No Child Left Behind: Critical Blog

Want to know the effects of education policy thats main purpose is to remove adult human decision-making power from educators?

Here is a source on No Child Left Behind (NCLB):

http://susanohanian.org/index.html

The Road to Perdition: Charter Schools

The state of Minnesota used to have a good education system. Then the Baptists organized working class voters to vote for those most holy baby-savers, the Republicans, whereupon the Republicans set about destroying public education, among other collective assets of the working class. Sound familiar? The way they destroyed public education was through Charter schools.

How do Charter schools destroy public education, in order to wipe out an organized middle class of teachers, channel (public and private) education dollars to rich kids, and create a big low-educated/low-skill serf population for the local businessmen to use?

(1) Charter schools don’t take enough high-cost students. Students with little human capital, struggling families, or disabilities cost more to educate. The public schools educate them. Charter schools don’t; it’s not financially advantageous for them. This means that there is built-in misallocation of funding in a system with Charter schools. It’s a system designed for failure–to ultimately convince working people that, unlike the rich, they have no collective assets, they’re isolated and powerless sitting ducks. As missionary David Paszkiewicz explained to his missionary subjects in a high school in Kearny, New Jersey, “The purpose of public school is to provide free education for people that can’t afford education. What it’s become is social engineering” (Harper’s Magazine, July 2007: 27).

(2) Charter schools take too much money out of the public trough for wasteful reasons, spending it profligately on lower-needs students. For example, in Minneapolis, all Charter school students are bussed on the public dime. But if a child goes to a public school, she has to walk to school if she lives within a mile of it. Because many Americans are chronically terrified by racist and classist right-wing fear mongering, and also cleave to an obesity lifestyle, families will send their children to Charter schools–if they can–just to avoid having the child walk to school or walking the child to school. That’s only one drop in the misallocation bucket.

(3) Most Charter School teachers are not unionized. This means (a) that “people” (read: women) who are interested in educating are expected to invest in expensive higher education in order to teach, and then squander that investment on insecure, low-status, low-pay temp jobs. Although we always expect women to work for “love” (AKA free), it’s not an economically rational system; it is designed to fail. And (b) the decline of a unionized middle class sector–educators–means that public policy formation is left to the remaining regional actors with organizational power–businessmen, Republican political organizers, and doctors. If you want to know what rapacious class warfare is, I suggest you study the politics of these men.

Interlude
State Politics Run By Local and National Wealthy Elites Alone: The AMA

For instance, the only non-despotic medical organization is Medecins sans Frontiers. The AMA (American Medical Association), on the other hand, is one of the most regressive, cruel, self-serving cabals that has plagued the American political scene. My study of Oregon state neoconservative politics since 1970 was where I discovered what a bunch of jackals the AMA is. The virulent history of AMA politics is recorded in a number of studies, including Jill Quadagno’s “One Nation Uninsured: Why the US Has No National Health Insurance,” Colin Gordon’s “Dead on Arrival,” and Bartlett & Steele’s “Critical Condition.”

Remember, even though it’s convenient to cloak themselves in a fine veneer of noblesse oblige, most people really become doctors for one reason only: to get rich. To be a doctor you usually have to make plans and follow an education protocol in your teenage years. If that’s not steered by status-conscious mom and dad, then look at t.v. and consider what kinds of “noble” things inspire most young people: tennis club memberships, expensive cars, big houses. The hunger for social advantage doesn’t stop at the examination room door. The AMA is always there to fight competitively against the welfare of the working class. Inequality = poor health = profit.

Back to our Regularly-scheduled Treatise on Charter Schools:

Look, everybody thinks they can do a better job than other working class (AKA “middle” class) people. That’s how you’re *supposed* to think as a non-capitalist in a capitalist system. You’re supposed to compete with others of your lowly station, so that owners might bargain down your price. So it is not unusual to harbor the illusion that all you have to do to get a better education for children is to replace teachers with yourself. My experience is this: the people most likely to decide that they should have or control someone else’s work are the people who are both ignorant and contemptuous of what that work involves. Yes, some people are not great at their jobs. However, if you want to improve education, and you think you’re the gal for the job, then at first, just get a degree in teaching, and teach, and join a union. And then tell us about your ideas for reform, which doubtlessly feature some version of forcing teachers to tapdance while students, lawmakers, and Chamber of Commerce-types throw pennies and vegetables at them.

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