When the Bush regime wanted to invade Iraq they needed to create a case for their war plans. Now they couldn't come right out and say Dick Cheney's former company Halliburton was a ready made war caterer or that Poppa Bush's friendly conglomeration of arms dealers aka The Carlyle Group was waiting in the wings to swell their profits. Erik Prince's dirty little band of ragtag war criminals, drunks, steroid and meth heads with itchy trigger fingers stood poised to become a billion dollar enterprise hiring guns for roughly 5 times the salary of Green Berets, Rangers and SEALS. No, the Bush regime had to come up with a better explanation for their plan than enriching KBR, Blackwater and gun dealers not to mention the oil if they could steal that too. So they found an old drum and started banging it. Along the way they made their case with some intel that caused the MI6 in London to belly laugh at its poor fake quality as they dismissed it as fraudulent. Bush's guys made no such admission though, they dusted off the boot prints and added it to their folio of why need war, NOW. Eventually they discredited Hans Blix and his UN Inspectors, said they didn't know what they were doing, painted them out as European socialists and shouted down anyone who challenged them as being Un-American which was still pretty easy to do in the earlier post 9-11 window. After a long and exhaustive collection process of laughable intelligence, outright lies and stuff that they either created themselves or knew damned well to be illegitimate, they topped it all off by sending General Powell on the kamikazee mission of his career's credibility. Powell did his best with nifty posters and powerpoints, mobile labs like so many Mr. Softee trucks bristling with warheads full of poison gas. The Bushies were careful to keep their public priorities straight. They kept their lousy profiteering on the back burner where the public wasn't privy to their true motives for war. And out front they were strong and wrong with their belligerent insistence that Saddham was a rogue elephant who had to be put down and fast. He had to be stopped or he'd destabilize the region and kill everyone with his weapons. The rest as we say is history.
Enter the education privatization movement of our corporate raiders turned self proclaimed education experts. They see billions in federal money going to education that they would love to divert into their own coffers. But that's almost as tacky and outrageous as asking for a war so your corporate pals in the War-Biz can get richer quick. So the Edu profiteers using a page from the War profiteers create their own crisis and they call it : FAILING SCHOOLS! Like the war guys our edu-teers have some sticky wickets to navigate before they can get a green light to start looting and pillaging. They have to overcome these annoying teachers and their selfish, kid hating UNIONS. And since a handful of people here and there seem to like teachers, the decision is made to demonize their unions instead. Well one way of doing this is to EVALUATE these teachers and isolate them as the problem in the equation. It's not FAILING parents, or a FAILING ECONOMY or a FAILED HOUSING MARKET or a $750 Billion BANK BAILOUT because the fast and loose corporate thieves stayed up all night at the card table playing with everyone else's money and ended up in the basement of the casino at sunrise with Laurence Fishburne taking his rings off to punch them into reality (If you havent seen 21 get it, it's amazing). No it wasn't the banker wankers or the de-regulated derivatives gamblers who drove the economy off the cliff. It's not the stinking poverty of the ghettoes or the unemployment rates among males in the ghettoes. It's not the fatherless children or the broken families or the families destroyed by mental illness, drug abuse, domestic violence and zero chance of a decent living. And it surely wasn't legislation by right wingers who cut funding to every and any program that might mitigate some of the suffering of the lower socioeconomic ranks. It was the TEACHERS. THEY are the ones who are FAILING our kids.
So the profiteers put their friends in multi billion dollar think tanks to work and they start cranking out their faith based solutions to all that ails public education. I borrow the phrase "faith based" from Bill Ayers who points out that for all of the privatizer's professed love of data, they have an odd aversion to it when it comes to supporting any of their "reform" ideas. Zero of 4 "turnaround" models divined by Gates drones in a think tank somewhere have any basis in reality, they have no record of their efficacy or their results because they were never field tested. It seems they might better be dubbed "Bend Over" than "Turnaround" since their goal is the same and they all focus on teachers as the primary cause of failure in schools. Yet here we are in Buffalo teachers are being called greedy and accused of not caring about the kids because we are refusing to participate in one of the most assholic of the 4 models which coincidentally violates the BTF labor agreement with the district. (See 50% Stupid) In doing his part for his corporate masters the State Ommissioner of Education has tied millions in federal funds to the union's capitulation to an unfair evaluation process designed to devastate their ranks with capricious and arbitrary terminations. The union is refusing to talk about the assessments until the district at least gets itself back to zero and withdraws the appeal they've all ready been denied twice.
Yet in the opposite world of corporate media we read about the BTF putting "its boot to the throats of Buffalo's students and the region's economic recovery." Is there a Wal Mart superstore opening somewhere that is going to refuse to hire our students? How exactly are we choking off economic recovery? Whether it's starting a war or stealing education money from kids, the game is essentially the same. A small band of plutocrats with the help of billions of dollars and whorish, soulless politicians can always get their way in this country. The fallout is vaguely similar too -- young people who enlisted in the armed forces after 9-11 in a fit of patriotic duty are sent into a kill zone by people who shrug, look at their cuticles and say "They knew the risks when they enlisted..." And in places like New York we have people like Eva Destruction Moskowitz whose charter schools evict at risk kids who are forced to give up their gym and science labs and the single teen mothers who attend can go find their own daycare now because Eva's kids deserve better than they do. The evictees will be shipped to a new place lacking not only gym and labs but daycare for their babies which these girls relied on to get through school. Too bad. I guess they knew the risks when they enlisted? Can we use that line in education now too? The poor kids get screwed and the rich get richer whether it's a war or the war to steal public schools.