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Nancy Bailey: Beware the Vultures!

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Nancy Bailey warns us to keep watch for the vultures who want to use the pandemic to attack and control public schools and teachers. They see an opportunity, and they are ready to pounce.

She writes:

There’s a movement underfoot to end the way children learn. Look carefully at who says “we need to reimagine” or “this is the time to reassess” schools. These can be signals from those who’ve led the charge to dismantle public schools for years. Like vultures, they’re scheming how to use this pandemic to put the final stamp of success on their privatization agenda.

Most parents and teachers can’t wait for public schools to reopen. Children miss their teachers, friends and their public schools. Teachers tirelessly work to assist their students from afar. Heartwarming stories flood social media about how children and teachers are coming together.

Many, including me, have implied that due to the virus there will be a renewed appreciation of what’s been lost. Public schools and the teaching profession we hope will return stronger and more appreciated. It’s especially important to have hope.

It’s also important not to be fooled. A frightening, albeit not unexpected, reality has emerged. Those who’ve foisted their ideology on public schools for years don’t care about heartwarming stories of success. They don’t see teachers as professionals, but as worker bees to carry out their digital transition plans. Their end is not our end.

Here are some signs.

The Controversial Opinion Piece

Thomas L. Friedman’s New York Times opinion piece describes what the next presidential cabinet should look like. He says We need a political system that mirrors the best in us. His idea of the best are billionaires who’ve hated public schools for years. They include Bloomberg, Gates, and a new secretary of national infrastructure, Walmart C.E.O. Doug McMillon. Ask how much infrastructure funding would go to public schools with the CEO of Walmart in charge.

Friedman suggests Laurene Powell Hobs for Secretary of Education, despite the failure of her $100 million XQ Super School Project to reinvent the high school. Just what we don’t need! Another billionaire who was never an educator as Secretary of Education!

Then there is the money grab by the charter industry, which has decided that charter schools are really small businesses and should get a chunk of the $2 trillion coronavirus relief fund, intended for struggling employers.

And even more vultures. Watch out!

As usual, Bailey offers sage advice.

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