When we put this draconian treatment of those questioning test policies side by side with the takeover of whole school districts by state governments, the imposition of Mayoral control of public schools, and the mass closing of public schools over the protests of community residents in cities like New York and Chicago, we see that when it come to Education Policy, elites have decided that democracy, both procedural and substantive, has become a luxury we can no longer afford. Tellingly, this is true whether one lives in an inner city neighborhood or a middle income suburb!
Professor Naison puts the finger on the culprits:
Who is responsible for this? The culprits are many, but I would suggest that when examines Education policy, the first place to look would be whether the organization responsible for the intimidation is taking funds from two sources- the US Department of Education, and the Gates Foundation. The collusion of the two- reflecting the conflation of centralized government power with centralized corporate power- suggests the depth of the threat we face to popular democracy in this country, and not only in education.
I've long given up the fantasy that we live in a democracy and have a say in how our country, our states, our cities are governed.
Certainly the move toward autocracy was evident before 9/11, but it has grown ever more evident since.
The elites have used terrorism and national security fears to add ever-more layers of control over us, they have used globalism and economic insecurity fears to add ever-more power and impunity to the elites while destroying the little protections we in the working classes have (and if you're not a member the elite, you are in the working classes.)
In education policy, mayoral control is just another mechanism for the elites to circumvent democracy and impose autocracy.
And so the ever-sliding descent into corporate totalitarianism continues, with the state using their paramilitarized police forces and corporate-owned media to control the people and quash dissent.
Fighting the corporate education reform movement, fighting the corporate shills who promote and profit from the corporate education reform movement, fighting the corrupt politicians who promote it and the wealthy business interests who have bought those politicians is akin to fighting a second American Revolution.
Fighting the corporate education reform movement is fighting for the soul of our nation, fighting to take it back from the neo-liberals and corporatists who have stolen it.