Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Geoffrey Canada Wages War On Traditional Public Schools

In case you missed this, charter school operator and real estate magnate Geoffrey Canada declared war on traditional public schools yesterday.

The quote comes from a Times story about Michaelle Rhee's education reform group starting a New York chapter called StudentsFirstNY with plans to raise $50 million dollars to help close down schools, fire teachers and promote standardized testing.

The article notes that many parents and students actually don't want the policies promoted by this group, but Geoffrey says that's just too bad because this is war and his side intends to win:

“Folks are genuinely looking for opportunities to make peace and not war,” Mr. Canada said. “And I think that’s terrific. But someone has to make war.”
Of course Geoffrey Canada and the millionaire education reformers backed by the Billionaire Boys club intend to win - they've got the money, the press, the resources, and the political access and power.

Even though parents and students (let alone teachers) don't want what they're pushing, as shown by a poll of Swing State voters released by the College Board yesterday:

•A majority of the voters surveyed—55 percent—would actually be willing to pony up an additional $200 a year in taxes to improve education systems. And 78 percent of the voters surveyed say that increased funding for education is necessary, while just 21 percent say it's not necessary.

•So where should the funding go? Voters' top priority is making sure schools can provide arts, music, and physical education classes to all students. In fact, 59 percent say that's extremely important. College affordability is another biggie. Voters want to see any extra money go to holding down tuition at state colleges, universities, and community colleges, with 56 percent of respondents saying that's extremely important.

•Voters don't necessarily place a priority on the issues that the Obama administration has steered money to. Just 31 percent want to see funding go to expand school options, such as charters. And just 24 percent place a priority on merit-pay bonuses for teachers. School choice doesn't seem to register much either—just 17 percent of voters want to see money for vouchers to help low-income parents pay for private schools.

So at the very least, voters in Swing States don't want the school closures, merit pay, teacher firing policies being promoted by the education reform movement and the Obama administration and happily touted by a shill like Geoffrey Canada when he goes on NBC's Education Nation or helps Mayor Bloomberg overturn term limits to run for a third term

Given the battles we have had in New York City over Bloomberg's policies of school closures, charter co-locations and Endless Testing and the high unpopularity of those policies in poll after poll, you can be sure New York parents and students don't want what the corporate education reformers are selling either.

But that won't stop these billionaire-backed corporate education reformers from trying to get their way on EVERYTHING.

As Mr. Canada said, this is war and they intend to win with their scorched earth policy.

So far, it's worked.

But clearly they're worried that once Bloomberg goes, they wont win every battle anymore.

Not to fear - with the corporate media, the corporate politicians and a governor with a suitcase full of hedge fundie/education reformer cash, I suspect not much will change come 2014.

Parents and students STILL won't want the policies these people are promoting - but they will be getting them anyway.

But that won't matter - you see, in 21st Century America, it's one billionaire, all the votes.

And that's one other policy these reformers are selling - a vision of America where the rich, the powerful and the connected make all the decisions and if you don't like it, it's just too damned bad.

You see, this is war.


  1. He should move to Canada period, also the Daily News has an editorial blasting the Bloomberg administration for witholding the 911 report, they gave the title ,"The 411 0n 911".

  2. Thanks for the update on that! I'll check that out.

    But anyway, he won't release it. Not until it's scrubbed and says what he wants it to say.

  3. The article was also about waging war on the UFT at the tune of $5 million.

  4. It's interesting how when the NY Times publishes these types of articles, there aren't any online options for comment. I really don't like SchoolBook for a variety of reasons, among them, that one can only comment via Facebook.