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Save Our Schools Does Not Need a Platform

Publication Date: 2012-05-11

There is an ongoing and important discussion going on at Schools Matter about Save Our Schools. This discussion was provoked by this article by Jim Horn, Is SOS Being Hijacked by Corporate Education Insiders? Right now there are 80 comments, some people supporting Jim, others very irate. You can participate. But you can't be anonymous.

A number of Save Our Schools leaders say that SOS must have a platform before they can do things such as denounce the Common Core. So here we join an 80-comment discussion--at around point 70--with Jim Horn explaining why SOS does not need a platform, making the point that it does us no good to engage in rhetorical pissing matches.

Go over to Schools Matter and join the discussion. It matters.

by Jim Horn

In response to Bess Atwater's rationale for dedicating this second coming of SOS to Washington, DC for "platform building," I remain skeptical. When the Occupy movement gained international attention, it was not for a 5 year plan to bring accountability to Wall Street. It was for a determined, unrelenting, and reality-based hammering of the corrupt oligarchs and the self-serving casino capitalists of Wall Street.

And to the credit of the Occupiers, they have not been diverted from that prophetic work by criticism from those who want that glaring spotlight to be aimed back at the Occupiers? Step forward with your own agenda, cry the corporate overlords. The Occupiers haven't bought it.

I suggest that in stopping the momentum barely begun last year in calling out the crooks and thieves, as I love to hear Walking Man call the Foundation hacks in the Dept. of Education, SOS risks putting the focus back on themselves, and on why any new platform will not work. You can bet there are a dozen conservative sludge tanks who are already crafting arguments to beat down those points that they know are on the way if the task this coming summer at the Marriott Wardman Park reaches fruition.

The Civil Rights movement did not need a platform, for God's sakes, to wage the battle that would finally bring into the sharpest focus the reality of the injustices and the inhumanity that the American people could no longer ignore, once a concerted and well-conceived series of actions put in their faces every day what they would have preferred to continue to ignore.

Those heroes did not get into a rhetorical pissing match with the George Wallaces of the world. They studied their history, they connected, they exposed the perpetrators through their actions, and they hoped. Not some wishful thinking nonsense, but real hope based on a faith in their own capacities working together against an inhumane and unjust system.

There are a dozen very good blueprints for what sane education looks like. We don't need another one at this juncture to be shot down by the same bad billionaire actors who are out to extend the power of consumer capitalism over children and to block real education.

Occupy's unflinching stand against the corruption and manipulation within the corporate state represents a great example of Cornel West's call for "prophetic thinkers" to discern, connect, track hypocrisy, and to hope. The Occupiers were making known "the gap between principles and practice, between promise and performance, between rhetoric and reality."

The fire hoses are on our children, but it is happening behind the walls where the public cannot see. We are going to have to make such a case that the public will no longer be able to ignore the crimes against children. Will we have to put our asses on the line to do that? You bet.

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