On Privatization

I posted the following comments to Diane Ravitch’s blog about privatization:

I think the frog in hot water is a perfect analogy too! I was an administrator from 1979 to 2003. For years I went along with the standards/assessment/accountability madness, but when NCLB was first proposed I began to see the writing on the wall that, in fact, started with Reagan’s “A Nation at Risk.” In subsequent years both Republicans and Democrats got sucked into the plan. I knew in my gut that it was all designed to destroy the public support for public schools. A lot of people see it as a design for a bunch of corporations to make a lot of money. I suspect that the end game is simply to stop funding any form of public education. Those with money will have it. Those without will have nothing. It is the taxes they do not want to pay, especially at the state level, that drives the privatizers. Privatization using public funds is just one step in their long sequence of strategies to destroy this democracy.

Other groups that I think we should mobilize are the school architects, school construction businesses, school lawyers, the sports industry in all its forms, education publishers, school bus companies, makers of school furniture, technology vendors, software vendors, and the vendors that sell schools all the stuff (food, copy paper, file folders, toilet paper, art supplies, band/choir uniforms, athletic uniforms, copy machines, staplers, etc., etc., etc.) they need to operate. If there are no public schools, they too are out of business. Also, I know from having run an educational software publishing company for a while that sales to individual schools cost just as much as sales to a whole district. I figured out quickly that it was generally a waste of my time and our company’s money to try to sell to an individual school. We couldn’t afford it. If there are no school districts, but just loose networks of private schools, it will become much more expensive to sell to them. And the biggest expense of all is to the society that must deal with the social consequences of a poorly- or non-educated populace.

One group that I have seen that “gets it” are the athletic coaches. See their website at www.savetexasfootball.com There is some good stuff there! (Bonnie Lesley)

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