Mr. President, Education Is a Human Right, Not a Product
Thursday, 10 January 2013 09:10 By Bill Ayers, Truthout | Op-Ed
President Barack Obama delivers remarks on education and budget priorities, while Jack Lew, Director of the United States Office of Management and Budget, right, and Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education, look on at the Parkville Middle School and Center of Technology, in Baltimore on February 14, 2011. (Photo: Drew Angerer / The New York Times)
The landscape of “educational reform” is currently littered with rubble and ruin and wreckage on all sides. Sadly, your administration has contributed significantly to the mounting catastrophe. You’re not alone: The toxic materials have been assembled as a bipartisan endeavor over many years, and the efforts of the last several administrations are now organized into a coherent push mobilized and led by a merry band of billionaires including Bill Gates, Michael Bloomberg, Sam Walton, and Eli Broad.
Whether inept or clueless or malevolent—who’s to say?—these titans have worked relentlessly to take up all the available space, preaching, persuading, promoting, and, when all else fails, spreading around massive amounts of cash to promote their particular brand of school change as common sense. You and Secretary Arne Duncan—endorsed in your efforts by Newt Gingrich, Paul Ryan, and a host of reactionary politicians and pundits—now bear a major responsibility for that agenda.