People often ask me: How can parents and teachers hope to beat the big money that is buying elections in state and local races around the nation? What chance do we have when they can dump $100,000, $200,000, $500,000 into a race without breaking a sweat?
True, they have a lot of money. But they have no popular base. The only time they win votes is when they trick voters with false rhetoric and pie-in-the-sky promises. They call themselves “reformers,” when they are in fact privatizers.
They claim they know how to close the achievement gap but their standard-bearer, Michelle Rhee, left DC with the biggest achievement gap of all big cities in the nation.
They claim to be leading the “civil rights issue” of our day, but can you truly imagine a civil rights movement led by billionaires, Wall Street hedge fund managers, ALEC, and rightwing think tanks?
They say they love teachers even as they push legislation to cut teachers’ pensions and take away their job rights and their right to join a union.
There are two reasons they will fail:
First, none of their ideas has ever succeeded, whether it’s high-stakes testing, charters, vouchers, merit pay or test-based teacher evaluations.
But even more important, the public is getting wise. The public has figured out the corporate reform strategy. In state after state, parents are organizing.
Here is one great example in Texas, of all places.
Similar groups of parents are organizing in every state. Even students are getting active in the movement to protect the commons.
When the public gets wise, the privatization movement dies.