Monday, October 8, 2012

Cheerleading for Privatization in the Buffalo News

Anyone unfortunate enough to read the Buffalo News' hit piece on Byron Brown the other day might be sick of hearing about him. For this and other reasons I will eschew linking to the the thing. I am not a defender of this unopposed Democrat mayor by any stretch of the mind but I couldn't help noticing the angle Mary Pasciak pursued in her "story." I use the quotes here as there wasn't any story to tell about Byron Brown as much as Pasciak, tipsy as she is from the bottle of the "ed reformers" wanted to construct an editorial dressed up with all the panache of a Salvation Army outfitted dragqueen as a story. The fact that Mayor Brown hasn't tried harder to get control of the Buffalo Board of Education does not sit well with the good folks at Chameleon Inc. and BuffaloPrivatizeEd. Privatizers LOVE mayoral controlled school boards. Rahm Emanuel has one and look what a great job they did in avoiding that teacher's strike in Chicago. Rahm also appoints cool friends to his board like Penny Pritzker the billionheiress from Hyatt Hotels who also happens to be a huge donor to the privatization movement. Mayor Bloomberg in NYC also has an appointed school board and things in NYC are swinging along so well that a Bloomberg enabled Principal was actually able to have a 3020a hearing against a chemistry teacher because she claimed the teacher put a curse on her. Regardez : 

That I was accused of "putting a curse on" my Principal, which she said while testifying at my 3020a hearing, and that I was accused of therefore having caused her to have two car accidents and of causing her house to burn down, should not be any great surprise. After all, she had no teaching experience, and went straight from being a Parent Coordinator at the district office,  to assistant Principal, and then to the Leadership Academy to become the Principal of a Brooklyn high school.
\She, like her cronies--the two assistant Principals who belong to the same sorority--doesn't have the background to see beyond theoretical teaching practices. This triumvirate is totally consumed by teaching jargon and the educational theory du jour. from : NYC/ATR

Pick up on all the "reformer" tricks in there ? Uncertified, unqualified, clueless morons placed in positions of power far beyond the ken of their incompetence by hacks who know damned well they don't deserve the jobs and who see the failure of public ed as the 9-11 upon which they will install their own version of the Educational Homeland Security Act. Note also the presence of a sorority chapter whose members somehow infiltrate positions of power in the educational milieu whether they have a shit's clue or not as to what the hell they are doing. Here in Buffalo the famous Sorority Sisters form the base of the majority voting block and were given credit for making sure Superintendent Amber Dixon was shown the door and their candidate, Dr.PamelaBrown was crowned queen of Buffalo Schools. Ironically, 3 of them were NOT elected, they were APPOINTED. Nevergold, Taylor and Belton- Cottman were all installed not elected. If you ask anyone in Buffalo what they think of this board's performance, credibility and integrity I am fairly certain they'd score pretty dismal grades. When one examines the method by which the majority of the majority got their seats I am equally certain the citizens of B-lo would answer No in thunder to the idea of an entire school board being appointed by anyone, let alone by Mayor Squarepants. (Actually we all know the Mayor is Casey and Byron Brown is  cyborg who looks good in a suit and dances like a dorky white guy to polka music every April at the Broadway Market).

Back to Mary's love affair with the "reformers" (sic) read that privatizers. Just a week ago I was perusing the website for BuffaloPrivatizeEd and I came upon a little primer of their terms for the uninitiated. On their site they praise Mayorally controlled school boards pointing out that they are good at eliminating cronyism and crony-esque board influences. 

school boards are plagued by patronage because of the election protocol that seats members onto the board: the school board elections are in alternate years to major party elections; board candidates are non-partisan; a very small percentage of voters go to the polls to elect the school board.
A mayoral takeover cleans up the board by removing the patronage jobs, and improving efficiency in money spent and uniform standards.   BuffaloPrivatizeEd.Inc.

Yes they said this I imagine without any hint of irony, proud caviar liberals that they are. Somehow in their Kiplingesque rush to bear the wealthy white man's burden they also see fit to screw the unwashed out of their need to vote for a board member. Are these people a scream or what ? And the Buffalo News can't get enough of them. Oh wait, yes they can -- and that will be our next topic. Selective Outrage as brought to you by Mary, Donn and the Editorial Board... 

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