Sunday, November 29, 2009

Boston Globe endorses Charter Schools, hope

The Boston Globe today continued its practice of endorsing any Democrat running for charter schools. In 2006, they went for Deval Patrick in the primary, a man who never attended a public school in Massachusetts outside of photo ops. In 2008 it was Barack Obama, a man whose "Race to the Top" program seeks to avoid other branches of government, or respect of federalism, in its efforts to push the privatization of education. And today it was Alan "Who?" Khazei, who hopes to leverage this endorsement into a stunning jump into third place next Tuesday.

There are two significant commonalities to Deval, Obama, and Khazei: they speak in generic terms of hope and good intention, and they advocate the privatization and union-busting of education through the lever of charter schools. Of course, the insanely rich people running the Globe into the ground have their own problems with unions, and they know a fellow-traveler when they see one:

Khazei speaks admiringly of streetwise education reformers who, having seen challenging conditions in urban classrooms, dreamed up such innovations as charter schools and Teach for America.

Take it from this massive corporation -- those unions get in the way of "streetwise reforms" such as pay cuts, curtailing benefits, unilateral policy changes, and arbitrary firings. Heck, invading a country on no real provocation was a "streetwise foreign policy reform", too. The Globe's liberal use of magic words doesn't strengthen their argument. Then again, as I've noted before, the Globe's grasp of public education is alarmingly tenuous. When the editorial board writes about its "high hopes" for Khazei, I think it's clear what they're hoping for.

1 comment:

James Patrick Conway said...

Great post.

I am becoming increasing skeptical of any candidate with a short resume and little connection to working people that runs on vague slogans of change and hope every year. Additionally I am becoming more and more of a charter skeptic seeing what I've seen in the Chicago system that its basically used as a way for politicians to hand the problems of public education off to the private sector. Its basically a shuffling of deck chairs and not really a substantial real solution to the problem which is that we are not paying teachers at competitive rates to attract the best talent.

I would much rather UofC students like myself go into teaching, it'd be giving back to our communities and a lot more intellectually stimulating that consulting or Ibanking but I don't begrudge me peers who have nearly 100k of debt to pay off when they get out and need big money quickly. If teaching paid well we would teach its as simple as that.

Furthermore its not the quality of the teacher as much as what is being taught and how its being taught. The first mistake is that we have federalized education policy, to me a nationalizzed curriculum ensures that everyone is on the same page. Similarly I would argue we need to really go back to the 1950s style of teaching and ditch the New Left experimentation since it doesn't work. Go back to teaching fundamentals and basics and then you might have a more competent student body on a whole. The quality of our writing is going down, math comprehension is going down, scientific interest decreasing along with understanding civics, the classics of literature, and foreign languages. I say its time to really revive a strenuous liberal arts curriculum alongside a strenuous science and math curriculum to ensure as Dubya would say that our kids is learning.