Posts Tagged ‘Jeb Bush’

A Chronicle of Echoes by Mercedes Schneider Reviewed by Patrick Walsh

September 19, 2014

NYC Grotesquerie: Moskowitz, Jeb Bush, Hedge funders and Blackwater USA Team Up to Raise Millions To Undermine de Blasio, Unions and Public Schools

April 30, 2014
Jeb Bush loves children and charter schools.

Jeb Bush loves children and charter schools.

Members of the mega rich and politically powerful gathered together last night at Cipriani to distort the truth, bash unions, shower each other with praise and raise $ 7.75 million for education entrepreneur Eva Moskowitz and her ever expanding Success Academy empire. Indeed, Moskowitz who for weeks busied herself acting the helpless victim of evil Bill de Blasio ( while at the same time benefiting from a five million dollar anti de Blasio PR blitzkrieg ) announced that she intends to extend her empire in several ways. “ As of August, Success will have 32 schools and 9,000 students. Four years from now, Success plans to have 55 schools with 21,400 students, which, Moskowitz said, would make it the equivalent of the fifth largest district in New York State and half the size of the Washington, D.C. school system. “
Not only that, “ Success is also investing in an institute to provide teacher training across the country, as well as “a proprietary technology platform” to manage the schools ” — whatever ever that means.

Not too shabby for an organization that a few short weeks ago was facing what Moskowitz, with characteristic precision of language, claimed was nothing less than an “existential threat to our existence”

The event spotlighted the shamelessness and absurdity of two of the privateers’ most persistent stances. The first is that of the helpless victims of selfish politicians, all powerful labor unions and “ special interests”, (such as parents.) The second is as the only benevolent, wise, mildly messianic forces of Light in a Manichaean world of greedy, lazy, sexually abusive teachers dwelling in eternal Darkness and spitefully leaving your children unready for college and careers, not to mention the endless challenges of the new global economy.

Displaying their limitless love for the children of the urban poor were many leading representatives of the occupation that was instrumental in bringing the world to the brink of economic collapse: hedge funders. Indeed, Dan Loeb, of the hedge fund group, Third Point LLC, who is also chairman of the Success Academy board, hosted the event. Jimmy Lee, vice chairman of JPMorgan Chase & Co.has this to say of Loeb: “Away from all the business press he gets, I think being chairman of his board and giving his time, not just his money, makes him a role model. You can tell he cares.”
According to the report in Bloomberg, “ The event was filled with men and women in the hedge-fund industry, including Kyle Bass of Hayman Capital Management, Joel Greenblatt of Gotham Asset Management, Boaz Weinstein of Saba Capital and John Paulson of Paulson & Co. ”

The article in Bloomberg reads like a product of the Stephen Brill school of journalism which is to say, it reads as it were written by a valet.
Consider: “Loeb himself is keen to share his knowledge and network with students. He took a group to the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and has also brought journalist Carl Bernstein and chess champ Garry Kasparov to Success classrooms… Loeb also said Jefferies & Co., where he once worked, will be hosting a charity trading day for Success.”

The key note speaker was no less than former Florida Governor and future presidential candidate Jeb Bush, who did an admirable job pretending not to understand de Blasio’s moral and ethical issues with charter schools — namely, evicting members of the most challenged student population in the city so Moskowtiz could again get what she wanted — along with his usual union bashing.
Nestled into a paragraph listing the holy hedge funders was this little line that sent a chill down my spine: “Also present: Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater USA and former Navy SEAL.”
Many may remember Prince from the savage footage taken in Iraq where members of Blackwater, Prince’s private army , were filmed murdering civilians.
Here’s how Vanity Fair recently described the man:” Erik Prince, recently outed as a participant in a C.I.A. assassination program, has gained notoriety as head of the military-contracting juggernaut Blackwater, a company dogged by a grand-jury investigation, bribery accusations, and the voluntary-manslaughter trial of five ex-employees, set for next month. “

Upon reflection there is something poetically apt and even apposite about someone like Moskowitz receiving the support of someone like Erik Prince. Both, after all, are mercenaries whose connections and wealth allow them not only to operate outside the law but to change the law to their personal benefit. And both live and breathe to privatize their respective targets: for Moskowitz, the public school system, for Prince American intelligence and the military. Is Erik Prince, like Dan Loeb,” a role model?” Or was he just there to gather intelligence on politicians and union leaders and anyone else who stands in the way of the total domination of the one percent ?

Also honored at the event was faux journalist Campbell Brown, “ a founder of the Parents’ Transparency Project, which pushes for teachers found guilty of sexual misconduct to be removed from schools,” yet another millionaire created front designed to divide and conquer a gullible public. Brown knows full well that at the insistence of the teacher’s union all teachers even accused of sexual misconduct, no matter how preposterous the claim, are immediately removed from schools and those who are found guilty of such are instantly, rightfully, and forever forbidden from entering any school anywhere. But, what the hey, these facts haven’t stopped this lousy human being from endlessly insinuating that the teachers union protects sexual predators and child molesters. Indeed, Brown has apparently been making a nice living out of beating this decomposing horse. Brown may be an ethical imbecile but she is shrewd enough to recognize an issue that will strike terror into the heart of every parent in NYC and simultaneously open up the check books of the likes of those she addressed, reality be dammed. Just like the gathering she addressed, Brown’s real purpose is to destroy not merely the teachers’ union but the very idea of unionism itself.

“Campbell Brown, the journalist and Success Academy Network board member, used her speech as honoree to direct fighting words at Mayor de Blasio: “He can fight charters and what they do as a threat to union privilege, or he can embrace reform and the chance to be a leader and even a great man, but he can’t do both,” Brown said.
Such nonsense, of course, is like honey to the bees to the messiahs from Wall Street and Blackwater.

Duncan To Marry Common Core Standards

March 13, 2014
Secretary of Education and Civil Rights Leader Arne Duncan to Marry

Secretary of Education and Civil Rights Leader Arne Duncan to Marry

United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan stunned much of official Washington today when he announced that he plans to legally marry the Common Core State Standards “sometime in the very near future.” Mr. Duncan made his announcement at a press conference in the Rose Garden, surrounded by President Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder and new Under Secretary of Education, Ted Mitchell, former CEO of the NewSchools Venture Fund.

Reporters appeared to be momentarily silenced by what many considered the strangeness of the statement but quickly recovered and questioned both the timing of Duncan’s announcement and the authenticity of Duncan’s motives, as well as the legality of the act itself.
Duncan denied that the wedding was a symbolic gesture or a publicity stunt designed
to draw attention away from the volcanic parental rejection of the CCSS across
the country, especially in New York State.

“This is about love, said Duncan, his voice at times cracking with emotion and his eyes appearing to tear. “True and abiding love. And there’s no doubt in my
mind that the love I feel for the Core, the Core
feels for all the children of America, every last one of
them and especially those we want to help close the achievement gap.”

Duncan acknowledged that there are legal challenges in the unprecedented mating of man and document but, with Attorney General Eric Holder’s blessing, is determined to “ break new ground in the civil rights issue of our time.” Duncan links the proposed union to the larger struggle. “If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times,
education is the civil rights issue of our age. Our marriage is just another Rosa Parks’ moment on our way to helping all of our children become college and career ready.” Duncan, still legally married to Karen Luann Duncan, acknowledged that before the marriage to the Common Core could take place he had to first divorce his current wife. Holder is said to be personally involved in this process which he is prepared to expedite.

Duncan would neither deny nor confirm the rumor that Andrew Cuomo offered the use of the Governors mansion in Albany New York for the ceremony but did acknowledge that Cuomo would be a guest at the wedding.
A press release from the Department of Education revealed that the ceremony would be a gala and star-studded event with guests including Mark Zuckerberg, Wendy Kopp, Randi Weingarten, Oprah Winfrey, Mike Bloomberg, Sean “P Diddy” Combs, Bill and Melinda Gates, Joel Klein, Michelle Rhee, Bono, Eli Broad, David Coleman, Rupert Murdoch, John Legend, Jeb Bush, Thomas Friedman, Kid Rock, Bill Keller, Corey Booker, Whitney Tilson, Caroline Kennedy, as well as President Obama and First Lady, Michelle Obama.

The ceremony will be presided over by President Obama. David Coleman, the “architect” of the Common Core Standards, will give away the bride. Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Educators Association will serve as best man while American Federation of Teachers head Randi Weingarten has agreed to be the maid of honor.

The event will take place in an undisclosed location and will be funded in its entirety by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.


Note: This post is dedicated to the pea-heads in both the DOE and the NYPD who thought it a good idea to throw my courageous friend and colleague Francesco Portelos in jail for 33 hours for writing a piece as silly as this. Good thinking fellas! These are strange and terrifying times in which we dwell and we need more than ever to look after each other.

The State of the Union: All you Need to Know About Obama’s Educational Plans in Two Sentences.

January 29, 2014


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.

Jeb Bush Is Planting Seeds

August 13, 2013
A "Chief for Change" Speaks

A “Chief for Change” Speaks

Fresh off addressing the American Legislative Exchange Council ( the infamous ALEC, ) former Governor of Florida, friend of President Obama, “Chief For Change”, and non-educator education expert Jeb Bush made an extraordinarily radical and revealing suggestion about the future of teaching in an interview to 89 WLS in Chicago. Bush, calmly displaying his usual oceanic contempt for teachers at the same time that he feigns reverence, repeated much of what have become corporate education reform memes (wholesale identification of learning with standardized test scores, “embracing digital learning” ) and strategies ( merit pay, elimination of due process or tenure. )
In the midst of this, Bush serenely makes the insane suggestion that the teacher certification process be eliminated. In doing so, Bush simultaneously suggests that teaching is a field needing no preparation and is one effectively open to every
( presumably literate ) adult in the United States.

For Bush, the professionalism of teachers is established by their desire to separate themselves from teacher unions and be paid according to their “doing a good job. “
“Doing a good job”, in turn, means a teacher raising the standardized test scores of their students.

It is tempting to dismiss such a reckless and ignorant suggestion as the elimination of certification with a snide comment and a laugh, but such a response, I believe, at this stage of the game would be very much a mistake. Indeed, it would be playing into the hands of those who wish to destroy us.

What is disturbing about suggestions such as the elimination of teacher certification is that there is a very discernable pattern over the last decade of “reformers” putting out suggestions and making claims that then seemed equally absurd and reckless and would have been laughable a short time before only to become horrific realities shortly thereafter. What teacher would have ever predicted the advent of Obama and his reprehensible Race to the Top, now successfully undermining schools and unions from coast to coast? What teacher would have ever predicted that tenure in the city of New York would be effectively nullified by an evaluation plan created and pushed into law by the teachers union? What teacher would have ever predicted the appalling condescension emanating out of the deceitfully named Common Core State Standards? What teacher, in short, has foreseen the chilling combination of military precision and utter ruthlessness on the part of the predator class and its political employees like Cuomo, Emmanuel and Obama, ramming through their once unthinkable agendas with ease ?

Not I.

And yet, all of the above degradations masquerading as reforms begin precisely this way. One figure making a speech here, giving an interview there, writing an editorial over there, and on and on. Consider these actions the planting of seeds in the public consciousness, the first step in the manipulation of perception management. Soon enough a notion vomited out of a grotesquerie like ALEC is repeated ad nauseum and treated as if it arose from the soil. It is then earnestly parroted by the likes of Brian Williams, wept over by Oprah, championed by PBS and NPR, ogled by Thomas Friedman and Nicolas Kristoff, and chanted by members of billionaire created “grass roots” organizations like Educations 4 Excellence, Parent Revolution and Stand For Children and so on.

And such is the way conventional wisdom is manufactured today in the US of A.
Consider the robust debates that never took place over the merits and value of standardized testing, now the central nervous system of America’s entire school system.

“Bush” according to the article that reported the interview, “ said his education plan would also do away with certification processes. He said they make eligibility requirements for teachers too restrictive, Chicago being a prime example.”

What Bush did not say, however, is of even greater import that what he did. Besides an overall disgrace, what would result from the implementation of Bush’s plan of eliminating teacher certification combined with the elimination of due process or tenure ?
There would be an instantaneous exponential increase in the teacher labor pool allowing and even “incentivizing “the wholesale firings of entire teaching staffs as they would be as instantly replaceable as migrant farm workers. This, in turn, would further degrade the public school system and thus disgust parents who would then be offered the alternative of charter schools or perhaps a voucher.
Most importantly, it would eviscerate the solidarity of teachers, which would in turn eviscerate unions.
If the past were indeed prologue, than we would do well to take Bush’s suggestion, as disgusting as it is, with great seriousness. In it one sees, perhaps more transparently than usual, the true, long term underlying intention of education reform: the evisceration of unions and the privatization of the most vital and glorious of all American public institutions, the public school system. This, in turn, is meant as a major step in the radical reconfiguration of labor relations in all fields for all American workers.

These people think in terms of decades.
Americans must understand: Education reform is not about education and it never was.

Following is the interview.