War on Education 2013: Obama Takeover Nears Completion
It’s that time of year when I update my predictions for education reform; most from 2012 have come true. However, Michelle Rhee wasn’t named Secretary of Education by Obama right after he was elected. So far, Arne Duncan retains the post, but heavy promotion by NBC Frontline’s upcoming show called “The Education of Michelle Rhee” makes me think her future appointment is in the works. By slipping the phrase “as Rhee returns to the national stage” into its promo, the program directors obviously know something we don’t.
As far as I am concerned she’s never left the national stage unless it means resigning from her debut post in DC in order to enter phase two of her education transformation extravaganza—creating StudentsFirst with the goal of recruiting one million members and collecting $1 billion in funding. Her lobbying organization has infiltrated the legislatures of 17 states and forced nationalization of public education.
So, here’s an update with some more predictions for 2013:
1. Michelle Rhee will be named Secretary of the Department of Education.
Last year, I also said Kyle Olson of Education Action Group would be her number two. I was wrong on this one. Olson hasn’t gotten much mileage since his forte is battling unions and Rhee’s anti-union agenda only aligned with the rights’ insofar as it benefitted her dear leader's takeover of the public education system. Through Rhee, Obama has made a power grab to submit the unions to the new Democrat education platform of stripping local power away from teachers, principals and school boards and giving it to investors and hedge fund managers who don’t know squat about teaching or running a school.
2. Entrepreneurial investment in education technology has skyrocketed from $100 million in 2007 to $429 million in 2011. It’s peculiar that the huge increase in companies investing in digital classrooms and testing materials to eventually align with the Common Core State Standards’ requirements began the same year Rhee became Chancellor of DC Schools and Obama began his reign as president.
3. Common Core State Standards have now been accepted and are in the implementation stage in 46 states plus the District of Columbia. Reports from various sectors such as teachers, administrators, and public education watchdogs have given thumbs down to the standards because they attempt to nationalize a curriculum and in the process set the same bar for everyone. Federal not local, federal not local, federal not local. [not a typo]
4. Which takes us to the main reason Rhee is even in the picture: federal takeover and control of school districts. Rhee, Obama, hedge fund owners, financial backers like Gates, Walton and Eli Broad have taken it upon themselves to shove their agenda down Americans’ throats as they ridicule local school boards, teachers and schools of education. Their plan: out with the old guard in with the new who will be more compliant with the new administration.
5. THERE IS NO SCHOOL CHOICE, and if organizations both conservative and liberal tell you there is, they’re lying. Only the left has the playing field while conservatives grind their teeth on the sidelines. Hedge fund managers who control charter schools versus union-backed majorities on school boards? Where’s the choice? If you want to understand how the war is going, read about the battle for Bridgeport, Connecticut. This is the kind of education reform taking place across the country; and it’s not helping teachers, students, parents or principals who have skin in the game.
The losers in Michelle Rhee’s game:
- poor students who will be left behind after all the cream of the crop children are siphoned from the rolls and put into government controlled charters;
- teachers who joined the profession because they love to teach and if they happen to belong to a union, that doesn’t make them bad;
- school boards eventually will not be elected by the taxpayers (taxation without representation?), although they will remain under union/Democrat control while the transition continues.