Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Quoth the Ravitch, Nevermore

 "I find it bizarre to hear Wall Street types claiming that they are part of “the civil rights movement of our day.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. created a coalition with the labor unions, not with Wall Street and billionaires."

-Diane Ravitch

It's very thoughtful of folks like Bill Gates to stand up and put their money where their mouths are. No more tenure for teachers. Let's just fire the lot, and if they don't like it, they can go to hell. Does experience matter? Not if we can't raise test grades. That's the only factor that's remotely relevant, and putting working families on the street is worth it as long as we can break those darn unions.

Actually, "Wall Street types" are doing better than ever, despite having dragged the economy into a virtual meltdown. And one of the good things about having money is you can spread your message--that poverty doesn't matter and teachers alone are responsible for student progress or lack thereof. It's good they can blame teachers, since our current direction has left poverty more widespread than it's been in half a century. Otherwise, people might start noticing the boondoggle of massive tax cuts for those who need them the least, along with service cuts to those who need them the most. And now, even President Hopey-Changey is proposing cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, which will surely exacerbate and already dire situation.

Times are tough, especially when Democrats have abandoned working people to continue the senseless Bush tax cuts, when Andrew Cuomo will cut funds to schools and boast of going after unions while refusing to maintain a millionaires' tax.

It's preposterous to believe that billionaires have interests other than protecting the interests of billionaires. Yet they continue to claim, by decimating the public school system, by reducing the number of decent jobs available to working people, by filling their own pockets by suppressing wages, by eroding job protections and worsening working conditions, they are somehow civil rights heroes.

MLK would be appalled. As should we all.
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