Friday, April 9, 2010

March on D.C. demanding Duncan's firing

Tomorrow a number of groups are sponsoring a march on Washington to demand the firing of Arne Duncan and reversal of the Obama administration's education policies:
U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave. SW
End the Attacks against Teachers, Black, Latina/o, and Poor,
Working-Class and Middle-Class Students of All Races
No Privatization of Public Education
No Tuition/Fee Hikes - No Program Cuts in Higher Education
No Layoffs/No Furloughs
No More Separate and Unequal
Restore Dr. King's Vision for America

I thought the following the most interesting (it's an answer, incidentally, to those who assume that accepting the federal funding is good for our students):
For the last six months, Education Secretary Arne Duncan has cynically and dishonestly hidden behind the needs of poor, black and Latina/o students to receive equal, quality educational opportunities, to institute his controversial, unpopular and educationally indefensible plan to create a national network of 5,000 publicly-financed, privately-run, minimally-regulated charter schools. Precious resources have already been taken away from public schools and given to charter schools to assure that charter schools win the "competition" against resource-starved, inner-city urban public school systems. His scheme, if successful, would end public education as a right and would increase, not decrease, educational inequality based on race and class.

Duncan has exploited the economic crisis to demand that union officials, local school districts, public officials and politicians unquestioningly and uncritically sign on to his unpopular, reactionary, anti-union, anti-democratic, pro-business policies in order to even stand a chance of receiving "Race To The Top" money. The most impoverished black and Latina/o communities with the proudest history of support for civil rights, union rights and public education are being asked to undertake a set of draconian reforms and to abandon every progressive principle they have stood on and believe in to get federal money to prevent the decimation of their schools.

1 comment:

Jim Gonyea said...

I may not be with them physically, but I'm with them in heart.