A few years back, Obama's basketball bud Arne Duncan opened his mouth, and out came words asserting that Katrina was the bestest thing ever to happen to education in New Orleans. This revealed several things. It spoke to a gross incomprehension, indifference, and insensitivity to human suffering. It also told us that our Secretary of Education was quite sanguine over the prospect of destroying not only union, but also public education if his BFFs could benefit financially.
Though it's been largely charterized, NOLA is still waiting for Superman, or whatever the secret sauce is that was promised by the corporatists who direct President Obama. They have him taking vital actions like hiring lunkheads as education secretaries. This goes a long way to explain why our Prez did absolutely nothing about Duncan's outrageous remarks.
Last week, Duncan managed to reach a new plateau in ignorance, stating that Common Core would teach suburban white moms that their children are not as brilliant as they think. Obviously, singling out people by color is reprehensible, ignorant, and in itself merits Duncan's dismissal, even if he weren't as blitheringly incompetent as he clearly is. It's also sexist, of course. Most pointedly, it's a slur on our students. If a city teacher were to walk around sputtering idiocies of this sort in public, he or she would likely be facing A-421 charges of verbal abuse, and 3020a demanding dismissal.
But Duncan is different. Clearly one goal of Common Core is to persuade more well-to-do communities that their public schools suck and must be replaced by profitable corporate charters. Judging from the reaction in New York, this effort has been spectacularly unsuccessful. We know our children are not stupid simply because they did poorly on tests from Reformy John King and Silent Merryl Tisch. King and Silent Merryl, while encountering less rowdy crowds due to selective admission polices, are persuading no one who hasn't already bought into the corporate education agenda.
Some people are saying this is a clever ploy. He will go after the white suburban moms so that it will appear he isn't indifferent to urban minorities. Of course that's abject nonsense. Anywhere his BFFs can make a buck from a school closing or colocation, Arne will be there applauding. And doubtless when he steps down from the education gig, for which he is totally unqualified, there will be a golden parachute somewhere from the corporations he helped at the expense of our children.
The question then becomes this---Is this a clever ploy, or merely a stupid utterance? Either way, Duncan is unfit. He needs to be replaced, and with extreme prejudice. Otherwise, he'll be given a blank check to model his extreme prejudice against public schools. That's a quality that's 100% unacceptable for someone in his position.
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