For the news and views you might have missed
Over this holiday weekend, I would recommend going through Catalyst’s In-Depth report of Arne Duncan’s Renaissance 2010, the plan for Chicago schools that he rolled out as CEO of the Chicago Pubic School system. He heralded his plan as a success and his appointment to Secretary of Education was based on this so-called “success”.
He then took that model of Renaissance 2010 and projected it onto school districts around the country re-titling it “Race to the Top”. The results of this expensive effort has shown mixed results at best.
Another interesting and informative article on Arne Duncan’s Renaissance 2010 plan describing how and why it developed in Chicago was published in Rethinking Schools last year. The full version can be found at Common Dreams.org.
Both are recommended reads.
To understand what that means to these children and to our country, watch Frontline : Poor Kids
This process -- a handful of the wealthiest people in our country controlling the political process -- is called "oligarchy."
The great political struggle we now face is whether the United States retains its democratic heritage or whether we move toward an oligarchic form of society where the real political power rests with a handful of billionaires, not ordinary Americans.
Woody Guthrie, arguably the most revered forerunner of the Greenwich Village scene had a sign taped to his guitar during his time in World War II that read, “This machine kills fascists.” And when he returned to the states when the war was over he decided that the sign was still relevant.
“People would ask him… ‘Hey Woody, Hitler’s dead, why don’t you take the sign off? And he would reply ‘Well this fascism comes around whenever the rich people get the generals to do what they want."
More Than A Score: Jesse Hagopian
Confessions of a Bad Teacher: John Owens
Death of the Liberal Class: Chris Hedges
Dollarocracy: Robert Waterman McChesney
Reign of Error: Diane Ravitch
The Operators: Michael Hastings: Want to know where over 50% of each tax dollar is going? Read this book.
The Party is Over: Mike Lofgren
The Shock Doctrine: Naomi Klein
"I believe in standardizing automobiles. I do not believe in standardizing human beings. Standardization is a great peril which threatens American culture."
ALEC Exposed-The Privatization of Public Schools:
And more about the Koch brothers and their dad: kochexposed.org
Charter School Scandals
Charter School Scams and Scamsters
Class Size Matters:
Common Core Standards:
Democrats for Education Reform
Teach for America:
"Any time hedge fund managers...when they walk into the inner city areas and start talking about poor children's education, it's not because they want kids to read and write, it's because they know that the federal government spends $600B on education and they want it and they're going to get it."
"There is something grotesque about the fact that education reform is being led not by educators but by financiers and speculators and billionaires."