While it might seem as if most key economics positions in the Obama Administration have been occupied by Wall Street types….Ok, they have been occupied by Wall Street types.
Let’s start over. Just as many key economics positions in the Obama Administration have been occupied by Wall Street types, we’ve seen a similar phenomenon at the Department of Education; however, the colonization has been by privatization advocates (boldface mine):
President Barack Obama pretends to be a friend of public education, but it just is not so. Sure, the White House offers a decorative promotional on K12 education; however, if one reads it closely, one sees that the Obama administration believes education (and, by extension, those educated) should serve the economy; that “higher standards and better assessments” and “turning around our lowest achieving schools” is No Child Left Behind (NCLB) leftover casserole, and that “keeping teachers in the classroom” can only elicit prolonged stares from those of us who know better.
All of these anti-public-education truths noted, the deeper story in what the Obama administration values regarding American education lay in its selection of US Department of Education (USDOE) appointees. Their backgrounds tell the story, and it isn’t a good one for the public school student, the community school and the career K12 teacher.
In this post, I examine the backgrounds and priorities of eight key USDOE appointees….
Eight fine Obama-serving individuals in key USDOE positions whose priorities (and professional experience) lay far and away from the traditional American classroom but who have been appointed to carry out the work of condemning and supplanting the traditional K12 American classroom with profitable “ventures” and disposable teachers by relentlessly testing the traditional classroom, collecting unprecedented amounts of data on it; labeling it a failure; replacing it with under-regulated, philanthropic-padded, market-driven “reform” that is also supposed to channel students to serve the market, and all the while adding the USDOE padding to their corporate-favoring resumes and advancing their own careers in the process.
Have I missed anything?
I would add two things:
1) The Bush Administration was never this radical when it came to education.
2) The story that should have been covered in 2008–that we needed covered in 2008–was Obama’s close ties and relationship with the Pritzker family. Through that lens, so much of what Obama has done makes perfect sense.
But it’s all about the kids.