Monday, July 22, 2013
Education Investors Meet a Popular Revolt
After the housing market collapsed, wealthy investors began honing in on the education sector, especially public K-12 education, as the next great opportunity for private investment. The main way to do this is was to define the entire sector as a "failure" divide it's stakeholders ( parents, teachers and students) against one another, and convince the public that teachers were both easily replaceable by technology and spoiled and over paid. To a remarkable degree, these investors succeeded in getting top leaders of the Democratic Party, including the Clintons, and an up and coming leader named Barack Obama, to buy into this vision, thereby undermining the normal political lines of defense against public services and public employees. The result has been an orgy of privatization and profiteering endorsed by both major parties. But then something incredible happened. While this "Great Barbecue" was taking place, once successful public schools were so deformed by excessive testing, and data driven teacher evaluation regimens, that parents from all sides of the political spectrum started rebellions and wondering why their children's school experience was becoming a nightmare. And so opposition to profiteering and privatization arose, not from unions and the Democratic Party, but from Republican, libertarian, moderate, liberal and leftist parents and teachers who in the past never cooperated with one another. Welcome to our reality- the Opt Out Zone and the BAT Cave! Warning Billionaires- Our Children and Our Schools and Our Jobs are not your pawns, not your playthings, not your data producers.