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To follow is the press release:
The Progressive Magazine announces a major new online resource to EXPOSE the behind-the-scenes effort to privatize our public schools, and CONNECT pro-public school activists nationwide.
Official launch date: September 3, 2013 (that’s today).
• Live chats with major national figures in the pro-public school
• Original reporting telling the whole story of the behind-the-
scenes effort to privatize our public schools
• Breaking news updates by a national network of bloggers
• A hub to connect parents, teachers, and concerned citizens
who want to defend our public schools
• An interactive map tracking privatization legislation in the
Who’s Behind the Attack on Public Schools?
By Ruth Conniff, Brendan Fischer, and Rebecca Kemble
The attack on public education is an attack on the very heart of our democracy.
Yet the “school choice” movement has succeeded in setting the terms of the conversation. To the layperson, “school choice” and “education reform” sound like benign policy goals that aim to improve children’s access to high-quality education.
Too few lay people understand that behind these buzzwords there is a coordinated, well financed ideological attack on the very idea of free, excellent public schools that are open to every child.
Local organizations of parents, teachers, and activists lack the network and organization that the school-choice movement has built so effectively. This site will help fill that gap.
In straightforward, vivid, and comprehensible prose, we intend to lay out the threat to public education and help the ordinary citizens who are not education experts understand what is often opaque: What are vouchers? Are special needs children and minority and low-income students better off at voucher schools? What are the different types of charter schools? Are they public or private?
Why The Progressive?
While there are already several excellent resources tracking school voucher laws and their
effects by such groups as the National Education Policy Center in Boulder, Colorado, the
National Council of State Legislatures, and the National School Boards Association, there is
not yet a journalistic platform that makes this information immediately accessible, or that seeks to “localize” it with articles that put a human face on policy matters.
The Progressive Magazine is particularly well situated to provide such a platform. A national political magazine founded in 1909 by Fighting Bob La Follette, it has been a voice for democracy and social justice for over 100 years.
From our base in Madison, Wisconsin, we have made the attack on public schools a particular focus of our reporting.
Wisconsin is ground zero for the nationwide school privatization drive.
The first private-school voucher program was launched in Milwaukee by then-governor
Tommy Thompson in 1990.
In 2011, Governor Scott Walker made national headlines with his move to do away with collective bargaining by public-sector employees. Teachers, a particular target of Walker’s “divide and conquer” strategy, led the historic protests in Wisconsin.
Across the country, the fight is on.
Read more at Public School Shakedown.