If there are any cognizant citizens remaining in the United States who do not yet understand that President Barack Obama is utterly incapable of honestly facing the catastrophic reality of his union busting educational policy, or that our president remains wholly beholden to plutocrats like Bill Gates and shysters like Jeb Bush who have been allowed to dictate the policies currently undermining our public school system, or that the man in the White House remains impervious to if not outright contemptuous of the cries of parents and teachers across the country as to the price of the above on their children and students, let such persons ponder for a moment the following two sentences from Obama’s 2014 State of the Union Address.
“This year,” said Obama “we’ll invest in new partnerships with states and communities across the country in a race to the top for our youngest children. And as Congress decides what it’s going to do, I’m going to pull together a coalition of elected officials, business leaders, and philanthropists willing to help more kids access the high-quality pre-K that they need.”
Let us put aside for the moment the grotesque image of a “race to the top for our youngest children.”
The “coalition of elected officials, business leaders, and philanthropists” that Obama deceitfully promises to “pull together” has not only been together but have been in complete control of educational policy for at least a decade. What other nation would allow educational policy to be formed by politicians, business leaders and philanthropists is beyond me yet, it’s been done now here for so long the dreadful notion is taking intellectual squatters rights. In that time they have been busy privatizing the public school system, monitarizing and quantifying every aspect of education that can be reduced to such, and marginalizing everything else. Their latest project of the “coalition of elected officials, business leaders, and philanthropists” is the creation an immense taxpayer funded data mining system designed to accumulate information on every student in America, the better, somehow, to serve their needs.
Note well that Obama’s “coalition” completely excludes both teachers and parents.
To dignify this collection of vandals and predators by linking them to the creation of and access to something as necessary and high minded, as high-quality pre-K is beyond cynical. It is a defiant promise that, under this administration, what has been will continue to be and it will be deepened and widened. Those who have ruled the roost will continue to do so, the people and democracy be damned.
Unless, that is, we stop them. But how to do so in a nation where traditional politics are broken and traditional political solutions are meaningless? Remember the man who spoke the above words is a liberal Democrat.
We face a power that is virtually unprecedented in American history, quite possibly in world history. Never before has such a concentration private wealth, and corporate power and political power been aligned together for the purpose of asphyxiating a vital public institution — the education system — in order to privatize it.
Unprecedented concentrations of power demand an unprecedented response. As I see it the only hope we have is to build a coalition of our own, the likes and breadth of which have never before been seen in this country. Something that transcends race, class, creed, all. Something like Occupy but nationwide and sustained. I don’t pretend to know how that is done but know in my bones it must be.
I pray we have the wisdom and the wherewithal to understand the forces arrayed against their designs for us and for our children. If not, we are condemning ourselves and our children to a future of a horrifyingly efficient soulless corporate techopoly.