Friday got away from me. The kids were home from school. The husband had the day off. I had planned a different Subvert the Dominent Link Hierarchy list for today but I'll put that one off until next week since I found something via the excellent progressive edublog, An Old Soul, that is a one-stop, one-issue link list of blogs you may not already know.
Shari, who runs An Old Soul, writes:
... I quietly lurk in two huge blogging circles which rarely intersects: the 'edublog' world and the progressive blog world. My own personal goal: I want bloggers in these two worlds who identify with our agenda to know about each other.
Now there's a great goal. There are three areas that the Republican Radicals are currently trying to gut: Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid and Public Education. Those three policy areas are where the money is and they want to get their mitts on it. It's that simple. (They've already essentially killed Organized Labor, but they're still kicking the body and getting ready to nail the coffin shut) The first two targets, especially SocSec, get all the press because that's the way the Radical Republicans want it to be. The distraction helps them make progress on the destruction of Public Education, among other institutions crucial to the country's survival.
As public education advocates see it, one of the most frightening features of the school finance bill that limped out of the House last week is a provision that could spell the beginning of the end of public schools in Texas. This unraveling process would start by empowering the state education commissioner to turn over control of low-performing schools to private, for-profit companies. If the bill were in effect today, some estimates reflect that as many as 375 school campuses would qualify as candidates for private takeover.
This is just one of the things about House Bill 2 that worries Rep. Mark Strama. The Austin Democrat had at one point considered supporting the bill, if only because of the property-tax relief it would bring to people in his middle-income swing district in northeast Travis Co. But in the end, Strama concluded, "You shouldn't have to hold your nose to vote on the most important issue of the session." Strama had in fact gone back and forth on the bill until an hour before the second-reading vote last Wednesday evening. He had spent the day wearing a look of visible anguish as he moved across the House floor, conferring with one senior colleague or another. Every once in a while he would study a running stream of notes, or add a new entry, like this one: "Takeover of public schools by for-profit corporations ... could affect several Travis County schools, including Connally HS, Johnston HS, Lanier HS, Reagan HS, McCallum HS."
Coming soon to a state near you!
If I learned one thing as a teacher, it's to keep an eye on California and Texas to see what new education ideas will be coming down the pike. Now, instead of new reading and math programs, it looks like we can see wreckless privatization careening towards us. Thanks to Jim, who writes a blog called Shut up and Teach, and Shari, we can all get a heads up about what's going on in education across the country by reading a weekly list of important education posts compiled at Shut Up and Teach. I'm stealing this week's list for my StDLH Saturday. Here it is.