Thursday, December 11, 2008

The new language of 'reform'


Best selling author Greg Palast, writing on Huff, is afraid that Barack Obama is about to make a “Way to Go Brownie” error. Remember what happened when George Bush put the unqualified, but ideologically-attuned bumbler, Michael Brown in charge of post-Katrina FEMA operations? Palast sees the same thing happening if Obama picks Klein or Duncan as the next secretary of edu cation. Besides, he argues, the next prez already has a great talent right there in Linda Darling-Hammond.
So here we have the ludicrous scene of the President-elect asking this recognized authority, Dr. Darling-Hammond, to vet the qualifications of amateurs Klein and Duncan. It's as if Obama were to ask Michael Jordan, "Say, you wouldn't happen to know anyone who can play basketball, would you?"
Palast raises some great points and has a clever pen. But, his anti-Obama blade is a little too swift and sharp for me, considering Barack hasn’t even been sworn in yet.

Alfie Kohn makes an even better case, aganst Klein/Duncan and for LDH in an upcoming Nation article, "Beware of School 'Reformers.'" He does a great job deconstructing Republican (and DFER)-speak about reform and reformers.
For Republicans, education “reform” typically includes support for vouchers and other forms of privatization. But groups with names like Democrats for Education Reform—along with many mainstream publications—are disconcertingly allied with conservatives in just about every other respect.

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