Here is a satirical “Recipe for How To Change The Nation’s Schools.” I am a 33 year classroom teaching veteran currently working on the campaign to stop the charter school initiative in WA state. It doesn’t look good as Bill Gates and friends spend $9 million on ads (we have no ads).
RECIPE for Taking over a Nation’s Public Schools
Ingredients: • A Few Super Wealthy Families (that have never attended public schools) • Powerful Religious Groups convinced that what is wrong with the nation is caused by public education. • Lobbyists for Private Corporations Waiting To Cash In on Public Money. • A Political System that allows legislation to be “bought” where campaign money is uncontrolled. • The illusion that the Public School System is Broken (despite the fact that it has steadily gotten better over time according to the NAEP) • A few convincing movies to create a negative version of public schools to sway public sentiment. • A pretense at reform by mandating progress on test scores with unattainable, unsupported goals that ensure turmoil and failure. Tie funding to those scores so they become all consuming. Also, remember that testing is big business for our friends. • Someone to Blame: Teacher Unions (this is an especially important ingredient since they are the only organization with enough influence to stop the process of taking over the public schools)
Put all the ingredients together, stir well. When the time is right, buy legislation with millions and millions of dollars that puts into place the kind of privately controlled schools you really want. Also, do this in a way that further weakens neighborhood public schools by stealing their funding and resources.
Finally, sit back and enjoy you what you have created: A new version of Public Schools where teacher’s cannot unionize, where creationism can be taught as scientific truth with public funds, and where corporations can better control education of the public more to their liking while their friends cash in on the profits.
The frosting on the cake: Yes, it was a little expensive buying these ingredients, but now we have the public permanently financing our project!