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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Education Nation (and a Fox in the Schoolhouse)

NBC is gearing up its Education Nation series this week and having a conference in NYC.   Many of the speeches are to be webcast.   Naturally, this is EST so you either have to get up very early or tape/Tivo them.   I haven't been overly impressed with this series in the past but they do have some interesting conversations scheduled.

Tomorrow's include an interview with Warren Buffett, Susie Buffett and Melinda Gates at 8:15 am.

One great one will be on Tuesday at 9:00 am - a debate between Geoffrey Canada and Diane Ravitch.  I have a feeling they have more in common than might be expected.

I'm going to be on KING-5 news at 8:30 am on Wednesday to talk about parent involvement and whether parents need a union.  (This is their phrasing and no, I don't think parents need a union but I do think they need groups who serve as parent advocates.  I don't think that's happening so much now except at a high level - PTSA advocacy for legislative matters - and at CPPS, Communities and Parents for Public Schools of Seattle, who have done a lot of outreach to immigrant parents.)

That fox in the henhouse would be Rupert Murdoch who is making a keynote address at an education summit hosted by Jeb Bush in San Francisco next month.  Apparently he got asked based on a speech he gave earlier this year at the G8 summit.

"In every other part of life, someone who woke up after a 50-year nap would not recognize the world around him…But not in education," he remarked in May during a speech at the "e-G8 forum" that preceded the G8 summit in France. "Our schools remain the last holdout from the digital revolution."

From Mother Jones:
Last November, News Corp. dropped $360 million to buy Wireless Generation, a Brooklyn-based education technology company that provides software, assessment tools, and data services. "When it comes to K through 12 education, we see a $500 billion sector in the US alone that is waiting desperately to be transformed by big breakthroughs that extend the reach of great teaching," Murdoch said at the time.

Really?  So would that be the same technology his reporters and editors at News of the World used to hack people's phones including a 13-year murder victim and dead British soldiers?  Would it be that kind of thing, Mr. Murdoch?

From Valerie Strauss' Answer Sheet blog at the Washington Post:

The foundation’s website says this about the October summit:

“Our flagship initiative, the National Summit on Education Reform, annually convenes the best and brightest from around the world to share strategies to improve the quality of education.”

I’ve gotta tell you, when I think about the “best and brightest”people who can devise strategies to improve the quality of education, Murdoch never comes to mind. 

The fact that it did to the people holding the summit underscores just how much big business and big money are driving education reform today.

Add to the list of wealthy people who think they know how to make education better (or at least make a profit at trying). 

3 comments:

seattle citizen said...

Monday speech:
"7:00pm Job One: Preparing America To Compete In The Global Economy"

Is that really "Job One"?

dan dempsey said...

"One great one will be on Tuesday at 9:00 am - a debate between Geoffrey Canada and Diane Ravitch. I have a feeling they have more in common than might be expected."
==========
Diane and Wendy Kopp have a lot in common in their views ... but their differences are critical.

We may find the same with Mr. Canada.

Anonymous said...

Ed Schultz has been covering the state of education "reform" in Wisconsin on his radio show. He will also be covering the education nation on his tv show every night this week.

He is the only national media personality I know who is speaking out and making the connections between big money ie the Koch Brothers and the absolute deliberate destruction of public education.

The tactics being used by Gov. Walker of Wisconsin are the exact same tactics being used in other (ahem) school districts: over crowding classrooms, cutting teacher pay & benefits, cutting school budgets especially for special ed aides & other programs, private money set to benefit from charters, union busting, etc.

Sound famliar ie Seattle Foundation & TFA & the Apple connection...?

Hey Seattle, time to wake up & smell the coffee, scrape off the moss, and pay attention. It's not just us - it's all of us.

-JC.