Saturday, February 2, 2013

Journey for Justice and "School choice" week; just whose choices are being respected??

Last week was “School choice” week.  The entire concept of “school choice week” was invented by Jeb Bush  to promote the expansion of charter and vouchers,  supposedly to allow for more parental choice in selecting their children's schools.  Meanwhile, it was just revealed that Bush's organization, Foundation for Excellence in Education (FEE), promotes the business of for-profit companies, including several that donate to the organization and at least one corporation in which Bush has stock.

The reality is that the corporate reformers pushing “school choice,” including Arne Duncan, Jeb Bush, Bill Gates, Michael Bloomberg and Michelle Rhee, are not interested in the real-life choices of parents;  but instead in privatization.
When thousands of parents repeatedly turn out across the country to oppose the closing of their neighborhood schools, are their choices listened to?  No, they are ignored, or else the people in charge, like Bloomberg, say that parents are too uneducated to understand the value of a good education.
When parents say that their first priority for their children’s schools is reducing class size, are their choices listened to?  No, instead, the same people who say they believe in parent choice vehemently oppose  lowering class size: Bill Gates insists that class size doesn’t matter, Michelle Rhee pushes for eliminating any caps on class sizes, and Bloomberg say he would double class sizes if he could.
When parents say their children are over-tested and they should be allowed to opt out, do the authorities listen?  No, instead they plan to subject them to even more frequent and longer tests.
Let’s all admit it; “school choice” is a myth,  meant not to give public school parents the choices they want for their children, but instead represent the choices of corporate raiders who want to give our public schools to private interests, like hostile takeover artists who took over companies in the 1970’s and 1980’s, in order to dismantle them and sell them off piece by piece.
Coincidentally during “School Choice” week, on Tuesday, as part of the "Journey for Justice" campaign, parents, students and activists from 18 districts all over the country traveled to DC, testified at the US Department of Education, and demanded a moratorium on the mass school closings that are occurring with the encouragement of the federal government, on the grounds that  their children’s civil rights were being violated.  See videos below by Jaisal Noor of The Real News of Tuesday's events. See also this week’s Village Voice, about the invasion of charter schools in Williamsburg, Brooklyn run by Eva Moskowitz and her husband, despite the vehement opposition of parents in that community.

Journey for Justice: Parents and Students from 18 Cities Demand Nationwide Moratorium on Schools Closings and demand US DOE investigate Civil rights violations

Part 2: Chicago Parent and Activist Jitu Brown at "Journey for Justice" Hearings in DC 

Part 3: New Orleans Parent and Activist Karran Harper Royal at "Journey for Justice" Hearing in DC 

1 comment:

Unknown said...

This sounds real interesting so as to know that whose choices are really being appreciated and considered in regards t the welfare of the society. studio rentals for students in Manhattan