Friday, December 4, 2015

Why ESEA Must Be Fought by People on the Left as Well as on the Right

There was a time when you needed the power of the federal government to counteract local tyrannies shaped by racist electoral practices and corporate control of local governments No more. Today, it is the federal government which is controlled lock stock and barrel by large corporations, insuring that any federal policy will contribute to their enrichment and an expansion of their power. A defense of federal power is no longer a "progressive" position. In education, it has led to disastrous consequences ranging from the mindless impositions of test driven curricula and assessments, to the destruction and privatization of public education in many of the nation's cities. This is why I am utterly opposed to the passage of ESEA legislation currently being debated in the Senate. Given the powerful corporate interests ready to move into action in every section of the nation to seize the federal dollars this legislation will appropriate, it is incumbent upon parents and teachers to try to prevent its passage and then to organize massive resistance through an expansion of opt out and rolling one day strikes by teachers, whether they are endorsed by unions or not.

Do not trust your elected officials to protect your interests. They are no more immune to the big money interests shaping this legislation than the last two Presidents,