When you put a corporate guy from Citibank in charge of an education reform commission and load the commission up with corporate education reform shills, it's not too hard to figure out what reforms they will decide to promote to "fix" the public education system.
I could have told you the reforms they were going to suggest long before they actually released their preliminary findings:
Longer school day (in order to get students ready for the 10 hour workday corporations have people doing)
More tech training (in order to get students ready for the technology applications they'll have to use when working their ten hour soul-sucking corporate job)
Full day kindergarten (in order to get kids ready for their 10 hour work day, you want to start them on long school days as soon as possible - the age of five sounds about right)
Teachers unions busting mechanisms (they didn't address teacher evaluations in the report released yesterday but said they will in the next, more detailed report)
Blaming teachers for the alleged problems in the system (bar exam for teachers, change certification procedures, hold teacher preparation programs accountable for teacher performance through the use of test scores)
Add choice (continue down the road to privatization by adding as many "high quality" charters as possible in order to steal resources from the public school system and starve the beast)
The commission did suggest wrap around social services as part of their reform suggestions, which is supposed to be a progressive idea for reform, but you can bet that many of those wrap around services will end up being giveaways to corporate cronies and "nonprofits" linked to the education reform movement.
The whole rationale for public education these days is to get kids "college and career ready" - i.e., to socialize them into a consumerist and corporatized economic and political system with just enough training to be able to do what their corporate masters tells them but not enough critical thinking skills to question their lots in life.
Teachers and teacher preparation programs that still promote social justice stand in the way of this kind of system, and so they must be destroyed - the teachers fired and replaced with TFA Barbie Dolls who do what they're told and the teacher preparation programs with the commie pinko professors replaced by TFA-lite teacher prep programs that use test scores as the sole measure of "effective teaching."
The aim is to break the teachers, break the teacher prep programs, break the system, break the unions and get everybody on board with the corporate agenda.
That Randi Weingarten - the education reformer's favorite labor leader - is on this commission does not mitigate the fact that it has been created to find the system a failure and to push corporate education reform "solutions" through as a result.
Given Weingarten's politics, her presence on the commission underscores what a corporate force it will be.
As NYC Parents blog pointed out, there are no suggestions to reduce class size from this commission - a proven reform that works to improve education for students.
As a commenter on that post pointed out, there are no real teachers or parents on the commission.
Just corporate shills with a corporate agenda looking to instill that agenda into kids as early as possible.
Just another example of how the fix is in.
Results first, commission after - that's what this sham is.
No wonder they stole the name of their report from Michelle Rhee's Students First corporate education reform lobby group.