This is from The Black Commentator (2002). Their site has some great articles that will open your eyes about the kind of garbage the right wing is trying to feed to the African American community. This one is about the money and connections behind the voucher movement, and especially about the extreme right wing Bradley Foundation. Bradley Foundation money funds groups like the right wing think tank Heritage Foundation. This brings up an old sore spot for me. I listen to NPR a lot, mostly because I cannot stand the commercialism and blather of commercial radio. They often use people from Heritage as their "experts," but they rarely identify them as even being conservative, much less the extreme right wing, corporate driven idea factory that they are. This is something I would expect from cable news, but the truth is that all mainstream media outlets parrot the conservative line over and over again! It infuriates me.
Which brings me to a spout that I have been wanting to make for a few days. Last week at a party, that I didn't particularly want to go to, I happened to sit down next to an acquaintance that I have known for some time. Immediately he asks me about the affects that NCLB is having on our school district. Well, as you might imagine, I was off... It was a pretty good conversation and a reasonably enjoyable night. At the end of the night I ended by telling him about our web site. Later in an e_mail, after he commended me for the site he wrote that in his mind NCLB and alternatives to public education are separate issues. He said he thought we were alienating a large, thoughtful, caring, determined and potentially very helpful group of families by painting them with the same brush. According to him there are over a million kids now being homeschooled and those families are as alarmed about NCLB, if not more so, as most public school teachers. He said that the Home School Legal Defense Ass. has been fighting this sort of garbage for decades. He went on to say he disagree with NCLB for what I see are all the right reasons. But, he brings up a good point. It is not the alternatives to public education that I have a problem with. Instead it is the funding of these alternatives with public money. It is also where the impetus for the alternatives is coming from, which is the extreme right and all those who would like nothing better that to get government out of the business of education, and put a good poprtion of that money in private hands.
But it's more than that. I mourn the fact that the middle class in this country has, largely, given up on public education. We are loosing exactly those people, those parents who with their influence and hard work, could help us change the system. And we are loosing them largely, because of the constant hammering from the business organizations and the media that our school system is a failure, which it is not! And with the help of this lost middle class it could even be better! I hope to add more to this soon, but I'm beat.