46) "Section 3 of the Florida Constitution said, "The language utilized in this provision is clear and unambiguous. No revenue of the state or any poitical subdivision or agency thereof shall ever be taken from the public treasury directly or indirectly in aid of any church, sect, or religious denomination or in aid of any sectarian institution."

(P.53) "Most private schools in America are religious in nature. They're largely free from government oversight. Most of them teach dogma. Fundamentalist academies, for example, substitute creationism for science, and base all instruction on a narrow reading of the Bible."

Between the use of religion--and blind faith followers of Christian fundamentalism--to start and spread wars, deny women reproductive sovereignty (increasingly, by limiting funding & access, among other things) over their own bodies, demonize Muslims, and hold back the fiscal endowments required to offset global warming... it is DANGEROUS when church and state wed together to produce virtual idiots!

THESE people are the ones holding back progress... not some uniform ocean of all souls, the great collective WE-meme trafficked in this forum like a dubious opiate!

And it's mortifying to me that so few GET THIS. It strengthens my concern that the regulars who post here are uniformed troops who see nothing wrong with the Christianization of this nation, or Holy War, for that matter... even if tying the premise of war to the idea of "holy" constitutes the 2nd greatest oxymoron ever devised... after Military Intelligence!


#9

How is it that you think the narratives CAN be proven false when the same ilk that's come up with all the buzzwords, fake policies, and orchestrated pretexts for using them happen to control ALL of mass media? And even when truths are relayed across the Internet, they tend to reach balkanized communities of already awakened (to Truth) souls.

There are 3 cataclysmic phenomena taking place in slow motion. In concert, these 3--along with the prodigious amounts of pain, misery, anger, and outrage they galvanize--will catalyze a very different world than what is currently being negotiated.

They include:

  1. The absolute coming apart of the great web-works of living ecosystems, i.e. the biosphere

  2. The absolute corruption of money starting with the U.S. dollar's outrageous house of cards (thanks to the deregulatory craze that unleashed the venture fund vulture capitalists, hedge funds have set up loss-exposures into the many trillions. These are UNFUNDED and can NEVER be paid back).

  3. The spreading of wars, weapons, AND weapons of mass destruction in a world made less and less stable by items 1 & 2... all the time.

Add in the specific pain felt by women, Muslims. Blacks, impoverished and displaced Central and Latin American "guest workers," and all of those animals that no longer have viable habitats...

The Hopis see this as the end of The Fourth World... with a Fifth eventually rising from the ashes.


#10

There are other "benefits" besides training for yesterday's jobs: training to be good, constant consumers; training to compete against others rather than with them; and training to be life-long children in a world where authority has all the answers.


#12

You ask how narratives can be proven false when those initiating them are controlling the media. That's a good question! Basically, societal shifts don't occur until prevailing paradigms become so unworkable that people start looking for something better. Right now, utilitarianism in education has permeated our discourse, so that even little kids have become indoctrinated to think they are going to school so they can get a good job. Standardized testing has become so onerous, however, that teachers and families are starting to rebel, and actually questioning the "truths" being fed them by the establishment. That's a good thing.
As far as the rest of your comment, yes, these events are taking place. I personally hesitate to quote Native American tribal "prophecies" as it takes considerable cross-cultural background or even immersion to really understand their references.


#13

When I saw the word "Testocracy" in the title, I thought, yeah...that's exactly what we have. A testosterone ruled government.
(I will steal this word and twist it to my own devices!)


#14

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#15

One of the many reasons why I have no real respect for Obummer. This shameless hack, Duncan, was the person that Barry the Liar thought would be an excellent Education Secretary. He nominated him just as he also appointed El Rahmbo who went from being his arrogant DLC-guided Chief of Staff to the arrogant, public school busting, corrupt mayor of Chicago. Just another example of why "Change You Can Believe In" was bullshit. And Shillary with help from another hack, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, is making her play for power in order to keep the neo-liberal, privatize everything in sight, and bomb the Middle East agenda going.


#16

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#17

I agree as per the paradigm shifting component to this shift. I've been speaking about that for years.


#18

Public education has failed too many students for too long, and a quick glance at American voter intelligence and critical thinking confirms this. The author advocates that we "fundamentally shift the balance of power away from the executive board room and towards the classroom." But that is where the power has been all along, and it has not been a huge success. Let's face it: the quality of the teaching force is uneven, and embarrassingly so. Every parent is aware that there are both great as well as sub par teachers within each school, and that a year spent with a mediocre teacher can be fatal to a student's growth. But union protectionism makes it difficult to weed out those who are not suited to be teachers--or who lack the curiosity, content knowledge and personal skills to excel. If there are too many tests, then the number should definitely be reduced. But enough with the scapegoating, the smoke and mirrors trying to shift the blame away from the classroom. Testing by itself is legitimate, and can also be linked to teacher performance. Merit pay is also legitimate. When too many students spend 12 years in our schools without learning to think, then even "teaching to the test" may be the lesser of two evils. I would like to see the author prescribe what he thinks can be done to turn all of our public schools around. But it seems that what he really wants is a return to the status quo--where we have always been. And we tried that already.


#20

Speaking badly about it for years. Who could understand what you wrote?!