Friday, January 22, 2010

Martin Luther King's Legacy

One of my colleagues asked me if we could get t-shirts with pictures of Bloomberg dressed as Hitler. I found that distasteful, and I don't do Hitler comparisons as a rule. I'm not an admirer of Mayor-for-life Bloomberg by any stretch of the imagination, but that seemed a little beyond the pale to me. Still, when Mayor Bloomberg ventured to compare his educational nonsense to what King was trying to accomplish, I found that equally outrageous and distasteful.

Diane Ravitch did a pretty fair job of nailing him to the wall. A few bloggers have let him have it as well. But a few days ago, the NY Legislature was unable to come to an agreement about raising the charter cap. A sticking point was that Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Paterson insisted on shutting parents out of the process, refusing to give them a say in whether charters could invade the schools their kids attend. It's outrageous that any politician would insist on such a thing, and deeply offensive that Bloomberg would dare to compare his unchecked ambition to the causes for which Dr. King gave his life.

Would Dr. King fight for the right for the richest man in New York City to control the public school system with no checks or balances whatsoever? Would Dr. King want parents shut out of their children's education? Would he want schools closed based on faulty statistics? Would he insist that private interests be able to profit from charter schools, as the charter lobbyists do?

It's an abomination that anyone would have the audacity to make such absurd contentions in public. And it's an atrocity that the mainstream media is too wishy-washy to call him on it.
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