Schooling and the Rise of The Authoritarian
Today it was announced that the designated secretary of the US Department of Education is a person with no experience or affiliation with public education. Her principle connection to education is the HUGE amounts of money and influence donated to further the privatization of public schools. She is an arch advocate of vouchers and charters. In fact her efforts have resulted in the decimation of many public schools districts in Michigan.
Appointed by The Authoritarian** who won the electoral college, but lost to the people by more than 2,000,000 votes and rising, she fits the mold of the other appointees, and that is to dismantle, stoke fear, and remove the vestiges of a democratic society.
**I do not want to use his name on my blog; instead in this post he is The Authoritarian to be chosen by the Electoral College, but not the voters.
That said, I turn my attention to the writing of Ed Johnson, the most prolific and astute critic of privatization and school turn around policies.
In this guest post, Ed Johnson asks us to look at what has driven education in the past three decades and how this might have contributed to the rise of The Authoritarian.
Schooling and The Authoritarian’s rise
Want to understand a bit of why perhaps the authoritarian is the POTUS-elect?
Then simply consider the miseducation school choice proponents got from schooling that had no or limited concern with civil society, namely: civics, citizenship, fellow citizens, democracy, the common good, cooperation, hard-won freedoms and civil rights, representative government, ethics, mores, and such. Consider their miseducation has given them a worldview that serves corporatists’ and corporate school reformers’ always profits-driven, free-market global competition ways of thinking and behaving.
However, for deeper insight into why The Authoritarian got elected POTUS, consider America’s Schools Could Be Partly To Blame for The Authoritarian’s Rise.
This report also offers insight into how currently serving Atlanta school board members and superintendent – most of whom are millennials and African-Americans – contributed to The Authoritarian’s rise, à la their School Turnaround Strategy compounded with selfie culture.
After all, one has only to critically consider the vision and mission the board and superintendent imposed upon Atlanta public schools sans the public’s consensus:
Mission: With a caring culture of trust and collaboration, every student will graduate ready for college and career.
Vision: A high-performance school district where students love to learn, educators inspire, families engage, and the community trusts the system.
Where in their Vision and Mission for APS is there any core concern for civil society, expressed or implied? Where is there any concern with the purpose of Atlanta public schools that represents public interests and consensus? Well, there is none. Instead, there is only concern with “college and career,” in an amoral sense.
The currently serving Atlanta school board members have demonstrated time and time again that holding to and fulfilling civil society responsibilities is something they do not do in any overarching sense. Instead, time and time again they have shown they mainly serve to represent the superintendent’s school turnaround ambitions, hence corporate school reformers’ machinations to privatize public schools, hence The Authoritarian’s rise.
Consequently, all that Atlanta school board members and superintendent have done, and are likely to ever do, amounts to costly tampering with the structure of APS void of leading and providing for teachers and others to develop for APS requisite systemic, sustainable internal capabilities to continually improve pedagogic practices grounded in purposes that support civil society rather than tear it down. Clearly, what they do reveals they believe they need only install and reinstall, as necessary, omniscient school turnaround “sparkplugs” in order to gain requisite capabilities, jackrabbit fast.
The point, though, is that what Atlanta school board members and superintendent do and why and how they do it should come as no surprise. Indeed, few, if any, of their whys, whats, and hows come as a surprise to the civil society-minded.
Nor does The Authoritarian’s rise.
Advocate for Quality in Public Education
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