Friday, January 24, 2014
Why The Democratic Party Can Longer Be Relied Upon to Defend Public Education
The Democratic Party, at its top levels, is mired in a web of corruption and insider dealing when it comes to the "growth areas" of Predatory School Reform- charter schools, on line learning, educational technology, test production. This is one important reason why Arne Duncan was, and still is, the perfect Secretary of Education for Barack Obama. In the face of the profits to be made and the careers to be built in these areas, by key contributors to the Democratic Party, and in some case, by family members of Democratic elected officials, if not the officials themselves, the voice of mere teachers counts for very little. We now face two parties, at the national level, which support the dismantling and selling off of our public school systems- albeit in different ways. That is why what has happened in New York State- where a Democratic anti-testing Mayor was elected in NYC, and where Republicans in the legislature are taking the lead in fighting Common Core and excessive testing in local schools- is so refreshing. The only way to save public education from profiteering as well as actual dismantling, is to create grass roots movements that have influence in both parties. Depending on the Democratic Party alone to defend public education is a losing strategy.