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Privatizing Public Education

Teachers in public schools—and the schools themselves—are under attack. They are fighting for their professional lives. The assault is part of a national neo-political movement that’s fighting for control of public funding on many fronts. The gold rush of mass privatization is already chipping away at our public lands, military, healthcare, corrections, transportation, and much more. Those takeovers were easy pickings. The impact on America has been costly.

The battle for our public schools isn’t new. It’s just taking longer than some profiteers would like.

That’s because our public schools represent a much more complex take-over target. Public schools are glass houses with thousands of stakeholders watching in every state. The recall of the school board in Jefferson County, Colorado is a great example of what an informed and motivated group of stakeholders can do in the face of corruption, collusion and fraud. Arizona is recalling the state’s Superintendent of Public Schools, Diane Douglas. Arizona’s Governor Ducey is reluctant to pay up on a recent court judgement that says Arizona owes public schools more than $330 million. When public servants ignore the best interests of communities in favor of greedy political agendas, they become public enemies.

To accomplish these subversive take-overs, public schools are being thrust into crisis in an attempt to dismantle them completely. Our public schools have been converted into turf wars for the benefit of Wall Street and foreign corporations. Students, families and entire communities are caught in the crossfire. It’s an assault on democracy and it’s an assault on our children. Citizens and elected officials alike must defend our children’s civil right to public education.

As a result of the forced dysfunction, students are less prepared for college than ever. National SAT scores reached an all-time low in 2015 as public schools are being bled to death by a focus on over-testing, comparisons, vouchers, charter schools, special interests and partisan political battles.

If the crisis capitalists overthrow our public schools, a select group of private corporations can capture a multi-billion pot of gold that’s refilled every year with hard-earned taxpayer dollars.

Meanwhile, charter schools—the proposed solution—are riddled with corruption, debt and bankruptcy. Even in the face of mass favoritism, private schools are struggling to serve just a small fraction of the students served by public schools. Mass privatization is not a solution to reform. It’s merely a pathway to private enrichment. The privatization of public education under false pretenses is already causing damage to our communities, state and nation on many fronts. Our students, families and communities are being held hostage in the dysfunctional gridlock.

Public School Teachers Demonized

Even though teachers are still overworked, underpaid and buying many of their own classroom materials, they have been framed as part of the problem in our schools. Teachers are being positioned as scapegoats. They are being marginalized to silence their large political voice in the fraudulent race to reform.

Teachers and their unions represent the greatest threats to this sick form of crisis capitalism. Teachers are the largest constituency within public education. They represent a powerful voting block in every district. The privateers must neutralize this vocal voting block in every state in order to advance their agenda. As such, teachers have been marginalized, demonized and fragmented. Attempts to keep the teachers’ unions from recruiting new members have been experienced and documented. It’s old-fashioned union busting at its worst. The formula has worked very well in Wisconsin.

Stakeholders across America are being told that our students are failing in international comparisons. We are told to blame teachers and break their unions, turn more of our public education system over to private interests and rely ever more upon tests to make critical decisions. These and other tactics are designed to delegitimize and ultimately destroy meaningful public education. Subversives are bleeding schools to death and forcing dysfunction upon them. They are promoting poverty among many students, teachers and communities, while promoting corporate greed.

This movement is being cloaked as a push for accountability, competition and choice. Privatization is being sold as a path to cost containment. Those elements are nowhere to be found in the substance of this elaborate scheme. 

Public School News via:

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