Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Bill Gates et al and Waiting for Superman


            When Generosity Hurts: Bill Gates, Public School Teachers and the Politics of Humiliation
Tuesday 05 October 2010
by: Henry A. Giroux, t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed
So-called reformers such as Michelle Rhee, who took over the District of Columbia public schools three years ago, have become iconic symbols for enacting educational policies based on a mix of market incentives such as paying students for good grades, merit pay for teachers and firing teachers en masse who do not measure up to narrow and often discredited empirically based performance measures.(18) Reform in this case is driven by a slash-and-burn management system that relies more on punishment than critical analysis, teacher and student support and social development. The hedge fund managers, billionaire industrialists and corporate vultures backing such policies appear to view teachers, unions and public schools as an unfortunate, if not threatening remnant, of the social state, and days long past when social investments in the public good and young people actually mattered and public values were the defining feature of the educational system, however flawed. This hatred of public values, public services, public schools and teachers is only intensified by a wider culture of cruelty that has gripped American society.
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