The following is in response to this post on School Matter. Here also are links to Jim's initial post and my initial response:
Not sure if this was clear or not on my last comment, but I'm with you 90-95% of the way. I just don't want to throw the baby out with the bathwater, and also to make sure you're making the best possible argument. Does the fact that management companies are going to be non-profit mean they won't be evil like the College Board? Of course not. But I think it's important to differentiate between the corporatization of public schooling (which is happening in NYC) and the privatization of public schooling (which, though seems to be coming down the road, isn't what is happening here now).
I have my doubts as to whether any remaining middle class parents who continue to have kids in NYC public schools will allow their kids' funds to be drained off. It has never happened before, and I don't expect it happen now in this reverse Robin Hood era.There's a good chance you're correct here. Though Bloomberg may be addressing this with the increase in schools with admission test a la Stuyvesant. With that said, I'm not complaining that my school will be getting some of the funds that used to go elsewhere. With that said, I fear NYC Educator may be spot on with his Trojan Horse comment. The shift from allocating a certain number of staff positions to a certain dollar amount for salaries is part of what allows for this change. This is worrisome.
Sad, indeed. This is the typical neo-liberal treatment to the poverty and racism issue: ignore the real problem, provide services that only the middle class can use, and then blame the poor for not using them.I have to admit, I was very disappointed to read this remark. Let's get fact straight again first - 86% of students at my school get free lunch - we have no middle class. The extra services we provide at Bronx Lab ARE being used by the poor and working class students who we serve. Well I am well aware of the neo-liberal argument you are critiquing here (and am with you on it), I don't think it applies. We are trying to create a culture of transformation and empowerment for our students. Of course this does nothing to address the larger societal issues creating the need for transformation - and when the revolution begins that addresses these, let me know so I can be out there fighting side by side with you for it. But I until that point, I can't see any better bet than the transformational power of education.
That Bloomberg and Klein would be falling over themselves to pander to the "empowerment" schools in order to prove their superiority should be expected, I think. That is the Marc Tucker horse they have their money on, after all. Wonder if the schools served by the remaining superintendents have the resources to honor every requst from teachers?I don't get resources because we get extra money from the city. I get resources because my principal has the freedom to bring in outside funds, and has control over the funds we do get from the city. We actually get less than average per pupil funding from the traditional sources. Not to mention we're supposedly at 145% overcrowding, and share an old building in lousy condition with six other schools. When Bloomberg/Klein start falling over themselves to pander to us it will be one happy day.
The fact that the City, the State, and the Nation have ignored the poverty, repression, and racism that produced what "hasn't worked" does not seem reason enough to give up on the public schools for not accomplishing what no school system alone can ever accomplish, anyway. If Bloomberg's privatization plan is allowed to succeed, I am sure, Steve, that the Mayor's Office will stay busy congratulating you, your colleagues, and themselves for the new bright successes that were so recently painted as dismal failures. Something new, indeed.You're right - weak point on my part in terms of the "why not" argument for change. That's for jumping all over it. I hope it doesn't happen again.