The following is a chart summarizing federal education policy in the last 20 years. Note where Charter Schools and Teach for America fit in the puzzle
Step One: Require all states to administer standardized tests to students enrolled in all public schools as a condition of receiving Federal funding
Step Two: Require states to rate schools and school districts on the basis of scores on those tests
Step Three: Require states to close schools which are designated as "failing" on those tests, and take school districts designated as "failing" into receivership.
Step Four: In replacing schools which have been closed, give preference to Charter Schools.
Step Five: Staff the "replacement schools"- most of them Charter Schools-, with Teach for America corps members
What have been the results of this? Hundreds of thousands of experienced teachers, many of them teachers of color, have lost their jobs; schools which have served communities for generations have been closed; and real estate speculators have honed in on the neighborhoods hit hardest by school closing, triggering a wave of gentrification in cities throughout the US.
This entire process, begun under the Bush Administration, actually accelerated under the Obama Administration.
Democratic politicians who claim to be "progressive" and support civil rights signed off on these policies without an iota of protest
They have a lot to answer for. And during this Presidential Campaign, we are going to demand answers!