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'The tragedy of the Public Commons': California City College and the neo-enclosure movement in education


Note:
KQED News Fix Advocates for City College of San Francisco In Court to Keep School Open
--KQED blog, Dec. 27, 2013


by Danny Weil

Readers who are familiar with the controversy over the City College of San Francisco (CCSF) and the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC's) failure to accredit the once community college, are also familiar with the Lumina Foundation and the role it played in assuring that CCSF would not be re-accredited.

College and university accrediting agencies are much like stock rating agencies: they are in the hands of the one percent. Moody's (owned by Warren Buffet) and Standard and Poors or Fitch all 'rate' stocks. Look how they rated the sub-prime mortgage stocks (Triple A) or Enron. They work for Wall Street and are faux 'agencies' designed to dupe the public into thinking they provide some 'oversight'. I am reminded of car and auto magazines which rate 'cars and trucks'. They too are endorsed and run by industry.

The same is true for the agencies that accredit colleges. They are tied into the Wall Street mob, like the Lumina Foundation, which poses as a public charity when in fact it is founded on the sound principles of advocacy philanthropy designed to decimate the public commons in exchange for public largess. In North Carolina, American Legislative Exchange Council members (ALEC), working with Kaplan University, a for-profit scam even passed laws which turned college accrediting agencies over to for-profit colleges.

"Occupied" accrediting agencies now work to assure that colleges and universities dance to the tune of Wall Street investors. If they do not, then they become, as did CCSF, targets and low hanging fruit for the silk backed predators. Coup dâétat comes to mind.

As I recently penned:

"To take over such accrediting agencies like the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), Lumina provides large 'grants' or payoffs to the accrediting agencies that are packed with sycophantic Lumina all-stars willing to swing the wrecking ball at the public commons.

In a bold move, in May of 2011, Lumina loaded up the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) saddles with $1.5 million in âfree moneyâ, all part of the advocacy philanthropy we spoke of in part three of this series. In exchange for the booty, WASC was told to focus on key areas of private Lumina concerns. Here is the frothy rhetoric:


Reviewing retention and graduation data for all institutions at each degree level and for a variety of subgroups, and working with institutions to improve these rates where appropriate
Identifying key competencies for graduates, primarily at the baccalaureate level, and externally validating institutional outcomes in these areas
Exploring the use of the Degree Qualifications Profile in the accrediting process as a way of creating a common framework for the meaning of degrees at each level
Expanding the transparency of the WASC accreditation process by publishing information about institutional reviews on the WASC website, including a quality measures report, and expecting institutions to make more information about student learning and success public and readily available.
Examining and developing new approaches to accreditation to meet the needs of new generations of learners, including those attending multiple institutions, and to accommodate new modes of higher education organization and delivery in the 21st centuryâ (href="http://www.wascsenior.org/announcements/luminagrant">
$1.5 Million Grant from Lumina Foundation for WASC (href="http://www.dailycensored.com/obamas-2020-plan-for-higher-education-using-accrediting-agencies-to-destroy-community-colleges-and-the-case-of-city-college-of-san-francisco-ccsf-part-four"> Obamaâs 20/20 plan for higher education: using accrediting agencies to destroy community colleges and the case of City College of San Francisco (CCSF) Part four).

'Examining' and 'expanding' is just some of the technocratic rhetoric used to assure the death of the public commons and public education. Lumina has already spent millions 'examining' and now the time to stage hostile take overs of what were once community colleges has presented itself, partially due to the reactionary's plan to break their privatization efforts into 'K-12' and 'higher education'. Unfortunately, by not tying the efforts to stop charter schools, fight common core standards and stop K-12 school closures to higher education and the Obama and Bush plans for corporate education in colleges and universities, the reactionaries have once shown that divide and conquer works. Teacher unions of course have capitulated, their top executives selling out their membership faster than Wal Mart sells out of made in China clothing.

The whole thing is a travesty. Or the 'tragedy of the public commons'. For what happened at CCSF was a coordinated attack and eventual coup dâétat. The facts clearly show this. Taking down CCSF, as said, was the privatizer's dream and they were successful. Now, with this 'win' behind them Lumina and friends will work quickly to repeat this performance around the nation.

The tragedy of the commons is an economic theory by Garrett Hardin, according to which the depletion of a shared resource by individuals, acting independently and rationally according to each one's self-interest, act contrary to the group's long-term best interests by depleting the common resource. The concept is often cited in connection with sustainable development, meshing economic growth and environmental protection, as well as in the debate over global warming. "Commonsâ can include the atmosphere, oceans, rivers, fish stocks, national parks, advertising, and even parking meters. The tragedy of the commons has particular relevance in analyzing behavior in the fields of economics, evolutionary psychology, anthropology, game theory, politics, taxation, and sociology. Some also see the 'tragedy' as an example of emergent behavior, the outcome of individual interactions in a complex system" (Angus, I. (2008). The myth of the tragedy of the commons, Socialist Voice August 24).

One of the resisters to the occupation of the phony educational accrediting agencies, a defender of the public commons and a staunch fighter to assure CCSF would be accredited is "Occupy Bob".

The following is by "Occupy Bob" and is relevant to the fight at CCSF against the privatizers and educational colonizers. Bob is speaking about the court case against ACCJC and the ruling that community members, such as students, parents and teachers are not deemed a "legal entity" for legal purposes. This is part of the death of liberalism and the euthanization of any type of "justice" -- all part of the neo-enclosure movement and late stage capitalism.

Again, you can read more about the ACCJC and the legal case at: Obama's 20/20 plan for higher education: using accrediting agencies to destroy community colleges and the case of City College of San Francisco (CCSF) Part four.

Plaintiff is a third party, while CCSF itself doesnât object to ACCJC decision.

"Occupy Bob"

"Third Party, which I take to mean the teachers, students, classified staff, and the community that pays the taxes to finance the education of their own citizens, is somehow now not considered a legal entity or is so but only by the slimmest of legal finger nails.

CCSF, on the other hand includes Agrella the Hun, Brice Harris, the Lumina implant, General Tyler of the military-industrial complex and Colin Powell wannabe, as well as various other self-serving apparatchiks. These Mafia capos, with their mail order "higher" administration degrees, have more legal standing than the People? Interesting!

So what's happened to the Commons, that which the People own collectively for their own economic, environmental, political, and intellectual sustenance?

Do any of us remember when Public Education meant Free Education as long as one was willing to do the work and maintain the grade? Now we have these henchmen eviscerating the Public in Public Education. Now we have them scamming our students with Student Debt Loans meant to enslave generations so that the 1% can succeed where the Economic Royalists of the last century failed when they drove us into the Great Depression and sought to profit by WWII until FDR led the People of this country to a higher awareness of just what was transpiring.

With that awareness so many social safety programs to protect the People from the excesses of the moneyed interests became part of our Commons.

Yet now, the concept of our Commons is no longer taught in our Civics classes nor even apparently accepted in our courts of law.

The privatization of our education is the nail in the coffin to the Commons as regards Public Education.

Just as âfrackingâ is the nail in the coffin to the Commons as regards the sustainability of our natural resources.

Right now oil and gas from the Bakken Reserves of Montana, North and South Dakota are being shipped by railway cars to Seattle, Oregon, and California ports for refinement and then transported by ship to Asian countries to feed their economic development.

Who is profiting by that? Us? Or the 1%?

Whose water and lands is being polluted and poisoned? The 1%'s or ours?

Why do you think the Bush Crime Family and various other billionaires have bought huge stretches of land in still naturally pristine areas of the Paraguayan mountain regions? Could it be that the Paraguayan Commons is for sale? Could it be that when this land of ours is environmentally destroyed the super-rich will escape to their personal environmental paradise where the water is comparatively clean and the soil still sustainable?

On our North Bay, in an area referred to as the Chemical Coast (Richmond, Alamo, Benicia, Pittsburg), the rapists of the Bakken Reserves and the Tar Sands of Alberta, Canada have set their sights to increase infrastructure capability to refine their Crude and then ship it out to Asia through these ports. The plans are being discussed in these local municipalities as we speak which means politicians are being lobbied and bought off with talking points of jobs for the 99%. One has to ask, "At what costs?".

What is the common thread here between the privatization of education and the privatization of our natural resources? The Commons.

And what will be our resistance to the stealing of it?

To paraphrase Ben Franklin's famous words: The Commons, only if we keep it.



— Danny Weil
Daily Censored

2013-12-28

http://www.dailycensored.com/tragedy-public-commons-california-city-college-neo-enclosure-movement-education/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&u

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