These past few years, some of us have been trying to awaken the public to the goals and strategy of the privatization movement.
First, they demand high-stakes testing, and they claim they want to “reduce the achievement gap” or “it’s all for the kids.”
Second, they use the scores to give grades to schools and to declare that those with the lowest scores are “failing schools” (purposely ignoring that those with low scores are almost always located in the poorest neighborhoods and enroll high proportions of children of color)
Third, somewhere along the way, they strip teachers of every job protection so they can’t complain and do not have a seat at the table when the budget is slashed
Fourth, they welcome private management, and freely hand out public dollars to entrepreneurs, amateurs, and assorted corporations (don’t forget, “it’s all for the kids,” because “kids first,” “children first,” “students first.”)
In Texas, as the letter below shows, the Democrats are beginning to see what is happening.
The Texas legislature cut over $5 billion from the public schools’ budget but somehow managed to find a measly $500 million for Pearson’s testing regime. Pearson must have super lobbyists, like the guy who was the architect of No Child Left Behind.
Now the next legislature is likely to expand charters and vouchers.
Getting ready to finish off public education.
This letter is from Gilberto Hinojosa, chairman of the Texas Democratic Party:
There’s a reason that the Texas Republican platform is opposed to teaching critical thinking skills. Anyone with the ability to think can look at what Republicans are doing to our schools and realize that it’s insanity!
Last year, Republicans cut five billion dollars from public education. But they won’t be happy until they fully end public education as we know it. There’s a war against teaching and schools going on in our State, and we won’t sit by and let this happen!
Republican Senator Dan Patrick was recently appointed Chair of the Senate Education Committee. We know what that means for the next legislative session, because he’s already told us.
“This is the session for us to be bold. This is the session for us to reform public education,” Patrick has announced.
“Reform” is code for defund and destroy.
Patrick is partnering with Perry and Dewhurst to further defund our schools in a dramatic way. They want to take money from our children’s futures and pass it to their cronies. Republicans call it vouchers, but it’s clear that their goal is not to provide better educational opportunities. Those who truly champion our children would not start by cutting over five billion dollars of support for their education.
It is absolutely insane and objectionable that Texas Republicans see the education of our children as a political tool and as a way to give more money to their rich buddies.
Every Democrat in this State needs to get out there and vote like the future depends on it because IT DOES. At the Texas Democratic Party we’re fighting against this insanity. But we need you to fight with us.