136 in the collection
The NPE/Fairtest Machine: Culpability High, Credibility Low
Of course, none of that was true, except for the fact that Ravitch was on board the Lamar Alexander privatization train barreling toward passage of a more damaging version of NCLB. Lamar has been at it for so long that anyone with Ravitch's history knows where his priorities are.
Defanging of ED? I think not. What the Feds have done is allow the charter industry to write most of this ESEA update and the corporate foundations to write the rest. The result is a states rights version of ESEA, which, as Gary Orfield has noted, will "set the country back by more than a half century."
Meanwhile, the Feds, who have spent $3.3 billion on charters over the past two decades, will escalate the handouts to the segregating charter industry for new and established "no excuses" charters to buy everything from real estate to scantron machines:
Even without passage of the
So while the Feds at ED have been de-fanged in terms of regulation and oversight for segregated charters and the corporate teacher education that they will fund over the coming years, the budgets at ED, with the passage of ESEA, will remain overflowing with education privatization dollars that will go to any outfit waving a charter school flag.
But surely, at least, Ravitch must be right that the new ESEA will strip "federal power to ruin schools and the lives of children and educators." Yes? Once again, not true.
In fact, annual mandated testing will continue unabated. Even though Monty Neill, now acting as front man for Ravitch, argues that AYP and sanctions have been eliminated, this is not accurate.
The 5 percent rule, however, remains a central privatization tool in the new ESEA, which means that the bottom five percent of test-scoring schools, i. e., the poorest schools, must be targeted for turnaround each year. And with a new bottom 5 percent guaranteed in perpetuity (or until all schools have been privatized), tell me again that sanctions have been eliminated.
Obfuscation, dissembling, and lies.
The NPE/Fairtest Machine: Culpability High, Credibility Low, Part 2
In Part 1,
Both of the concerns with the updated NCLB, which were expressed in an NPE fund-raising ad , were with specific elements, one having to do with siphoning Title II money for "social impact bonds" to benefit corporations, and the other concerned with federal proficiency and growth demands based on test scores.
NPE expressed no concern about any of the other bill's multitude of shortcomings, profiteering opportunities, segregative influences, damaging directives, privatizing incentives, or corporate welfare initiatives.
As of today, Ravitch's specific reservations regarding the ESSA passed by the House have been reduced to the one having to do with social impact bonds. Gone is her earlier concern over test based proficiency and growth demands, even though that problem remains in the House passed version of HR 5 (pp. 26-27) (pdf file) :
Does Ending the Disease Require Killing the Patient?
The toxicity of NCLB has led NPE and Fairtest to conclude that anything that may bring an end to some of the suffering caused by the NCLB poison must be a good thing. Regardless. No matter that the remedy that promises temporary relief is going to kill us in the near term.
It seems to have never occurred to those embracing this kind of dispirited masochism that there may be a cure to the disease that does not kill the patients. Ravitch posted today a commentary by Jeff Bryant, whose work I normally respect but in this case argues unconvincingly that getting rid of AYP, dumping Arne Duncan, and damping the malicious incompetence at ED are enough to call the new version of NCLB a "modest step forward."
Bryant cites Monty Neill at Fairtest as his inspiration in believing that this bill, the same one that sets education back to an era of states right segregation, can be a positive move. How can it be?
Another thing that bothers me about Bryant's analysis is that he points to criticism of the new ESEA by the NAACP and the Southern Poverty Law Center as coming from "outliers" on the leftist fringe. Just how far has the Right pushed our consciousness when these mainstream organizations like NAACP and SPLC can be labeled as outliers?
Does that really preserve the rational mainstream only for those who will accept this corporate states rights version of ESEA, which is the Orwellian antithesis of the ESEA conceived fifty years ago as a tool for achieving educational justice and social equality? How haywire has the moral and political compasses become?
Why is that we cannot take the time, and it will not take years, to develop legislation that will cure this problem, rather than pretending that doubling down on corporate education control and failed accountability systems provides the only option we have?
There is a major social thought disorder at work here, mixed with a lethal form of corruption.
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