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Jun 17, 2011 — Privatization At The Heart Of Divisive Battles

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HUPO -- Privatization At The Heart Of Divisive Battles

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Privatization At The Heart Of Divisive Battles In Wisconsin (June 17, 2011)

• http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/17/privatization-wisconsin_n_873871.html

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Comment 1

ALEC's Restaurant

There are several Facebook pages where readers can begin getting up to speed on the Kamikaze attacks of the GOP-TEA Parties that are really in play in these States. Here's 3 for starters:

Democracy Watchdog Action Network
• https://ww­w.facebook­.com/democ­racy.watch­dog.action­.network

Wear Red For Public Ed
• https://ww­w.facebook­.com/wearr­edforpubli­ced

Support Bill Cronon
• https://ww­w.facebook­.com/pages­/Support-B­ill-Cronon­/163419837­045434

Bill Cronon is a distinguis­hed history professor who came under attack when he wrote an article about ALEC and the Mackinac Center, so the people who came to his defense began collecting data about these issues.

Related tags at the Daily Kos —

• http://www­.dailykos.­com/news/A­LEC
• http://www­.dailykos.­com/blog/E­xposing%20ALEC

Current update at the Daily Kos
• http://www­.dailykos.­com/story/­2011/06/15­/985433/-E­XPOSING-AL­EC2nd-Upda­te-with-im­portant-ne­ws-and-lin­ks

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Comment 2

The American Revolution In Reverse

ALEC + GOP + TEA = East India Trading Company 2.0

This is just one more component of the Corporate Totalitari­an Agenda, replacing everything that we have been accustomed to regard as the Public Sector with the Non-Repres­entational Government of Privateeri­sm.

I think a lot of people are being suckered into it out of sheer naivete, but the corporate con artists know perfectly well what they want and how they plan to get it.

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Comment 3

This is just one more component of the Corporate Totalitari­an Agenda, replacing everything that we have formerly valued as the Public Sector with the Non-Repres­entational Government of Privateeri­sm.

I think a lot of people are being suckered into it out of sheer naivete, but the corporate con artists know perfectly well what they want and how they plan to get it.

Global Corporatio­ns have no integrity, no loyalty, no nationalit­y. They are perfectly content to colonize the world. They don't have to produce goods or provide services — that would be work — all they have to do is control the flow.

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Comment 4

ALEC's push for a private government extends across every State of the Union.

Michigan has its home-grown version of a Madison Avenue doublethink tank in the form of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy (MCPP).  The MCPP closely coordinates with ALEC's agenda, not to mention their fellow travelers in the massive complex of crypto-lobbies that are run by the DeVos family and the Koch brothers.

Michigan's “Governerd” Rick Snyder and his band of Privateers in the GOP-controlled State Legislature are starving the public sector in Michigan out of existence for a reason, so that private corporations can complete their hostile takeover of all public services. They stopped being content with tax abatements, bailouts, bribes, incentives, kickbacks, and worker concessions a long time ago — they want nothing less than the automatic funneling of tax dollars directly into their private corporate bankrolls without the annoying interference of all us pesky commoners.

Mackinac Center For Public Policy • “State Needs Privatization”

• http://www.educationreport.org/15050

Lansing State Journal • “Going Private? — Snyder, Republicans Put New Focus On Merits Of Privatization”

• http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/article/20110515/NEWS04/105150528/GOING-PRIVATE-Snyder-Republicans-put-new-focus-merits-privatization

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Comment 5

Updated Information On ALEC —

There are now several sites where readers can begin getting up to speed on the “Starve and Supplant” tactics that the ALEC Axis is bringing to bear on several States at once.

Democracy Watchdog Action Network
• http://www.facebook.com/democracy.watchdog.action.network

Wear Red For Public Ed
• http://www.facebook.com/wearredforpubliced

Support Bill Cronon
• http://www.facebook.com/pages/Support-Bill-Cronon/163419837045434

Bill Cronon is a distinguished history professor who came under attack when he wrote an article about ALEC and the Mackinac Center, so the people who came to his defense began collecting data about these issues.

Related tags at the Daily Kos —

• http://www.dailykos.com/news/ALEC
• http://www.dailykos.com/blog/Exposing%20ALEC

Current updates at the Daily Kos —

• http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/06/09/983573/-Exposing-ALECJune-Update-on-ALEC-Activities,-Articles-and-Links

• http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/06/15/985433/-EXPOSING-ALEC2nd-Update-with-important-news-and-links

• http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/06/20/986970/-Exposing-ALECupdate-3-+-Petition-for-your-State-Lawmakers

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Jun 20, 2011 — Detroit Announces New Authority For Failing Schools

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HUPO -- Detroit Announces New Authority For Failing Schools

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Detroit Announces New Authority For Failing Schools (June 20, 2011)

• http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/20/detroit-announces-new-authority_n_880757.html

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Comment 1

Anyone with a working long-term memory knows where this agenda to “Starve Public Schools Out Of Existence” came from.

Good thing there's web search for the rest of us —

Richard DeVos Advocates “Stealth” Strategy Against Public Education
• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-fTAhc4QC4

Blackwater In-Law DeVos Outlines “Stealth” Plot Against Public Education
• http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/05/04/972949/-Blackwater-In-Law-DeVos-outlines-stealth-plot-against-Public-Education

Strategy for Privatizing Public Schools Spelled out by Dick DeVos in 2002 Heritage Foundation Speech
• http://www.talk2action.org/story/2011/5/3/12515/58655/Front_Page/Strategy_for_Privatizing_Public_Schools_Spelled_out_by_Dick_D

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Comment 2

The following Facebook page is a good resource for learning how communities across the nation are dealing with the ongoing degradation of their public education systems.

Wear Red For Public Ed • http://www.facebook.com/wearredforpubliced

Many people across the country are beginning to realize that there is a coordinated campaign by corporate-dominated State governments to turn back the clock on American education to the days and ways of private privilege we once had the good sense to revolt against.

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Comment 3

Just in case anyone thinks these Educational Privateers are relics of bygone days, here's a number of recent stories on their ongoing program to destroy one of democracy's most precious resources —

Daily Kos • “The United Gates Of America”
• http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/05/22/978218/-The-United-Gates-of-America

Business Insider • “Rupert Murdoch, Who Bought 90% Of An Education Software Provider, Launches Initiative ‘To Make Education A Top Issue In 2012 Presidential Campaign’”
• http://www.businessinsider.com/rupert-murdoch-news-corp-education-2012-presidential-campaign-2011-5

Jim Hightower • “Billionaires' Front Groups Attack Workers, Public Schools, and Young Voters”
• http://www.hightowerlowdown.org/node/2680

Michigan Populist • “Snyder’s Plan for Public Schools Defies Voters Wishes”
• http://www.michiganpopulist.org/?p=40

Michigan Populist • “Kids are Collateral Damage in Mackinac Center’s War”
• http://www.michiganpopulist.org/?p=177

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Comment 4

The Broad Axe Falls Again …

Seattle Education Blog • “The Broad Foundation”
• http://seattleducation2010.wordpress.com/race-to-the-top/the-broad-foundation/

Seattle Education Blog • “Eli Broad’s Last Hurrah In Detroit?”
• http://seattleducation2010.wordpress.com/2011/04/25/eli-broad’s-last-hurrah-in-detroit/

Don't sweat the details of their sales pitch.  One thing we've learned about the Corporate Privateers is that it doesn't really matter what their PR says — the agenda is always the same.

Say hello to the East India Teaching Company !

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Comment 5

Waiting For SuperFraud

Here's a good article that will help Michigande­rs and other observers understand the brand of PR blitz — bankrolled by the Billionair­e Boys (and Betsy) Club — that we can expect to see broadcast all over Detroit and Michigan in the upcoming year:

Michael T. Martin • “Waiting For SuperFraud”
• http://ksdcitizens.org/2010/12/22/waiting-for-superfraud/

The invasion of cash from so-called “philanthr­opists” is what is known in the Biz as a “Loss Leader”. Big bucks will be pumped into the system to make it look like the reforms are a smashing success. If that strategy works the way it has in other States and Washington­, DC, a lot of data will get cooked and lot of Agenda-Dri­ven Statistification (ADS) will get trumpeted all over the Corporate Air Waves in order to make it look like there was any improvemen­t at all.

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Comment 6

Waiting For SuperFraud (cont.)

Never mind the small stuff, the truth won't matter. More big bucks will be pumped into rah-rah ads and corporate media “documenta­ries” to cover up the facts. By the time the Public figures out what is really going down, the school system will be so far down the road to privatizat­ion for corporate cash, command, and control that it will take the People all they can do to keep any shred of equal opportunit­y education at all.

You have to understand that these people are not philanthro­pists — “lovers of humanity” — they are investors. They don't give money away — they invest money for the sake of making more money, acting in tandem with their ego-driven need to force their personal ideology on the rest of the world. It does not make an ounce of difference to them if they have to destroy the American way of life — it's just so much collateral damage in their war on public education.

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Jun 21, 2011 — Few Details Emerge On Michigan College Promise

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HUPO -- Few Details Emerge On Michigan College Promise

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Detroit Education Reform : Few Details Emerge On Michigan College Promise (June 21, 2011)

• http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/21/detroit-education-reform-michigan-college-promise_n_881656.html

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Comment 1

The Broad Axe Falls Again …

Seattle Education Blog • “The Broad Foundation”
• http://seattleducation2010.wordpress.com/race-to-the-top/the-broad-foundation/

Seattle Education Blog • “Eli Broad’s Last Hurrah In Detroit?”
• http://seattleducation2010.wordpress.com/2011/04/25/eli-broad’s-last-hurrah-in-detroit/

Don't sweat the details of their sales pitch.  One thing we've learned about the Corporate Privateers is that it doesn't really matter what their PR says — the agenda is always the same.

Say hello to the East India Teaching Company !

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Comment 2

Here's a good article that will help Michigande­rs and other observers understand the brand of PR blitz — bankrolled by the Billionair­e Boys (and Betsy) Club — that we can expect to see broadcast all over Detroit and Michigan in the upcoming year:

Michael T. Martin • “Waiting For SuperFraud”
• http://ksdcitizens.org/2010/12/22/waiting-for-superfraud/

The invasion of cash from so-called “philanthr­opists” is what is known in the Biz as a “Loss Leader”. Big bucks will be pumped into the system to make it look like the reforms are a smashing success. If that strategy works the way it has in other States and Washington­, DC, a lot of data will get cooked and lot of Agenda-Dri­ven Statistification (ADS) will get trumpeted all over the Corporate Air Waves in order to make it look like there was any improvemen­t at all.

Never mind the small stuff, the truth won't matter. More big bucks will be pumped into rah-rah ads and corporate media “documenta­ries” to cover up the facts. By the time the Public figures out what is really going down, the school system will be so far down the road to privatizat­ion for corporate cash, command, and control that it will take the People all they can do to keep any shred of equal opportunit­y education at all.

You have to understand that these people are not philanthro­pists — “lovers of humanity” — they are investors. They don't give money away — they invest money for the sake of making more money, acting in tandem with their ego-driven need to force their personal ideology on the rest of the world. It does not make an ounce of difference to them if they have to destroy the American way of life — it's just so much collateral damage in their war on egalitaria­n representa­tive democracy.

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Comment 3

The following Facebook page is a good resource for learning how communities across the nation are dealing with the ongoing degradation of their public education systems.

Wear Red For Public Ed • http://www.facebook.com/wearredforpubliced

Many people across the country are beginning to realize that there is a coordinated campaign by corporate-dominated State governments to turn back the clock on American education to something like the systems of private privilege we once had the good sense to revolt against.

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Comment 4

And Now For Something Completely Different —

• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcZf2CLxbgA

When I'm feeling blue about the state of education today, that always cheers me up.

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Jun 22, 2011 — Michigan Groups Sue Governor Snyder

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HUPO -- Michigan Groups Sue Governor Snyder

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Michigan Groups Sue Governor Snyder Over Emergency Manager Law, Calling It A Power Grab (June 22, 2011)

• http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/22/michigan-groups-sue-gov-s_n_882442.html

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Comment 1

Here's a good update on some of the things that educators, parent activists, and others will be doing over the Summer to protect our system of democratic education from hostile takeover by corporations, ideologues, and other private interests.

Education Week • “Frustrated Educators Aim To Build Grassroots Movement”

• http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2011/06/15/35activists_ep.h30.html

<quote>
Thousands of educators, parent activists, and others are expected to convene in the heat and humidity of Washington next month for a march protesting the current thrust of education policy in the United States, especially the strong emphasis on test-based accountability.

Organizers say the effort aims to galvanize and give voice to those who believe policymakers, including U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and state governors, have gone astray in their remedies for improving American schools.
</quote>

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Comment 2

Public rallies are good — it gives you hope for the future of the country to find out that a whole lot of other people still care about democracy and the crucial role that equal opportunity education plays in keeping democracy alive. And a good-sized rally tells our so-called Leaders that they need to clean the private interest buzz-whiz out of their ears and start listening to the people again.

That may work a while as a wake-up call, but our Hear-Less Leaders will just punch the snooze button as soon as we go home, and they will just keep punching it every time we raise the alarm again.

It was probably a mistake to think that anyone would ever do the work of democracy for us. And it was sure a mistake to think that the Struggle for Independence, or Emancipation, or a New Deal, or Civil Rights, or all the rest would ever be finished, a one-off deal. The ideas that enslaved us before 1776 still permeate our society, they flare up time and again like some virus that won't be cured, and we have to keep returning to our core values if we want to live out another day.

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Comment 3

See —

Ann Arbor Dems Who Supported Governor Rick Snyder Get Some Recognition
• http://www.a2politico.com/?p=7761

Snyder Tied For Title of Most Unpopular Governor in the United States
• http://www.a2politico.com/?p=8408

Influential Right-Leaning Political Analyst Declares Snyder’s Governorship A “Failure” In Washington Post Op-Ed
• http://www.a2politico.com/?p=8596

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Comment 4

If the Teadious Party ever figures out who the Real Redcoats are, they might become a coherent and even positive force. But it's kinda like getting the victims of a con to admit they've been conned. It's not unusual for stubborn pride to keep them throwing good money after bad.

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Comment 5

In a related story …

Gov. Snyder: Your Child Can Be Educated For $6K Per Year, But $20K Per Year Not Enough To Educate My Kid
• http://www.a2politico.com/?p=8684

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Comment 6

When democracie­s run into problems,
They solve them by democratic means,
Or else they cease to be democracie­s.

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Comment 7

A Little Bit Of History Acid-Refluxing …

Linda Darling-Hammond • “The Service of Democratic Education”

• http://www.thenation.com/article/160850/service-democratic-education

<quote>
Precisely 100 years ago, nationally distributed tests of arithmetic, handwriting and English were put into use. Their results were used to compare students, teachers and schools; to report to the public; and even to award merit pay — a short-lived innovation due to the many problems it caused.

In the view of these brilliant managerial engineers, professionally trained teachers were considered troublesome, because they had their own ideas about education and frequently didn’t go along meekly with the plan.

As one such teacher wrote in “The American Teacher” in 1912:

We have yielded to the arrogance of “big business men” and have accepted their criteria of efficiency at their own valuation, without question. We have consented to measure the results of educational efforts in terms of price and product — the terms that prevail in the factory and the department store. But education, since it deals in the first place with human organisms, and in the second place with individualities, is not analogous to a standardizable manufacturing process. Education must measure its efficiency not in terms of so many promotions per dollar of expenditure, nor even in terms of so many student-hours per dollar of salary; it must measure its efficiency in terms of increased humanism, increased power to do, increased capacity to appreciate.
</quote>

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Comment 8 (Reply)

Mostly, they have “been there done that”.

Most professional educators know enough about the history of education in the U.S. — or managed to survive enough rounds of Revolution, Reformation, and Restoration themselves — to know that the latest rage of bean-counter approaches to quality has occurred periodically throughout the last century, and they know what it always comes to in the end.  Pretty much nada.

I posted a hint of that history above, and a link to a very good discussion of what we can learn from that history.

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Comment 9

The Emergency Mangler Act is an Open Invitation to Corruption.

It's a lot like that One Ring To Rule Them All …

Maybe we'll get lucky and find one or two nice elves who can pass the test, do the job honestly, diminish, and ride off into the sunset, all without taking our hides with them.

And if you believe that, I can get you a really fantastic deal on a Bridge to Mordor …

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Comment 10

Related Stories —

Rick Snyder to announce sweeping DPS reforms Monday (June 19, 2011)
• http://www.freep.com/article/20110619/NEWS01/110619015/Rick-Snyder-announce-sweeping-DPS-reforms-Monday

Governor Rick Snyder to announce sweeping DPS reforms today (June 20, 2011)
• http://www.freep.com/article/20110620/NEWS06/106200359/Gov-Rick-Snyder-announce-sweeping-DPS-reforms-today

Sweeping reform plan empowers principals, teachers in low-performing Michigan schools (June 20, 2011)
• http://www.freep.com/article/20110620/NEWS01/110620027/Sweeping-reform-plan-empowers-principals-teachers-low-performing-Michigan-schools

How new Michigan school district for low-performing schools would work (June 20, 2011)
• http://www.freep.com/article/20110620/NEWS01/110620033/How-new-Michigan-school-district-low-performing-schools-would-work

Snyder had idea for changing DPS even before he was governor (June 21, 2011)
• http://www.freep.com/article/20110621/NEWS01/106210388/Snyder-had-idea-changing-DPS-even-before-he-governor

DPS's scholarship promise is short on details and resources (June 21, 2011)
• http://www.freep.com/article/20110621/NEWS06/106210390/DPS-s-scholarship-promise-short-details-resources

New start for Detroit's worst schools (June 21, 2011)
• http://www.freep.com/article/20110621/NEWS01/106210383/New-start-Detroit-s-worst-schools

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Comment 11

Related Stories —

Editorial • Stronger medicine for sick schools (June 21, 2011)
• http://www.freep.com/article/20110621/OPINION01/106210320/Editorial-Stronger-medicine-sick-schools

Eastern Michigan faculty side with teachers' unions, refuse to work in Detroit schools (June 22, 2011)
• http://www.freep.com/article/20110622/NEWS01/106220413/Eastern-Michigan-faculty-side-teachers-unions-refuse-work-Detroit-schools

Art dealer's trial to begin in DPS corruption case (June 22, 2011)
• http://www.freep.com/article/20110622/NEWS01/106220383/Art-dealer-s-trial-begin-DPS-corruption-case

Roy Roberts to cut non-teaching jobs, cancel supplier contracts in effort to transform DPS (June 22, 2011)
• http://www.freep.com/article/20110622/NEWS01/110622024/Roy-Roberts-cut-non-teaching-jobs-cancel-supplier-contracts-effort-transform-DPS

Eastern Michigan faculty side with teachers' unions, says they weren't consulted about plan (June 22, 2011)
• http://www.freep.com/article/20110622/NEWS01/106220413/Eastern-Michigan-faculty-side-teachers-unions-says-they-weren-t-consulted-about-plan

DPS spent $1.6M on travel, gave raises to consultants (June 24, 2011)
• http://www.freep.com/article/20110624/NEWS01/106240431/DPS-spent-1-6M-consultants-travel

Under Bobb, consultants got raises, perks (June 24, 2011)
• http://www.freep.com/article/20110624/NEWS01/106240443/Under-Bobb-consultants-got-raises-perks

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Comment 12

The new and depraved, industrial strength Emergency Mangler Act goes way beyond anything any of us has ever seen before in this country, beyond Abuse of Power, Eminent Domain, and Martial Law put together.

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Jun 23, 2011 — Detroit Public Schools Budget Cuts

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HUPO -- Detroit Public Schools Budget Cuts

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Detroit Public Schools Budget : Cuts, Cuts, Cuts (June 23, 2011)

• http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/23/detroit-public-schools-budget_n_883368.html

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Comment 1

The Governor and his Privateers are starving the Public Sector in Michigan out of existence for a reason, so that private corporations can complete their hostile takeover of all public services. They stopped being content with tax abatements, bailouts, bribes, incentives, kickbacks, and worker concessions a long time ago — they want nothing less than the automatic funneling of tax dollars directly into their private corporate bankrolls without the annoying interference of all us pesky commoners.

Mackinac Center For Public Policy • “State Needs Privatization”

• http://www.educationreport.org/15050

Lansing State Journal • “Going Private? — Snyder, Republicans Put New Focus On Merits Of Privatization”

• http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/article/20110515/NEWS04/105150528/GOING-PRIVATE-Snyder-Republicans-put-new-focus-merits-privatization

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Comment 2

I see we have the usual crew of ignoranus Detroit bashers.

This is for everyone — but it goes out to them especially —

• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcZf2CLxbgA

When I'm feeling down about the state of education today, that always cheers me up.

(Yes, I know how I spelled it.)

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Comment 3

The main thing that everyone needs to understand is that what you see happening in Detroit, Pontiac, Benton Harbor, Michigan and several other States today will be coming your way sooner or later if not already arrived.  It has nothing to do with black vs. white, left vs. right, liberal vs. libertarian, or any of those old-fangled diversions. It goes beyond education, firefighters, public safety, public services, and even beyond the public sector to the very ideas of community and the common good.

If you don't comprehend the reality of that yet, then you are way behind the curve, and you need to educate yourselves about the corporate ideology groups that fly every now and then under the banners of ALEC, Broad, DeVos, Koch, Mackinac Center, but that mostly have been flying under the radar of public attention for decades now.

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Comment 4

Here's a post from the Facebook page of the Ferris Faculty Association:

• http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ferris-Faculty-Association/146689847768

<quote>
We all know the struggles public schools face with declining per pupil funding. We have seen Governor Snyder's plan for the future. The following link is a fund raiser trailer for Greenhills, the school Snyder has his daughter enrolled in. They're fund raising because $20,000 per year per student is not enough to properly educate a child. This trailer shows what Snyder wants in a school for *his* children.

• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAfBHj9Lc8E
</quote>

I'm guessing the Governor does not have a clue how to go about creating a high quality educational environment for all of Michigan's children, but the above information tells us that he does know where to get a few clues about the components of a quality education and how much it costs to achieve it. And one thing we know for sure is that he's not getting those clues from his bean-counter corporate buddies who are dictating their wish list of laws to the Legislature in Lansing.

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Comment 5 (Reply)

I don't recall exactly when the Department of Education was formed as a separate entity, but I know that Federal funding for education was pretty generous in the 60's and 70's, especially grants to individuals, and the strings had mostly to do with accreditation, full time enrollment, equal opportunity, separation of church and state, parental income where need was a condition of the program in question, and sensible considerations on that order.

The ratio of strings to purses began to increase in the Reagan years and pretty much strangled States and students alike in the Bush years.  For reasons most of us cannot fathom, Obama has done little or nothing to address the problems he inherited.  Most likely the Republicans wouldn't let him do anything if he tried, so I will be charitable and blame them.

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Comment 6 (Reply)

Disaster Capitalism + Prelude to Privatizat­ion

Pretty obvious to anyone who has seen it before and who isn't distracted by the blue smoke and mirrors of their rhetoric.

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Comment 7

Here's a recent Huffington Post article that mentions the American Legislativ­e Exchange Council (ALEC), plus a few additional links pertaining to ALEC and associated groups.

More informatio­n is coming to light about the move by ALEC, Broad, DeVos, Koch, the Mackinac Center, and related entities to co-opt our elected officials into serving their corporate ends, namely, to privatize not only public education, but all current public services, indeed, our very government itself.

Here's an article that came out this week —

Amanda Terkel • “Privatization At The Heart Of Divisive Battles In Wisconsin”

• http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/17/privatization-wisconsin_n_873871.html

<quote>
The American Legislative Exchange Council is one of the groups most actively advocating privatization nationwide. It has 2500 legislative members, which is about a third of all state lawmakers around the country. One of its most valuable functions is crafting model legislation that lawmakers can then use to propose real bills in their own states. In the past few years, ALEC-inspired legislation has been popping up with increased frequency around the country.

The group just launched “Publicopoly”, a Monopoly-like board game as part of an “initiative to provide solutions for a more effective, efficient government, and a thriving economy”. Visitors to Publicopoly are able to learn about privatizing seven sectors: government operations, education, transportation and infrastructure, public safety, environment, health, and telecommunications.
</quote>

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Comment 8

There are now several sites where readers can begin getting up to speed on the “Starve and Supplant” tactics that the ALEC Axis is bringing to bear on several States at once.

Democracy Watchdog Action Network
• http://www.facebook.com/democracy.watchdog.action.network

Wear Red For Public Ed
• http://www.facebook.com/wearredforpubliced

Support Bill Cronon
• http://www.facebook.com/pages/Support-Bill-Cronon/163419837045434

Bill Cronon is a distinguished history professor who came under attack when he wrote an article about ALEC and the Mackinac Center, so the people who came to his defense began collecting data about these issues.

Related tags at the Daily Kos —

• http://www.dailykos.com/news/ALEC
• http://www.dailykos.com/blog/Exposing%20ALEC

Current updates at the Daily Kos —

• http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/06/09/983573/-Exposing-ALECJune-Update-on-ALEC-Activities,-Articles-and-Links

• http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/06/15/985433/-EXPOSING-ALEC2nd-Update-with-important-news-and-links

• http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/06/20/986970/-Exposing-ALECupdate-3-+-Petition-for-your-State-Lawmakers

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Comment 9

The Broad Axe Falls Again …

Seattle Education Blog • “The Broad Foundation”
• http://seattleducation2010.wordpress.com/race-to-the-top/the-broad-foundation/

Seattle Education Blog • “Eli Broad’s Last Hurrah In Detroit?”
• http://seattleducation2010.wordpress.com/2011/04/25/eli-broad%E2%80%99s-last-hurrah-in-detroit/

One thing we've learned about the Corporate Privateers is that it doesn't really matter what their PR says — the agenda is always the same.

Say hello to the East India Teaching Company !

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Comment 10

Silly Rabbit, the Emergency Manager is the New Top Shark.

You need to ask how many Little Fish and Middle Fish it takes to feed One Top Shark.

Here's a hint …

Detroit Free Press • “Under Bobb, Consultant­s Got Raises, Perks”

• http://www.freep.com/article/20110624/NEWS01/106240443/Under-Bobb-consultants-got-raises-perks

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Comment 11

Try to get it through your heads that the ALEC, Birch, Broad, DeVos, Fox, Gates, Heritage, Koch, Mackinac Center, Murdoch Axis is here to destroy the village schools, not save them. As go the schools, so goes the whole village.

We are witnessing the ongoing Re-Colonization of America by the East India Corporation 2.0 — and this time you'll get to find out what it means to be an “Indian”.

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Jun 24, 2011 — New School Voucher Laws Face Backlash

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HUPO -- New School Voucher Laws Face Backlash

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New School Voucher Laws Face Backlash (June 24, 2011)

• http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/24/new-school-voucher-laws-backlash_n_883939.html

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Comment 1

Anyone with a working long-term memory knows where this agenda to “Starve Public Schools Out Of Existence” came from.

Good thing there's web search for the rest of us —

Richard DeVos Advocates “Stealth” Strategy Against Public Education

• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-fTAhc4QC4

Blackwater In-Law DeVos Outlines “Stealth” Plot Against Public Education

• http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/05/04/972949/-Blackwater-In-Law-DeVos-outlines-stealth-plot-against-Public-Education

Strategy for Privatizing Public Schools Spelled Out by Dick DeVos in 2002 Heritage Foundation Speech

• http://www.talk2action.org/story/2011/5/3/12515/58655/Front_Page/Strategy_for_Privatizing_Public_Schools_Spelled_out_by_Dick_D

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Comment 2

People who have supported public education all their lives, whether they had school-age children or not, whether they had children of their own or not, simply because it was a vital community interest and essential to the health of democracy to have equal opportunit­­y education for all — I can tell you that more and more of those public-spi­­rited souls are just about ready to let the “My Kids Are More Equal Than Anyone Else's” Gang have their wish, to wit, or not, private education for their children, but it will be paid in full out of their pockets, not ours.

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Comment 3

Michigan Populist • “Snyder’s Plan for Public Schools Defies Voters Wishes”

• http://www.michiganpopulist.org/?p=40

<quote>
In November of 2000 Michiganders went to the polls like they do every November to exercise their democratic right to vote. Most will remember that election as the one where Al Gore got more votes in Michigan, and throughout the United States, but didn’t become president. George Bush won the election because he received more electoral votes after the U.S. Supreme Court decided that a hand count of some unusual votes in Florida could not be done fast enough.

What some may not remember is that same night voters denied a DeVos backed ballot initiative to allow students to receive vouchers in order to take their public school money to private schools. Michigan voters soundly defeated the initiative despite some 10 million dollars being spent on the campaign.
</quote>

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Michigan Populist • “Snyder’s Plan for Public Schools Defies Voters Wishes”

• http://www.michiganpopulist.org/?p=40

<quote>
Maybe Mr. Snyder doesn’t remember the details of the 2000 election. After all, he was busy serving on the board of Gateway while the company shipped jobs overseas. The voters spoke that November, but Rick Snyder wasn’t listening. Governor Snyder’s plan for public education in Michigan would allow students to receive instruction from “online educators”. That instruction would be paid for with money from the school aid fund. In essence, online education is private school without the building.

I’m guessing you won’t be surprised that a controversial company called “K12, Inc.”, with ties to the DeVos family, would likely be ready to sell their programs to Michigan schools at a moments notice. I can’t help but think that we are on the same path as Gateway. Outsourcing our teaching jobs to online companies is not going to improve student scores or the unemployment rate in Michigan. It may however, make someone a bunch of money which could allow them to become a Governor someday.
</quote>

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Comment 5 (Reply)

Why should people without children pay anything at all?

You appear to think it's okay to pick their pocketses for your preciouses­.

It appears to me that *some people* these days simply don't understand the concept of the common good.

Maybe I should I blame their education.

Or maybe it's the 24/7 brain-wash­ing from the corporate owned media that has made them forget what they once learned about it.

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Comment 6

There are some things about vouchers that I used to think were obvious to everyone, but now I see they are not, and I think that may account for the fact so many people of good will are taking past each other in this discussion­.

First of all, those of us who spent the last twentieth of the second millennium criticizin­g “establish­ment” and “status quo” ways of doing just about everything­, including education, have always been open to diversific­ation and experiment­ation in our schools, so long as those alternativ­e schools do not put developing characters and our democratic way of life at more risk than people of good will would dare to venture. Many of us have long criticized models of funding based on property taxes and more lately lotteries, and we know that many other funding models could lead to higher quality education being both more versatile and more widely distribute­d. But we recognize that the current “status quo” got establishe­d largely on account of the natural desire of local communitie­s to control the quality of education in their areas. As a consequenc­e, local school boards have to be jealous of the funds they are given to do what their communitie­s demand of them. If we want to change the consequenc­es, we have to change the antecedent­s. Vouchers do not do that. They merely undermine the ability of school boards to do what we demand of them.

All I have room for in this post. More later …

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Comment 7 (Reply)

If all people are born equal, and all people have equal rights under the law, and education is not only a right but a duty in a democratic society, why should some schools be better than others, if the main thing it takes to make them equal is equal funding and equal protection under the law?

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Comment 8

Public money comes from the public, which is a much bigger population than parents, and a far bigger population than people with school-age children at the time the taxes are collected.  Governments derive their right to collect taxes from that larger public solely on the condition that those funds support the good of that larger public.

Some people these days appear to be having trouble with the very concept of the public good.  Let us pray they don't learn it the hard way.  Let us say, one day when they crash their car on a rural county road, and the inner city kid who wanted to become a doctor and might have been encouraged by a Federal grant to begin her practice in an under-served region is not there to save their lives.  But let us pray they go to their reward of the non-monetary kind feeling blessed in the knowledge that their daughter the doctor is enjoying her holiday in St. Moritz.

Let us pray …

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Comment 9

Q. And what will they become if they do all that?

A. They will become public schools.

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Comment 10

A former teacher explained it to me this way:

“Vouchers act as an escape valve for politicians because they take the pressure off elected officials to actually fund and improve public schools.  Instead they allow a lottery-like system that makes everyone in poor school districts think that they will have the opportunity to send their children to better schools — which is not the case since the better schools will not take all of the children from poorer school districts.”

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Comment 11 (Reply)

No group, numbering 1 or many, can vote to support an establishm­ent of religion with public dollars.

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Comment 12

People need to understand that State and Federal Treasuries are not personal savings banks. Your tax dollars are not deposits you make to the Treasury so you can draw them out again when you need to patch a pothole on your street, or pay for the kinds of plays that public schools in my millennium were legally obligated to provide for free.

Unless governments use tax dollars to “Promote The General Welfare” well in advance of each individual's need, there is no public street anywhere to patch any potholes in, and there is no public school anywhere to pay for any plays in.

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Jun 26, 2011 — Research Calls Data-Driven Education Reforms Into Question

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HUPO -- Research Calls Data-Driven Education Reforms Into Question

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David Bloomfield • “Research Calls Data-Driven Education Reforms Into Question” (June 26, 2011)

• http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-bloomfield/education-reform-standardized-testing_b_882718.html

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Comment 1

Don't Just Teach There — Measure Something !!!

I expect to see Phrenology and Handwritin­g Analysis making a comeback any day now …

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Comment 2

The CPAs who run our Statehouses these days love any quantity they can measure to the 5th decimal place — they couldn't care less if it has anything to do with genuine learning, much less the qualities of caring, character, citizenship, creativity, critical thinking, and culture that they have no clue how to run through their strainers.  So they'll measure what's easy to measure and ignore the rest, dragging us back to the 1-dimensional mentality of behaviorist pigeons and rats that professional educators left in the decimal dust 30 or 40 years ago.  But hey — What they don't know don't count as knowledge.

Or maybe it's time for Real Teachers to wash these Amateur Bean Counters out of their hair.

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Comment 3

People who know what real research looks like will need to renew their efforts to educate the public about the difference between Agenda-Driven Statistification (ADS) and Actual Research Studies (ARS).

The way things have been going over the last couple of decades, many super-tanker loads of cash are going into confusing the public about that very difference.  Stepping back to take in the larger picture, one can see that this smudging of the line between corporate spin and genuine inquiry is just another part of what Chris Mooney called “The Republican War on Science”.

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