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Posted by madfloridian in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Tue Jul 13th 2010, 08:28 AM
Susan Ohanian at her blog quotes from the 2009/2010 report from the Broad Foundation. It appears this group of school "reformers" is feeling the love right now in their quest to control public education.

Broad Foundation Says with Election of Obama and His Appointment of Duncan, the Stars are Aligned

The election of President Barack Obama and his appointment of Arne Duncan, former CEO of Chicago Public Schools, as the U.S. secretary of education, marked the pinnacle of hope for our work in education reform. In many ways, we feel the stars have finally aligned.

With an agenda that echoes our decade of investments—charter schools, performance pay for teachers, accountability, expanded learning time and national standards—the Obama administration is poised to cultivate and bring to fruition the seeds we and other reformers have planted. (emphasis added)

Eli Broad and his foundation place their Broad Superintendent Academy trained leaders into the public school system. Just a couple of examples come to mind. Randi Weingarten, the head of the teachers' union, AFT...taught there. She would relate to the reformers' agenda. Robert Bobb in Detroit is quickly transforming the schools there into reform mode.

How Eli Broad gets his guys into public school systems to exert control.

If the Broad Foundation plants one of its elements in a school district, it is highly likely they will plant another one along with it, so their influence is maximized.

For instance, an element might be:
- The presence of a Broad-trained superintendent
- The placement of Broad Residents into important central office positions
- An "invitation" to participate in a program spawned by the Foundation (such as CRSS's Reform Governance in Action program)
- Offering to provide the district with a free "Performance Management Diagnostic and Planning" experience

The Broad Foundation likes to infiltrate its targets on multiple levels so it can manipulate a wider field and cause the greatest amount of disruption. Venture edu-philanthropists like Gates and Broad proudly call this invasive and destabilizing strategy "investing in a disruptive force." To these billionaires and their henchmen, causing massive disruption in communities across the nation is not a big deal.

The blogger Perimeter Primate has set up some sites to call attention to how education is being taken over by these foundations. She is an involved parent, and where she got her name for the blog is interesting.

Perimeter Primates

Some of the primates position themselves at the perimeter of the group - where they sit, and watch.

Their role is to warn the inner, oblivious members of the group when danger approaches.

Trouble is that this time in education the "inner" members of the group are not "oblivious". Their intent is being fulfilled.

Here is a link to her Broad Report.

There is an education blogger who points out how the decade of the nineties was a fairly good one for education, more enlightened. Then she presents "The Naughts."

Teacher in a Strange Land

Note her words. Many of us here have tried to point it out as well. The buzzword of the 2000 era is "data". Not learning..."data".

The Naughts: A slow U-turn in policy and conventional wisdom. We're not gradually improving, after all--in fact, we're an international educational joke--and all public schools (not just poor/urban schools) are bad. Decidedly awful--and the people who work and believe in them are intellectual dimbulbs who care only about their inflated salaries. How would they handle this in Singapore? China? India? We must compete!

Buzzword of the decade: data. Every person with a computer sees data analysis as the solution. In the lunchroom, colleagues express skepticism about the Texas Miracle even before it's exposed as just another Data Hustle. Some of the best teachers in the building discover they are not Highly Qualified. Meanwhile, the worst teachers in the building--genuine stinkers--look good under NCLB regs. We begin administering tests to third graders--and relinquish development of performance assessments that tell us real things about kids' writing, number sense, comprehension, familiarity with the scientific method. No time for that now--the data-driven race to the top has begun even before it's formally named.

Saw well-regarded suburban districts become defensive. Urban and rural districts, shamed. Teacher preparation institutions--even the good ones-- scorned. Paradox of the decade: We must have the smartest teachers! But should they bother studying the science of teaching? Or stay in the classroom for more than a couple of years? No. With data, we can replace teachers as often and as efficiently as we replace technologies.

Seems like Eli Broad is feeling the same love that is being felt by Bill Gates and other foundations that seek to pour their billions into the effort to control the education system.

Too bad teachers in public schools who struggle to teach the whole child instead of worrying about "data" are not feeling much love right now.

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