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Lessons To Be Learned From New Orleans-Style Education Reform


Lessons To Be Learned From New Orleans-Style Education Reform

Jeff Bryant

As the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina approaches, you can count on seeing a lot of glowing stories about the great education progress made in New Orleans since a natural disaster killed nearly 2,000 people, emptied a beloved city, and gave public school reformers what they always wanted: a “clean slate” to have their way unencumbered by the messiness of school boards, local politics, and the voices of teachers and parents.


Excellent analysis of a topic that can not be simplified by headline statistics. Mr. Bryant gets to the underlying paucity of controls used when developing numbers for talking points. Unfortunately the corporate pigs have been at the public trough tasting the waters for decades; first through textbooks, then through school lunch outsourcing, and now they want the whole enchilada.


It’s all about privatizing the schools, busting the unions, eliminating pensions and benefits, destroying teacher bargaining rights and turning teachers into short term at will employees. The reformers hate government and believe that the REAL public schools are socialistic. Charter schools are private schools that siphon off public funds. But that’s not enough for the school reformers (destroyers), they also want to institute school vouchers in which parents can take public tax money to enroll their kids at private schools and religious schools.


"After Katrina, as NPR reported recently, “an ad hoc coalition of elected leaders and nationally known charter advocates formed,” and in “a series of quick decisions,” all school employees were fired and the vast majority of the city’s schools were handed over to a state entity called the “Recovery School District” which is governed by unelected officials. Only a “few elite schools were … allowed to maintain their selective admissions schools.”

One reason this action was able to take place so quickly is because it was planned in the immediate aftermath of the storm while the city was in complete disarray. As an article in The Times-Picayune reports, a “lost bit of history” recently surfaced revealing a hidden chain of events that sealed the fate of New Orleans public schools."

The above follows the protocols of the Shock Doctrine to a T. Add in the way Detroit was taken over so that the majority of citizens can’t even afford water, and these cities–formerly cultural staples to the Black community represent the poster “child” blueprints for others…of what’s to come.


“For instance, claims about increases in percentages of students on grade level in NOLA RSD have to be held in light of the fact the state changed the formula and scale for measuring grade level performance from 2012-2013, which artificially inflated the district’s performance.”

This is how “Rule By Deception” operates.

Add in the following:

  1. Torture rebranded as “enhanced” (which typically elicits in the imagination, a sense of something being improved upon) “interrogation” (which suggests questioning, not activity)
  2. Obama’s Health CARE plan… the word care implies caring, but this plan is mostly a financial pay-off to the nation’s usurious Insurance companies.

EVERYTHING is being repackaged or rebranded to deceive citizens about what its purposes are and for whom it’s been designed to serve; nor is this insidious form of disinformation only being practiced inside the U.S.

What came to mind reading the above quote was the way that Japan’s Abe changed the numbers around that alleging demarcated “safe” exposures to particular forms of nuclear radiation… after Fukushima’s initial hit.


Add in:

  1. Private companies controlling election machines
  2. Private companies renting out trained (private) army militias
  3. Private companies determining what’s in our food and denying us, the citizenry, the right to know the ingredients (particularly if genetic manipulation is involved)
  4. Private companies writing the textbooks
  5. Private companies owning (as in full capture) the public’s air waves
  6. Private companies writing the trade agreements that also contain laws of consequence to public health, labor rights, and environmental protections
  7. Private insurance companies acting as the arbiters between life (and what quality of life) and death for lots of persons

It’s insane.

The very ones complaining that govt. does everything wrongly, or that govt, involves too many rules are the same moral sharks who would unleash the corporations onto the world without any checks, balances, or operational laws in place to control or thwart the rapacious extent of their greed.


“When even the most ardent school choice advocates are disappointed with what’s been accomplished in the American school system offering the ultimate in choice, you have to be skeptical about making choice a remedy for education problems…”

Wow. Like deja vu all over again.

Military “experts,” assorted P.R. war-selling types and their hacks positioned in key American newspapers all make a false case for war; and damned if they aren’t doing it all over again. First they came for Syria, now it’s Russia, the bigger prize (if Armageddon turns you on and/or you’re devoted to making ceaseless profits for the unconscionable war profiteer caste).

Monsanto and friends continue pushing the natural selection process in weeds that resist pesticides so that they up the ante on their latest toxic brews… in a WAR that never can BE won; while Vandana Shiva and the more nature-respecting intelligent agricultural experts explain how soil can be rebuilt through the patient tending of millions of peasant farmers.

But it’s Monsanto’s interests protected in the recent sicko trade pacts… and companies of this type will view natural farming as an impediment to their profits and probably work to oppose it!

The gun nuts insist that the weekly American “shoot-outs” are just about lone nuts or those who have mental problems, as a culture absolutely saturated in violence sees more guns sold and the same ridiculous arguments propped up to “justify” a climate of brutality that’s busting out all over. So far, in syncopated pulses.

The war on drugs is a dud… it’s never brought numbers down and has instead built up dangerous drug cartels in a variety of nations. Note how it marches on… because it’s become its own pervasive “law and order” form of infrastructure.

The war on Cancer is HUGELY profitable. Treating this disease that any sane person recognizes is a direct byproduct of all the toxic chemical crap poured into our air, water, soil, foodstuffs and selves… is a multi-billion dollar “industrial empire.” So we hear all the little jingles about “finding a cure” while the central causes for the exponential rise in (all sorts of) Cancer rates stays hidden.

What all of these have in common is that BAD practices–ones that are profitable to some influential corporations–become INSTITUTIONALIZED and then the argument is put in place that disrupting the status quo would result in so much financial loss as well as major job eliminations.

Ditto the banksters’ beyond-the-pale fiscal heist-hustle. They gamed the systems, sold crappy bets on bad loans and got govt. (that means US) to bail them out; and nothing outside of symbolic slaps on the wrist are in place to prevent the big house of cards from tumbling onto The People while the rich laugh it off in their castles and underground bunkers.

All the crap goes on and NONE of it works… if by work we mean benefits REAL people outside of “a small circle of well-heeled friends.” Since this same ilk can reap bounty from raping the education system, that IS what they are doing. They hire PR people to make this latest graft look like a “gift” or “reform” or “improvement” to the American people. They set up their own paid legions of experts to create “evidence” to support another well-planned heist.

That is what these Shock Doctrine sociopaths specialize in. Human, animal, plant, and mineral life are nothing to them: collateral damage used to ring up their Midas touch profits.


Whether its education/schools or any other area, whenever the corporate model is brought it the primary mission quickly turns to making money rather than what the purpose of the entity or the reason it exists. Schools become profit generating factories instead of places where everyone has equal opportunities to learn.


I agree PC. Schools should not be for profit since it takes time, patience, and intelligence to teach & learn which are not amenable to industrial processes…
the same can be said for medical practices and health care. Perhaps government services can be included. Trading off your rolodex, into lobbying and political
speeches for profit - but I’m preaching to the choir.


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