Ask any of the present education reformers who are set upon destroying our schools how education works. Ask what our schools do for our kids, their families, our communities, and our nation. Ask any of them what actually happens in classrooms: The socialization, and the mastery of foundation skills for individuals to use to be able to contribute to themselves and to society.
Ask the self-appointed reformers like Bill Gates, Eli Broad, The Koch Brothers, and the failed reformers like Michelle Rhee, Michael Bloomberg, Arne Duncan, Rahm Emanuel, Joel Klein, what Americanization is. Ask, but the answers you get will be driven by ignorance and incorrect assumptions, by ideologues whose world is about making profits. It is like asking Halliburton to be against war profiteering and not be concerned by the human suffering they cause. It’s like asking Pearson PLC to admit that testing and rewriting history to fit their tests is wrong and that tests are about as effective as weighing students to increase their knowledge.
Due to their ignorance and bastardized thinking, those who call themselves “Reformers” are destroying the precious hearts of America, one community at a time. They have the money-driven, profit-driven power to corrupt state legislators, boards of education, and even train superintendents to ignore children and their needs and work to kill public education and turn schools over to profiteers. For profits, not for kids. Certainly not for the communities that revolve around local schools and hope. Schools that provide the means for achieving the American Dream. Schools that are the hearts of communities and create an America Of, By and For the people.
When the de-formers put communities at risk, the citizens MUST fight back. It is getting increasingly difficult. Elected representatives – those WE have placed in legislative positions and on elected state boards – are too often owned and controlled by corporate masters who subvert the Democratic process. The politicians they own are unable to represent those who elected them, even if they would like to. If the people of a community can “turn” their representatives, it is certain that the corporate entities will remove them. (The Alliance of Legislative Executive Councils (ALEC) controls and subverts most of the elected GOP representatives in many of the 50 states.)
Fighting back requires a community-driven war. It is won by education. The best place to start is with teachers who take time to let the community know how their schools work, what teachers do and why, and how education is laying foundations in at least 10 disciplines, not just math and reading. How music, athletics, the arts, languages, social studies, science, health, Americanization, mastery of foundation skills, theater computer science… and many other skills and studies are part of each child’s education.
When community leaders understand what will be lost when partial schools – often run for profit by individuals or corporations – take over, they will keep the wolves from their door. Even though the captive legislators will cut funding to kill the public school. Even though reformers will try to buy local elections and place their candidates who will turn tax payer dollars over to profiteers. Even though the Press will ignore or go against them, communities can hold on until the damage de-formers do creates a national outcry and those hiding behind the veils of corporate power are stopped, the suffering ends, and our communities can be rebuilt.