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Texas: Senate Leaders Lay Out Plan to Destroy Public Education


#1

Texas: Senate Leaders Lay Out Plan to Destroy Public Education

Diane Ravitch

Texas Republican leaders in the state senate unveiled their ambitiousplan to enact the ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) agenda for privatization of public education.

With the help of Texans for Education Reform and a battalion of highly paid lobbyists, the Republicans will promote charters, school choice, and accountability measures to stigmatize public schools.


#2

Nothing new here:

"In our dreams, people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hands. The present education conventions of intellectual and character education fade from their minds, and, unhampered by tradition, we work our own good will upon a grateful and responsive folk.
We shall not try to make these people, or any of their children, into philosophers, or men of science. We have not to raise up from them authors, educators, poets or men of letters. We shall not search for great artists, painters, musicians nor lawyers, doctors, preachers, politicians, statesmen -- of whom we have an ample supply.
The task is simple. We will organize children and teach them in a perfect way the things their fathers and mothers are doing in an imperfect way."

-John D. Rockefeller (1906)


#3

While the quote provides a bird's eye view into the minds of the Empire's chief architects, to say that there is nothing new blurs over the 30 year phase when education WAS about liberal values, imagination, inquiry, and a broader scope altogether.

Of course, in that era l960s-1980s, the opponents of The New Deal had not yet managed to fund and foment enough think tanks to dominate what passes for informed debate; and all print, book, radio, and TV media were not held in a few corporately concentrated hands; and the lobbying pool had not so fully descended upon Washington, D.C.

Neither was there yet NAFTA, the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, the fusion of both parties into one entity answerable to deep pocket corporate donors, or the infusion of private money into academe to thereby control the parameters of funded research so that entities like Monsanto could (falsely) assert the safety of biotech foods, and such.

Human history is a tug-of-war between the influence of concentrated power/elites and the voice and needs of The People.

It's chiefly been a recent deregulatory phase that allowed Big Money to control far too much of The Commons. Prior, progress WAS in evidence and much of it in response to the Vietnam war and fomented by Peace Groups, Civil Rights Groups, Gay Rights groups, Women's Rights Groups, and prescient Environmentalists.

There is a psychological component to The Shock Doctrine. I see it as the worse matters become--lousy jobs, greater frequency of Cancer, Depression, obesity, government figures selling out--the more likely it is that people will turn to religion for solace. There they find Authoritarian leaders telling them that their suffering is God's will, that the evils abundant in our midst are proof of End Times, and that people who don't follow the same narrow ideology (and rules!) that they do, are dangerous outsiders/sinners and/or untouchable persona non grata.

When the multitudes turn to the old religions, they lose the capacity to think for themselves. And it's the old Conservative patriarchs who use religion AS a call to war, a rationale for suppressing women's rights, and excuse for controlling children's minds that are what's holding back progress in this world. By imposing a one-size-fits all standardized model, no alternatives to the status quo that they built and they hold in place can emerge. THAT is how they thwart progress and control the masses.

The era of dominion by The Predators is coming to its denouement.


#4

Liberal public education was often co-opted and/or sabotaged by the "between-the-cracks" conservative operatives during the whole of the last century. Public education was essentially the battlefield du jour following WWII. A great deal of cognitive dissonance was developed, perhaps purposefully, during that time. I remember in the '60s getting the very same deer-the-headlights looks from my history teachers as from my sunday-school teachers in response to my queries. Both camps had a script that they could not explain. At least I could see that the history teachers knew that what they were spewing contrasted with what they had been taught. That solidified my skepticism for once and all time.

Enemies of humanism (and planetism) have prevailed in all sorts of cloaks and daggers. Newspeak slogans such as "Save Our Schools" can represent just about anything. Maybe we should go with "School Our 'Saviors'". Seems like what has occurred has been less like a pendulum and more like a fid helping to sew up (what's left of) humanity into a sack that can be tossed overboard (or left on the shore for rising waters to finish).

"By imposing a one-size-fits all standardized model, no alternatives to the status quo that they built and they hold in place can emerge. THAT is how they thwart progress and control the masses."

-Bingo. As an educator there is nothing more repulsive than homogenization. All the while, THEY continually bleat on about innovation and entrepreneurship. Rarely have I seen either in sheep or lemmings...


#6

Since the constitutional end of slavery, the goal has always been a captive missive labor force. The duopoly has conspired to provide it. In the last 30 years it has brazenly doubled down on its efforts. Unlimited wealth is not a sign of superior intelligence. It's a manifestation of tyranny. Unlimited wealth and democracy cannot long coexist.


#7

... am I wrong or is my sense that people are going to have to re-train themselves in America to 'THINK' part of the problem here? In fact, the whole of the problem? This is an unmistakable attempt to unjustly & horribly injure 10's of MILLIONS of current & future children in TX, w/this legislation, but the beauty of our Constitution is that it gives creative license to get as imaginatively creative as necessary, to PRESERVE the Constitutional rights of those unable to defend themselves or even have yet to be born. This simple perspective has broad, far-reaching consequences, by deploying a IX Amendment challenge, on the grounds that the State itself has no standing "...to deny or disparage others (rights) retained by the people...", as it is in the DISTINCT best interests of every state in the Union, to have an educated population, from childhood to college, in order that they grow to become model, useful & contributing members of society. This obligation, if unable to be carried out by the state, must be placed in the hands of the federal government, as it is also in our national interests that every citizen learn, know & understand their role in helping maintain a vital nation, thru competent, knowledgeable citizenship. This was the very opposition facing the 1st American generation in the establishment of our Republic, to do was is best for those isolated & forgotten - the most vulnerable - to have the law preemptively, strategically placed, in order to defend them, when unable to defend themselves. This is the genius of our Constitution & people should never fail to LOOK THERE for answers in defending the nation even now, 239 years on, against domestic factions who vehemently DESPISE the FREEDOMS & LIBERTIES the Constitution dispenses upon ALL citizens EQUALLY - whether we realize it or NOT!!! Legal scholars & Patriots - do YOUR JOB & GET ON THIS!!!


#8

The US movements rising in the 60's gave rise to some liberatory education approaches in the US in the 70s that, for a few years, taught teachers-to-be in teacher education programs at many levels in many places methods of teaching and supporting learning that embraced de-colonization, democratization, outing and questioning white supremacy, and much more. As the liberation movements were crushed, so, too, were these incipient programs for an education for freedom. But the struggle for freedom is never completely crushed, and it's rising again now. All of us must connect with the precious traditional and spontaneous knowledges we have and have been given to learn. What do we really need to learn and understand fully? How can we commit to this path? What shall we do right now?


#9

The debate about education for our children is generally couched in the narrative of public versus private education, that advocating parents having a choice of public versus private is an attack on public education. One of the great and wise benefits in our society is free public school education, at least through high school. But why must the debate be revolve around systems of education rather than what is best for children and parents, our communities and our nation. While I applaud our willingness to fund public education and pay taxes to do so, why should parents who want to send their children to private schools not have the same benefit of tax dollars when the public benefit or private education is the same as from public school education. Why ask parents to pay for their choice twice, once in taxes, then in expenses of their children's schooling. I don't think public school advocates should be threatened by parents selecting what is best for their children, it will make public school education better. and their are already many excellent public schools. Performance is not all about money.