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The Chicago teachers strike and the war on teachers

By       Message Gregory Patin     Permalink
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Even with the voucher system, only a few selected by standardized tests or privileged birth will be anointed and permitted into better and "gifted" schools. And unless you can shell out about $30K per year for tuition, it will not be your kids, no matter who is elected.

Louisiana's school districts have been touted by both Republicans and Democrats as having made a lot of progress with their newly privatized charter schools. There is a simple explanation for the "success" of Louisiana charter schools. The poorest students, that struggle most with standardized tests, were drowned or forced out of the city. Naomi Klein wrote about the plan for privatization of the schools in Louisiana in her book, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.

Great solution! Get rid of the teachers and, ultimately get rid of the kids.

While President Obama's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) included roughly $100 billion that was designed to help fund K-12 education and the continued employment of teachers, states have been slow to implement reforms and that money has run out. The American Jobs Act included funds that may have helped prevent the loss of over 400,000 teaching jobs, but congress refused to pass the bill a year ago. Teachers across the country are now feeling the effects.

It may becoming apparent that members of both political parties, including President Obama, Arne Duncan, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Rahm Emanuel and Scott Walker have one thing in mind when they promote charter schools and the right to fire teachers with tenure: Slash teacher salaries and bust their unions.

When politicians from both parties say "children are our future," do they mean the children of China, who will produce our products and the children of India who will run the IT systems and handle your customer service calls? Of course, we do need an elite few that will handle formulating the complicated derivatives for bankers, some lawyers and accountants that will help them get around the laughable regulations, and those who can invest in Wall Street stocks and overseas business ventures. But what will be left for American children, besides helping feed our fast-food nation, or stocking shelves with Chinese products?

Teachers, politicians, anyone reading: Make no mistake about it. The war on teachers is no accident, it is planned. We are seeing this nation being divided, deliberately, into a nation consisting of a privileged few, and the rest, a lower working class who have absolutely no way up, because the education is not there to give them a chance for upward mobility to give them a way out of working minimum wage jobs. Well-paying jobs in this country are being outsourced by corporations at a horrific pace, so the education for those jobs is considered no longer necessary by the powers that be.

America will end up with a population that thinks in sound bytes, does not read, cannot innumerate and cannot think critically. A population that will accept, without any hesitation, anything the government tells them, and hate every country on the planet the government tells them to hate, to the point of being willing to volunteer to pick up a rifle, and kill anyone the government tells them to kill. The U.S. is almost there already. That seemingly is the plan.

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Sadly and unfortunately, teachers may ultimately get the blame for that, when in fact it is not their fault.


Occupied Chicago Tribune

Greg Palast -- No Child's Behind Left

Greg Palast -- The Worst Teacher in Chicago

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WDPI report (pdf)

Washington Post -- Ezra Klein

Center on Education Policy

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Gregory Patin is a free-lance writer residing in Madison, WI. He earned a BA in political science from the University of Wisconsin - Madison and a MS in IT management from Colorado Tech. He is politically independent and not affiliated with either (more...)

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