The media continues to ignore the harm caused by common core, and the fed and corp take over of our schools. Yet, they’re super quick to tout the alleged benefits of a “unified curriculum”, while clearly ignoring this SPECIFIC poison. They double speak about military families and poorer districts needing help and unity. They simultaneously fail to address that this specific plan is backfiring dangerously.
Why does this happen?
It’s all about the bucks. Again.
We know who owns the media. If you don’t, do your homework.
Sadly, Joe Public buys what poison the media is selling. It’s easy to believe with its pretty pictures, and comes soon fed to our living rooms and breakfast tables. This isn’t BBC folks. These news stations have sold out. There is a huge agenda and it’s financially solid.
This is a major connect the dots piece.
“Who are the players here? Over the past two decades, as the internet has transformed communication, a circle of Silicon Valley billionaires have achieved great influence. Their outlook tends to be Libertarian, and finds much in common with neoliberals when it comes to education policy. These nouveau tech billionaires have found common cause with hedge fund managers and banking industry insiders, who also hold tremendous power.
According to Robert McChesney,…much of the wealth generated by the Internet has been funneled into a small number of hands….[T]he Internet has produced monopolistic titans like Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, e-Bay, Microsoft, Intel, Cisco, Oracle, and Qualcomm….In combination, these firms have almost unlimited power in Washington, and the only time they face any regulatory threat is when the giants find themselves on opposite sides of an issue….Academics trip over one another as they sing the praises of digital titans,…but [T]he Internet brings one of the core contradictions of capitalists the fore—what is good and rational for those who control the economy is bad and irrational for society as a whole. (Blowing the Roof Off the Twenty-First Century, 228-9)
The most important fact in American politics today is the Citizens United decision. With this, the hand of the Democratic Party was forced: in order to win major elections the party must accept major campaign funding from the Silicon Valley right libertarians, neoliberals and their financiers on Wall Street. For neoliberal Democrats who are forced to lick the Nikes of their major funders, the privatization of education has become the price they pay to get the dollars needed to win elections.
The Obama Administration’s education policies are the equivalent of doing dog tricks or “dancing” for someone who is holding a gun.
Rachel Maddow is reputed to be a friend of Eva Moskowitz and appears to supports the charter movement. Democrats are heavily influenced by NPR and PBS coverage that virtually excludes teacher voices except for a recent NPR series on the “Secret lives of teachers” that reifies the political, social, and economic contexts of educational issues. NPR and PBS both receive very generous support from the Gates and Walton foundations and Students First, which is heavily subsidized by many individuals and foundations hostile to public education. Among centrist Democrats heavily influenced by the Wall Street investors who support privatization of schools, NPR, PBS, and the New York Times remain the three most influential institutions that most directly shape mainstream public opinion on education issues.
These three major media outlets are in turn heavily influenced by studies coming from policy think tanks that receive generous contributions from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Broad Foundation, and The Bloomberg Fund. The Fordham Institute, AEI, the Joyce Foundation, and the Brookings Institute (turned neoliberal) and a spate of conservative think tanks have all produced non-peer reviewed papers to support the privatization of education. They have all received heavy subsidies from the above foundations, and education beat reporters and editorial pages routinely use talking points from these and other think tanks to write stories about education issues.
GMMB, a think-tank and PR firm located in Washington DC and heavily subsidized by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has also had a big impact on the shaping negative opinion of public schools and public school teachers. GMMB carefully prepared the media packets and campaign in support of the Common Core Standards and has worked very closely with the Fordham Institute to supply talking points and interviews to virtually every major media outlet. GMMB has hired media insiders who have worked in most major cable news and print media institutions, opening easy access to editorial boards and the country’s major education reporters. Mr. Duncan’s former PR officer, a former reporter for the LA Times, revolved into a GMMB job one year ago. It is not a stretch to say that there is virtually no institutional membrane existing between GMMB, the Fordham Institute, and the Department of Education under Secretary Duncan. Indeed, presidential appointments of top assistant secretaries that are closely connected with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are the norm within the Obama Department of Education. Michael Petrilli of the Fordham Institute was called by virtually every major print, cable, and digital reporter from 2012-14 for talking points in defense of the Common Core Curriculum which, like the Fordham Institute, is heavily funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The Department of Education, for its part, promotes the agenda of Mr. Gates at every turn. Like a general threatening to bomb a noncompliant subaltern population, Mr. Duncan routinely disparages the teaching profession and public schools. Ignoring the validity decades of NAEP assessments, Mr. Duncan has turned Pearson Education loose on all American educators, students, and teachers by publically funding his own version of Operation Phoenix: the PARCC assessments that will not only hold all students to a higher standard, but will rid the country of “bad teachers.” This campaign intentionally ignores mountains of peer reviewed studies that indicate that ineffective teachers make up no more than 3% of the current teaching force in virtually every state.
Perhaps the most telling fact of the success of the GMMB-Fordham Institute-DoEd manufactured consent for the disruption and destruction of public schools is the virtual absence from major national print, digital, and cable public discourse of any discussion of what can only be called the Corvair-Edsel of the Education Industry complex: Pearson Education. I know of no corporation that consistently produces such shoddy products as Pearson Education. The public, especially parents, are learning about the lack of quality of Pearson software and sample questions when they consult online sample questions. Teachers have known about the shoddy quality of Pearson test generators for some time. This educational equivalent of Halliburton, Pearson has benefitted from greasing the wheels of the Obama campaign, and has enjoyed a very cozy relationship with Mr. Duncan’s Education Department from day one.
Pearson has not only profited from developing PARCC at warp speed on the federal dime to please Mr. Gates-Duncan-Petrilli, it has also obtained no bid contracts in many states that were greased by free trips given to state education superintendents. The Pearson Foundation has since been disbanded and fined by the New York State’s Attorney for such shady quid pro quo-reeking interactions. The fact that Pearson has not been taken to court in many states attests to the lack of effective ethics codes in the states and a lack of DOJ and FTC oversight. Such oversight is sorely lacking within an administration that serves Wall Street and Silicon Valley when it comes to education policy.
Because Pearson and PARCC are the centerpieces of Mr. Duncan’s policy agenda, and Chicago School ideas about building unfettered and more “efficient” economies of scale championed by Henry C. Simons, Milton Friedman and their students Gary Becker, Judge Richard Posner, and Richard Epstein; have heavily influenced the Chicago “clique” surrounding the president (Valerie Jarrett, Martin Nesbitt, Penny Pritzker, the board of the Commercial Club of Chicago who were essential to funding Obama’s first campaign) and the antitrust enforcement in the form of requiring Pearson Education to write competitive impact statements when it gobbles up more and more market share like an educational version of the movie “The Blob” is entirely moot at DOJ.”
This is a joke, a game, to these oligarch families and those who work for them, which includes the media.
“This is a little off topic, but has anyone in the mainstream media ever questioned the premise of the federal government being involved in education in the first place? (And, yes, I’m well aware that No Child Left Behind is a Republican boondoggle.)
If I had a dollar for every time the media floated the idea of federalism, I’d be dead broke.
This widespread idea in the media that Congress and/or the federal government “acting” automatically equates a virtue is its own kind of bias. Gridlock can also be a virtue. At least when there’s gridlock, my freedoms are safe. The job of Congress is to serve the people, not “act.” And sometimes Congress serves us best by not acting.
The media always want the federal government to “act.” God help us all.”
“Still, the deception by Common Core advocates continues unabated. One of the most incredible recent examples reviewed by The New American came from the “Higher State Standards Partnership,” a front group for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable. The astroturf group paid to publish a propaganda advertisement in The Daily Caller headlined “How Common Core state standards prevent federal control of education.” The Big Business front-group’s ad, with a format designed to make it look like an actual article, never explained how the nationalized standards would prevent federal control of education. Instead, the ad made the preposterous claim that abandoning Common Core “would only bolster the hand of the Administration and invite federal control into our schools.”
While the Big Business front group has been producing ads purporting to show that “teachers” support the standards, that lie is easily put to rest by witnessing the revolt among teachers in New York, where the Common Core roll-out has advanced faster than in other states. There, the board of the state teachers union voted unanimously against Common Core as it has been implemented so far. New York State Assemblyman Al Graf, a member of the Assembly Education Committee with a degree in education, even told The New American that the controversial standards represent “state-sponsored child abuse.” Even the governor in the establishment stronghold has been forced to retreat slightly on Common Core in the face of the public uprising. Opponents of the education takeover say this is just the start. ”
Just be aware of what your neighbor is buying, because it effects all our children.