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Learning at its Best

What’s wrong with this picture?

Here in Denver, new mayor Michael Hancock and several corporate-funded education advocacy organizations are hosting a series of education forums under the name “More From Our Schools: Deeper Dialogue on Education Issues“. So far, it looks like ideological balance is going to be a big issue for this “deeper dialogue”– right now, the only confirmed participants aside from the Mayor are Van Schoales, Rick Hess, and Tony Lewis of the Donnell-Kay Foundation, all men who represent organizations funded by corporations holding similar views on education reform.

And scrolling through the scheduled events, one sees this:

Hmm. If this is a conversation about education issues, how is it possible that the panel of “experts” isn’t drawn from the education community? And why are members of the education community just “listening and asking questions” of these so-called experts?

I sincerely hope this is just an issue of inelegant phrasing, and that this panel actually is drawn from the pool of real experts– the education community.

About Sabrina

At any given moment, I am some combination of the following: A teacher, thinker, advocate, writer, and student. A wife, sister, daughter, friend, and party-goer. A cook, knitter, reader, musician, and traveler. I have a sarcastic sense of humor, but I'm totally willing to give you the shirt off my back if it looks like you need it. (Kinda like lemon meringue...always seeking that balance between tart and sweet.)


5 thoughts on “What’s wrong with this picture?

  1. Sabrina, your post makes me think we should all be reading Steven Brill’s new book, Class Warfare. It seems that meetings like this (and by this I mean, “reformers in Colorado”) have bee taking place since the foundation of DFER in the mid-oughts.

    There is a chilling lack of distance between the players in the federal department of education and moneyed “reformers,” and it’s all by design according to Brill – there was a memo prepped for Obama’s transition laying out who should be where supporting which reforms through what kinds of policies (RttT came straight out of an earlier Gates Foundation contest).

    I think Class Warfare provides some context for this meeting and what’s happening; it provides a cogent summation of the narrative against which we push. We can also expect what happens at meetings like these to shape ed policy at least in either a second Obama administration or a new Republican one.

    We can also expect teachers to be the audience for experts in the near future unless we find more civil, constructive, disruptive ways to take the stage ourselves.

    Along those lines, I’d be interested in your #SOSMarch reflections – would you consider a piece for the Coöp?


    Posted by Chad Sansing | August 22, 2011, 5:21 am
  2. Classic doublespeak. Or do I mean eduspeak? How can you have a conversation with people who have secret agendas. Or even not-s0-secret ones? You can’t. Your best bet might be to keep on screaming that the emperor ain’t got no clothes or to do like the crowd did to Mitt Romney when he defended corporations as people. They belly laughed at him. If you want to get inspired, read Justice Stevens’ dissent in the Citizens United case:×7536905 Best to you. Keep on!

    Posted by Terry Elliott | August 22, 2011, 6:42 am
  3. I find myself wanting to become involved in some of the moneyed reform initiatives so that we have a seat at the table, until our seat ends up being at the feet of the master…again. Thanks to Sabrina and to all of the voices of Cooperative Catalyst.

    Posted by Kathleen Gillis | August 22, 2011, 6:59 am
  4. I’m with Chad. This is absolute double-speak. “Come listen to us tell you how to do what we know nothing about better.” Beautiful.

    Posted by John T. Spencer | August 22, 2011, 9:45 pm

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