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Indignant Lesson #4: 21st Century Chain of Events, 1st Battle

August 30, 2013

Around the time of the New Millennium, a small group of America’s richest – led by the richest of all, Bill Gates – decide that since they have more money than they could ever possibly spend on anything they could ever possibly want, it’s time to see what else money can buy. So they gather together some certain political people who have well-established power, (power that has clearly just given them an excessive thirst for more), and together, they brainstorm.
 
This little club decides that, together, they have what it takes to change history. They have what it takes to control society in such a way that the definition of America will be re-written. Collectively, they have what it takes to destroy Democracy. Individually, they have the greed to be willing to do whatever it takes.
 
The war on education is officially been re-defined: The “War on Education” replaced it when NCLB is signed in 2002 by George W Bush, and when it is, the only people who know it are the members of the club who set it in motion. {Today we know them as Corporate Reformists (see lesson 3)}.
 
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Think of It Like This:
There has been a war on education fighting against The Achievement Gap since one was first identified; efforts to narrow the gap/win the war have come to be known as “Education Reform” efforts. History’s war on education has also been called the Ed Reform Movement, as it’s taken many different directions over the years…but always that direction was chosen in hopes of achieving the narrowing, and eventual eradication, of The Achievement Gap.
 
In 2002, the Ed Reform Movement was unknowingly and unwittingly re-routed, and would soon come to be known as the Corporate Reform Movement. It is being moved in a direction taken in hopes of achieving absolute power for a small group of individuals. However, those individuals have enough power already to successfully ensure every step they are taking appears, at any and all costs and at and and all lengths necessary, to be moving in the right direction. The Corporate Reform Movement is pretending to move in a direction that’d hope to narrow, and eventually eradicate, The Achievement Gap.
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So, in 2002, with Democrats and Republicans proudly looking on, George W Bush signs into legislation the No Child Left Behind Act. America cheers. After all, who wants to leave any children behind?
 
One person cheering the loudest is Education Historian Dr Diane Ravitch, the former US Assistant Secretary of Education under the first Bush Administration, when NCLB was written.
 
The War on Education has begun. Only nobody knows it yet, except are those who started it themselves – that rich little club.
 
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Think Like This:
That rich little club: The Billionaire Boys Club
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The Movement gets underway with unparalleled & unbridled enthusiasm, and reform measure after measure is unleashed in public schools across the country. Teachers everywhere are being trained and retrained in one new program after the next, in hopes of quickly figuring out which will prove to best help achieve the big goal of NCLB.
 
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Think Like This:
The ‘big goal” of NCLB: by 2014, 100% of America’s public schoolchildren will be proficient in both Math and ELA.
This can be achieved by making sure schools make Adequate Yearly Progress in those two subject areas, as shown by a certain percentage increase in test scores from year to year among students.
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A couple/few years later, teachers start squawking about what’s happening in schools…..about the horror show that “education” is turning in to. Students are not progressing academically, bullying has become more pervasive, hostile, and dangerous than ever, there’s been an explosion in the number of children needing psychological services, and “Best Practices” are shown to be anything but.
 
Around this time, Dr Ravitch – who, of course, has been keeping a close watch on NCLB and it’s effect – starts to realize something. She realizes that what’s happening in the public schools as a result of the legislation, isn’t what was supposed to happen. She further realizes that whatever’s happening instead, is bad.
 
She tries to tell someone who’s now in charge; she tries to tell someone who was once in charge. Nobody listens. Dr Ravitch predicts what will happen to education if things continue; she is ignored. 
 
The more Dr Ravitch devotes herself into telling anyone who will listen, in hopes of avoiding the sure devastation she predicts will come to America’s public schools and children, the more frantically their teachers are trying to “reform” things.
 
They should be frantic. The time has come. The teachers and schools nationwide who have failed to make AYP status for certain number of years are starting to bear the brunt of that. They are being “identified”. They are being punished. And they start to scream louder and louder now about the injustice.
 
The Billionaire Boys Club re-convenes. They realize they have to do something to control these teachers. They’re not too worried about Dr Ravitch yet, because she’s just one voice that no one hears. But they realize if the teachers don’t shut up, eventually someone will, and fear the outcome.
 
They brainstorm. Decide their strategy to shut teachers up is to get everyone else to believe that they are lazy, inefficient, selfish, whiny people who don’t want to be held accountable for doing their jobs, and who only ever went into teaching because they wanted summers off. If voters start listening to teachers, as the cries were only getting louder, then someone would listen to Diane Ravitch and surely the vote NCLB out.
 
They decided, then, that their only choice was through Mainstream Media. The first Battle was won. The War on Education had “officially” begun. 
 
 
 
 
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