We Should Be Mad as Hell, and Not Take It Anymore from the Governor & His Opportunity School District Proposal.
The Governor’s Hypocrisy: Charter Lobbyist Pays for Travel to New Orleans Recovery School District. The Governor claims it is his moral duty to rescue Georgia’s struggling schools by taking them over. I think he has an ethical problem, and needs to come forward to explain himself.
When the Governor flew his hand-picked team to New Orleans to find out about the cities’ Recovery School District, he forgot to mention that a special interest group paid for the trip.
The AJC reported that an out-of-state special interest group paid to fly state officials out to New Orleans and Tennessee to sell the Opportunity School District idea. This special interest group spent over $10,000 on luxury hotels, first-class airfare, and fine dining on just one trip. That’s $10,000. Many of the parents who send their students to charter schools in the Recovery School District work to try to earn $20,000 to $30,000 per year, and our Governor enables a pro-charter company to spend 1/3 of a families’ budget on their junket to New Orleans.
I don’t know about you, but I’m mad as hell.
What was the Governor thinking?
Or, I’m sorry, he wasn’t thinking. He was following orders from corporate special interest groups who are bent on dismantling public education in favor of the corporatist model that is plaguing U.S. education.
And that Special Interest Group, StudentsFirst, was formed by Michelle Rhee. When she resigned as superintendent of D.C. Schools, she formed StudentsFirst which is a political lobbying group that works with legislators to change the laws governing schools and teachers. In particular, it fosters choice and vouchers, and is a steadfast supporter of charter schools. StudentsFirst pushes doctrines of student choice, charter schools, and the dismissal of teacher tenure.
So, this group sent the Governor packing to New Orleans to find out about charter schools in the Recovery School District and how they improved student’s academic learning in struggling schools in the post-Katrina era.
The Governor’s advance team never talked with people in New Orleans who have done research and shown that the New Orleans experiment has not been a raving success. He doesn’t want to hear this. All he want to do now is make sure he gets the votes in the House to pass Senate Bill 133 and Senate Resolution 287.
I don’t know about you, but I’m still mad as hell.
[Georgia’s] Governor, Nathan Deal, and most of the members of the General Assembly fail to understand that the corporatist agenda they are pushing will do great harm to the education of children and youth. I just don’t know what will move them to realize that education is in the public sphere, much like our state and national parks, forests and wildlife preserves, and should be protected from the corporate privateers.
But don’t expect any protection from Governor Deal and those who accompanied him to New Orleans to “learn” about the Recovery School District.
The 1976 movie, Network, from which I borrowed the lines “mad as hell, and not take it any more,” is extremely relevant today, especially when we think what has happened to American education since the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act in 2002. Screen writer Sidney Aaron “Paddy” Chayefsky‘s (three academy awards for screen writing, including Network), words make so much sense in the context of the Opportunity School District.
The Governor, instead of using research from scholars in the University System of Georgia, bends his ears to corporatists who use tabloid journalism to spread lies about teachers, and American schools. The only crisis in education is the ongoing invasion by the locusts of corporate reform and their heap of followers.
And finally, as Chayefsky wrote in Network:
I want you to get up right now. Sit up. Go to your windows. Open them and stick your head out and yell – ‘I’m as mad as hell and I’m not gonna take this anymore!’ Things have got to change. But first, you’ve gotta get mad!…You’ve got to say, ‘I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not gonna take this anymore!’ Then we’ll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis. But first, get up out of your chairs, open the window, stick your head out, and yell, and say it: ‘I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not gonna take this anymore!’