Lies, Damn Lies, and David Brooks
Now there have been many exaggerations created by KIPP's multimillion dollar marketing machine in order to frame KIPP's segregated 10-hour a day culture-scrubbing chain gangs as the ultimate child civil rights intervention, but this truly reaches a new level of monstrous myth-making in terms of content. Most likely to learn chess, read Shakespeare, and argue about philosophy and physics? Whoa, David!
Jay Mathews is corporate media's expert on KIPP, and not even Mathews, in all his fawning over Levin and Feinberg in his book and in his endless promotion at WaPo or in interviews, even mentions chess programs, Shakepeare, philosophy, or physics in a KIPP school. Not even chief hedge fund KIPPster propagandist, Whitney Tilson, would make up such an obvious lie.
The amount of argument, on anything, in a KIPP school or one of KIPP's knock-offs, is between negligible and none, and if Shakespeare or philosophy is ever mentioned, it is most likely on one of the thousands of worksheets these children fill out every year. Has KIPP ever fielded a chess team or dance team? Not even a mention on any of KIPP's websites, much less in a news article. (There is a news story this week on KIPP's latest corporate madrassa in Jacksonville getting an "F" on Florida's new school rating system that asks children to write).
No doubt Brooks would like to assuage his under-developed neoliberal conscience with the self-delusion that the children in KIPPs and the KIPP wannabes have given up their childhoods for something, at least, of some value. After all, a real education might take some of the bad taste off the years of psychological brutality and behavioral neutering that these children suffer as they learn the Seligman way of absorbing any level of abuse heaped on them as preparation for the Oligarchy's global economy. Sorry, David, that's just not the case. If you want to find schools with rich curriculum, go where the rich are. Try Westchester County, or Bethesda, where you live, David. The real question, David: would you send your own children to these schools that you tout as most likely to teach Shakespeare, philosophy, and chess?
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