Monday, April 18, 2011

Value-Subtracted: Ed Reform’s Privileged Private School Brats

The Value-Subtracted scores are in. The New York Times has published a list of the private schools attended by many of the most infamous Ed Deformers, proving that a private school education does not train you well for critiquing or improving the education system, though it does set you up for a powerful and lucrative career. In a temporary fit of lucidity, the Times acknowledged that there is “little difference between President Obama and former President George W. Bush when it comes to education policy.”

Here is an edited version of the Times’ list:
  • NCLB was sponsored by senators Judd Gregg (Phillips Exeter, Exeter, N.H.) and Ted Kennedy (Milton Academy, Milton, Mass.) and Representative John Boehner (Archbishop Moeller High School, Cincinnati) and signed into law by President Bush (Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass.) in 2002.
  • Race to the Top (RTTT) was the baby of President Obama (Punahou School, Honolulu).
  • StudentsFirst founder Michelle Rhee (Maumee Valley Country Day School, Toledo, Ohio) was the former chancellor of Washington, D.C. schools,
  • Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (Cranbrook School, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) has advocated greater accountability for Massachusetts students and teachers.
  • Bill Gates (Lakeside School, Seattle) has been one of the biggest pushers and funders of school privatization schemes and increased class sizes. His own private school had an average class size of 16 and he has touted this as one of the great things about his alma mater.
  • Arne Duncan (University of Chicago Laboratory School) has called on public school leaders to increase class sizes to help cut costs, while his own private school had an average class size of 19.
  • Jeb Bush (Phillips Andover), is the former governor of Florida and the founder of the Excellence for Education Foundation. He was a pioneer in pushing both greater accountability for schools and Enron accountability for politicians (One year the state report cards gave two-thirds of Florida’s schools A’s or B’s, while the federal system rated two-thirds of Florida schools as failing).
  • Chester E. Finn Jr. (Phillips Exeter) was an early supporter of privatization, vouchers and common core curriculum. Finn is a right-wing extremist who said that the best way to reform public education is to “Blow it up and start over.” Like his counterpart, Reid Lyon, who suggested we blow up the teachers’ colleges, this terrorist is still walking free. In fact, he continues to serve as the president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and as a senior fellow of the Hoover Institution.
  • David Levin (Riverdale Country School, the Bronx) is a co-founder of KIPP, the nation’s biggest charter chain.
  • Cathie Black (Aquinas Dominican High School, Chicago), is the defrocked chancellor of New York City schools, canned by Emperor Bloomberg after just 95 days, not so much because she was bad at her job (she was), but because of her inability to not make stupid and embarrassing public statements, like suggesting that the solution to New York’s crowded schools was better birth control.
  • Merryll H. Tisch (Ramaz School, Manhattan), chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents, along with David M. Steiner (Perse School, Cambridge, England), the New York state education commissioner, have been at the forefront of the state’s extensive testing system.
  • Steven Brill (Deerfield Academy, Deerfield, Mass.) is a charter school advocate.
  • Marc Sternberg (Episcopal School, Baton Rouge, La.), is a New York City deputy chancellor who has helped move charter schools into district school buildings.
  • Davis Guggenheim (Sidwell Friends School, Washington) is the producer and director of “Waiting for Superman,” which begins with him driving his kids to private school and feeling guilty about all the bad Los Angeles public schools he is passing.

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