In June, as the primary was getting closer, I suggested a series of questions that anyone should ask our Oklahoma State Superintendent candidates.
Leaders in the corporate, hedge fund controlled, charter outfits love to use the phrase “disruptive change” as code for “we are taking over from those slow, stupid public school administrators and teachers because we can do it better.” But judging from their last few years’ track records, it’s looking like they are past due for some “disruptive change” within their own operations to root out the theft of tax dollars and short-changing of students in dire need of a true education.
This is America. We want to believe that if there is a problem anywhere that involves violence, then we should be able to overcome it with even more violence. But, sometimes that just won’t work.
This is the 3rd in a series of three posts pointing out how corporate, investor-owned charter school organizations have chosen to experiment at the expense of children who are mostly from poor families.
Part 1 of this series focused on New Orleans and the radical experiment there with ALL charter schools serving the city this year. I showed that New Orleans is an example of how investors and hedge fund managers see “reform” experiments as an option only for the poor. We really don’t see much, if any experimentation being proposed in the upper economic sectors of this country right now.
Next, let’s look at another example of the callous disregard for the future of poor children to serve the business desires of investors and edu-corporations.
Democrats had two unusually good choices in this runoff race for the State Superintendent nomination between two long-time, dedicated education leaders: Freda Deskin and John Cox, the winner.
Now it is a race between John Cox and Joy Hofmeister. Both have a long track record of personal integrity. Both have a long track record of dedication to educational leadership and compassion for children. Both are highly personable, winsome, likeable people who understand the motivations of teachers and administrators.
Unless Hofmeister shifts positions, what will distinguish these two candidates will be their stance on “reform” as ALEC defines it, which means corporate charter schools and management corporations profiting at taxpayer expense.
Never really getting true reform, Michelle Rhee has stepped down from her role as the leading spokesperson for the corporation schools front organization Students First.
She held fast to an ideology – yes, ideology and not data – that denies the power of poverty in interrupting poor students’ education. Instead, she focused on schools and teachers that serve those areas of high poverty. She placed blame liberally on teachers, insisting that with better teaching, poor students could succeed in spite of their poverty.
“Vote to let us destroy publicly owned schools (that allow access to all) so that we can skim profits from educating only the most well-adjusted students at taxpayer expense.”
How do you think that would go over? It wouldn’t. That’s why we hear a much more subtle, carefully staged argument.
- Martyr pose.
It’s just what we were expecting. Amazing.
There was a larger-than-usual crowd gathered at the Oklahoma State Board of Education meeting yesterday, June 26th. The room filled completely although the location had been changed to a huge Oklahoma Senate hearing room to accommodate it.
After some formalities, Supt. Barresi started off saying that she wanted to first make “some brief comments”. Here is about the first 2 1/2 minutes of those opening remarks. If you can’t take even that much, just stop it and keep reading.
There are 3 education questions that, when answered or dodged, tell all about a politician’s stance on public education: