Writes Bruce Dixon in the Black Agenda report: "The fix has been in for a long time, and not just in Philadelphia. Philly's school problems are anything but unique. The city has a lot of poor and black children. Our ruling classes don't want to invest in educating these young people, preferring instead to track into lifetimes of insecure, low-wage labor and/or prison. Our elites don't need a populace educated in critical thinking. So low-cost holding tanks that deliver standardized lessons and tests, via computer if possible, operated by profit-making "educational entrepreneurs" are the way to go."
These changes are always advanced in the name of better education "innovation" in the same way that the "reforms" that deregulated financial markets and led to their crash were labeled "modernization."
" In the Bronx, New York, the venerable De Witt Clinton High School that for over 100 years educated several hundred thousand students, positioning many for the middle class with many famous grades exercising leadership role in private industry, media, the arts and public life, is being threatened with closure as the neighborhoods that sent kids there became poorer and darker, (Disclosure; it was at that high school that I first learned journalism on the school paper.)
Students, teachers and alumni are up in arms fighting the threat with rallies at the school and a petition on line. I have been working for months on a documentary to showcase the School--once the largest in America--and its century of achievement. You can see our trailer on line at http://vimeo.com/35147331.
Behind all of this is an unseen, but fundamental shift in our economy, explains economist Michael Hudson:
"Today's economic warfare is not the kind waged a century ago between labor and its industrial employers.
Finance has moved to capture the economy at large, industry and mining, public infrastructure (via privatization) and now even the educational system. (At over $1 trillion, U.S. student loan debt came to exceed credit-card debt in 2012.) The weapon in this financial warfare is no larger military force. The tactic is to load economies (governments, companies and families) with debt, siphon off their income as debt service and then foreclose when debtors lack the means to pay. Indebting government gives creditors a lever to pry away land, public infrastructure and other property in the public domain. Indebting companies enables creditors to seize employee pension savings. And indebting labor means that it no longer is necessary to hire strikebreakers to attack union organizers and strikers."
In short, debt is often profitable, and will be fought over for years to come.
These stealth trends float beneath the surface of media coverage and public political debate and get lost in the miasma of partisan talking points.
We don't what we don't see, and all we do see are posturing politicians whose main goal seems to be always appearing to do something but usually in the service of the status quo.
News Dissector Danny Schechter blogs at Newsdissector.net. He made the film "In Debt We Trust" warning of the financial crisis in 2006. He hosts a radio show at PRN.FM.