Posts Tagged ‘Leonie Haimson’

Leonie Haimson and Jamaal Bowman Teach Billionaire Created Fronts a Lesson

April 18, 2015

NY 1 images-1

One should never expect anything approximating authentic debate from any corporate owned news agency, that much the more when the subject is as oligarchically driven and defined as is “education reform,” and Time Warner’s NY1 “Inside City Hall’ s attempt at a debate about Common Core and its discontents proved no exception.

Nonetheless, it was satisfying to watch an authentic public advocate and a New York City public school principal teach two members of billionaire backed education reform fronts a lesson.
Ostensibly reporting on the huge spike in the number of New York state parents refusing to subject their children to high stakes Common Core aligned standardized tests, alleged journalist Bobby Cuza gathered together “a special panel” of “experts” carefully selected to deceive any viewer not highly conversant with the issue.

The 12 minute segment, much of it complete nonsense, did serve as a snapshot of how cynically such situations are covered and why many non-teachers can be so easily bamboozled.
But not so much this time.
Bobby’s “special panel” consisted of the following: Leonie Haimson, Executive Director of Class Size Matters, and Jamaal Bowman, Principal of the Cornerstone Academy for Social Action Middle School, Maura Henry, a teacher at the Young Women’s Leadership School of Astoria, and Stephen Sigmund from the group High Achievement New York.

High Achievement New York is yet another in the seemingly endless line of noble sounding multi- billionaire created “non profit “ fronts passing themselves off as authentic grassroots organizations created to ramrod education policies. ( How nice that the American lawmakers to allow individuals to accrue the wealth of nations so they can hire tax deductible mercenaries like Stephen Sigmund to do their bidding while at the same time deplete the public coffers of tax revenue!) Look at the High Achievement New York’s website and you will find the word “teachers” first and foremost. Look a little further and you will find among their “coalition members” both the Mike Bloomberg-funded, Michelle Rhee-led StudentsfirstNY and the grotesque Bill Gates financed Educators for Excellence.
Rest assured these are very special teachers indeed.

Like their bankrollers who make up less that 1% of 1% of our population yet own 40% of the national wealth, E4E make up less than 1% of 1% of New York City teachers. As their views are abhorrent to 99. 9 % of NYC teachers, this figure would shrivel down to 0% in a week (if that) without cash infusions from Gates and their hedge fund sugar daddies. Claiming to work “to ensure that the voices of classroom teachers are included in the decisions that affect our profession and our students,” E4E
operate as a kind of Fifth Colum, passing themselves off as unionists while attempting to worm their way into union positions in order to undermine it from within. They are reprehensible and minuscule in number yet, as seen here, have constant access to a fawning mainstream media.
As such, out of some 80,000 non E4E teachers, NY1 is fine with selecting just such a member for their “special panel ” on the Common Core.

The only problem was that the E4E teacher, one Maura Henry, didn’t seem to know the first thing about Common Core or even what the “debate” was about.
Henry was introduced as a teacher of English as a Second Language in the Young Women’s Leadership School of Astoria as well as a member of Educators for Excellence.
Of course, there is no way on earth for the average viewer to know who is bankrolling either E4E or High Achievement New York and that is exactly as they like it to be. But you can rest assured NY1 knows and are not about to tell.

Alas, Ms. Henry’s handlers from E4E did not serve her well, leaving her to babble incoherently about her special feelings toward the NYSESLAT, a test exclusively for ESL students and one that had absolutely nothing to do with the topic at hand.

Of this, only Leonie Hamson seemed to notice.

Incredibly, Henry also seemed to be completely unaware of the fact that this year’s NYSESLAT bears almost no resemblance to its earlier incarnation. Far more importantly — and perhaps fatally for all ESL teachers in all New York State – NYSELAT has for the first time been absurdly “aligned” with the Common Core Standards, making it virtually impossible for an ESL student to pass it. You read that correctly. A test that should be designed to measure language acquisition will now be aligned with standards that are ostensibly written to measure language mastery. This act of educational child abuse — setting extremely vulnerable kids up to take tests they have absolutely zero chance of passing — somehow slipped by Ms. Henry. That and the fact that under Cuomo’s sadistic new teacher evaluation, in which 50% of teacher’s ratings will come from such tests, she and thousands of other ESL teachers, my self included, will — save a miracle on the level of the loaves and fishes — almost certainly be fired in two years time no matter what we do.

Oh well. Guess we should have thought of that before we were born.

Ms. Henry also babbled on about how she would like to see Common Core tests more “computer adaptive.”


Stephen Sigmund, on the other hand, was as sleek as a porpoise even as he mouthed one reformer cliché after another. The Common Core Standards, said Sigmund, were developed with “significant input from teachers” and are merely standards which “states have agreed upon, ” written to make students “college and career ready.”
And so on and so forth.

I got the distinct impression I could have listened to this slick operative gasbag for days without hearing a single original or altogether true sentence.
Truth and originality, of course, are not what good mercenaries are paid for.

What they are paid for is to reply to the fact that NYC kids are spending more time on tests than any other students on earth with rubbish like a High Achievement New York analysis, which states that a mere .75 % of school time is spent on testing.
Ergo the “time issue” is specious.
No mention of the shrinking of curriculum to feed the test monster, no mention of endless test prep, no mention of kids being stressed out of their minds across the state, no mention of education being debased into testing, no mention that the entire apparatus is designed to undermine public support for public education by constantly and consciously setting up the overwhelming majority of children to fail.

Earning his pay, Sigmund weaseled around the fact that standardized tests and the divine Common Core are bound together like Siamese twins.

Principal Jamaal Bowman, meanwhile, a man who deals not with abstractions and useless analyses but with actual flesh and blood students taking these monstrous tests, spoke thoughtfully and forcefully about “rethinking” the entire assessment process, “rethinking our approach to testing, curriculum and instruction.”

“13 years of testing,” stated Bowman “ and nothing has changed. ”

And then there was Leonie Haimson, whose Class Size Matters exists on a shoestring and who has taken on the billionaires and thwarted them with her sheer intelligence and moral force. Speaking with precision and in complete command of the facts, Leonie once again spoke truth to mammon and is a delight to behold. These are very, very dark days for education and educators in this country and, due to Cuomo and his super rich employers, that much the more in New York State. As such, such moments resonate very deeply. Watch her here.

The Message of Moskowitz and her Billionaire Backers: We Are the Government

March 30, 2014


With the same cynicism and ruthlessness that their beloved charter schools employ to toss out any students who threaten their sacred test scores, billionaires have instructed our elected officials in Albany to toss out the will of the people and the well being of the 94 % of New York City public school students which threatens the ever increasing plutocratic dominance of education.

Many in Albany, none more than the almost supernaturally despicable Governor Andrew Cuomo, have proven themselves only too happy to serve as valets for the super rich and their representatives like education entrepreneur Eva Moskowitz. Who can forget Cuomo’s shameless appearance with Moskowitz and the hundreds of school children she bussed up to Albany to act as her living, breathing, human political pawns?

Other elected officials, no doubt mindful of the treatment Mayor Bill de Blasio has received over the last three weeks — and no doubt too, recipients of threats or promises from the same folk who insinuated Bill de Blasio, married to an African American, is somehow a racist — have responded to the plutocrat’s requests with a state budget agreement that is shocking — or should be shocking — in its naked pandering to a handful of billionaires and their extraordinary demands for charter schools and casual contempt for New York city public schools.

For the past three weeks New Yorkers experienced an extremely concentrated version of the highly skilled propaganda campaign that the deformers have been poisoning the entire nation with for over a decade now. Editorials lamented the “war on charters.”
TV talking heads nodded sympathetically with the suddenly omnipresent Moskowitz, never questioning a single claim the woman made, no matter how preposterous or false. The airwaves were filled with no less than 3.5 million dollars worth of super slick tear jerking commercials showing the beautiful young faces of school children (again using children as political pawns) being somehow deprived of an education by the evil monster named Bill de Blasio.

What has transpired in the past month is as disgusting as it is disturbing and would not survive in a vibrant and healthy democracy. In a sick and dying democracy, such as we are now experiencing, such stuff has simply become the way the zero sum game is played. And it has done so with astonishing speed. We have become, a government of the super rich, by the super rich and for the super rich. The state budget agreement is simply the most recent example. And we have, by and by, acquiesced, if only by default. We are as a people, as a nation, wholly ill equipped to deal with such a rapacious class of predators, the desire of whom is nothing short of the whole sale privatization of the entire public school system with themselves – hedge fund mangers, financiers, and Wall Street tycoons — at the helm, insuring the vast publicly funded revenue stream is diverted into their coffers.

In the meantime, they are celebrated as heros when not out right saviors. It is they, billionaires and entrepreneurs, who care about educating the poor and the marginalized, not the teachers who have dedicated their lives to this noble and difficult endeavor.

This is beyond dangerous. This is beyond cynical. It is a ticking time bomb. No nation can survive this kind of insanity for long.

I fear for my daughter in a world usurped and ruled by such people. I fear for all our children. And I don’t really know what to do about it. And I don’t know anyone who does.

But we must do something.

The agreement is to be voted on tomorrow. The very least we can do is call our elected officials and remind them for whom they are working, and that we will remember what they do tomorrow come next election day.
Please see Diane Ravitch’s and Leonie Haisom’s post here for more information

John King’s Flying Circus Lands in Lower Manhattan

December 12, 2013

Teacher Peter Lamphere speaking before a deeply engaged John King and Meryl Tisch

Teacher Peter Lamphere speaking before a deeply engaged John King and Meryl Tisch

Unlike the authentic and enraged voices of parents and teachers that Commissioner John King encountered in every corner of the state he dared show up in to peddle his wares on our dime, many of the voices King heard on the past two nights in Brooklyn and Manhattan respectively have been melodious indeed, if also largely synthetic and out right obsequious. For this King can give thanks to the machinations of billionaire funded corporate education fronts groups Students First NY and Educators4Excellence.

Even if they were thwarted from hogging almost every one of the 45 two minute speaking slots, as they had in Brooklyn on Tuesday, the confederacy of corporate shills and paid operatives ( many of whom spoke at both “forums”) did successfully put on a show of obeisance to the Common Core State Standards that was sure to please their masters even as it bore no relationship whatsoever to 99.9 % of working career teachers who loathe the thing and all that comes with it.

Unwittingly, the corporate advocates also provided not a little bit of entertainment, albeit in the form of black humor. Take for example the E4E guy who proclaimed to all and sundry that he was “a good teacher” before the implementation of Common Core but now, due to the miraculous intercession of Common Core he had become “a great teacher.”
Poof! Just like that!
This, mind you, was not presented as wicked, guerilla satire.
Then there was the teacher from John Adams High School who strode down to the mic with seven students in tow only to ask that all eight of them be allowed to speak, as somehow they constituted one entity. For some reason, this was allowed. And it was the defense of this break from protocol that merited the only words that Meryl Tisch spoke all night.

Hey! Nice work if you can get it!

The teacher then went on to tell the crowd that he taught a class in “critical thinking.”
By way of explanation he actually said, “We get together and critically think.” The insinuation was that “critical thinking “ did not exist or was wholly unknown in the public school system ( and perhaps to homosapiens in general) before the advent of the Common Core. This insulting and absurd sentiment, to one degree or the other, was echoed by the E4E contingent all evening, a bizarre position, indeed, for an organization that obliges new members to sign a what amounts to a pledge of allegiance to its corporate dictums.

At any rate, if the man’s students are any indication, the sorry guy does not even know what the words “critical thinking ” mean. One student after another strode to the mic only to recite words that sounded to all the world like nothing more than Common Core press releases.
Poor kids.
A crisis in education, indeed!
One wonders how such people ever got to be teachers. Or why.

In fact, listening to these folks, a stranger would be forgiven if you concluded that standards themselves were non-existent before the coming of the Common Core. As if, that is, before the Common Core and corporate fronts like E4E and StudentsfirstNY, teachers and students did little more in school than kind of hang around, looking out windows or watching game shows on TV.

But, for the moment at any rate, at least these speakers were, in fact, active working teachers. Not so the three twenty something know-it-all “ ex- teachers”, whose love for the Common Core Standards is exceeded only by their love for their former students — even as they forsook the teaching profession after two or three years to save schools from bad teachers and raise expectations as paid operatives of StudentsFirstNY. (One understands their affinity with King as, like them, it only took King three years of teaching to know everything there is to know about it.) Indeed, it seems the further removed one is from actually working under Common Core the more rhapsodic one grows about it. Consider “ex – teacher “ Miranda Cohen who rose to declare the she was behind CCSS not merely 100 % but “150%. ”

And who is this “ex teacher?” Nothing other than a staffer for Students First NY working tirelessly and selflessly to raise expectations, ferret out “bad teachers,” and instruct those remaining on how to do their job.
Herein her story from the StudentsfirstNY website: “As a 9th grade teacher at a failing school, Miranda was driven to provide her students with the same excellent instruction and guidance that she herself received in Massachusetts.
After teaching for two years, Miranda moved back to New York to begin a Community Organizing Fellowship with StudentsFirstNY, as she sought an opportunity to have a meaningful impact outside of the classroom. Miranda is deeply committed to raising the level of expectations that communities have for both their teachers and schools.”

“Meaningful” indeed! Well, it beats working!

There was even a speech by a young lady who presented herself as a member of E4E at the same time she was a chapter leader for the United Federation of Teachers (UFT.)
This is a vomitous and incoherent combo if there ever was one but also one that has to be some kind of wet dream for E4E sugar daddies Whitney Tillson and Bill Gates!

Then, for good measure (and a bit of diversity) we heard from a lawyer couple from the Upper West Side — we know they were a lawyer couple from the Upper West Side because they made sure we knew they were a lawyer couple from the Upper West Side — who spoke separately to insure that their four year old and two year old children would be educated under the Common Core Standards.

I swear I’m not making this up.

One thing that was noticeably and gratefully absent, despite the fundamentalist fervor of the shills, was the obscene and horrific (if politically manipulative) notion that reportedly dominated Tuesday night’s forum in Brooklyn: the idea that, somehow, the implementation of Common Core was nothing less than a matter of civil rights and all who opposed it did so because they are racists who sadistically wish to condemn children of color to the ignorant underclass for perpetuity.

In between and after this exercise in self-righteousness and farce were many statements from parents and teachers that moved from the wise to the poignant to the heartbreaking.
One mother spoke of her child experiencing suicidal ideation that she attributed directly to the demands and stress of the Common Core.
An hour or so later, a similar statement was made by yet another mother.
King and Meryl Tisch answered both statements with silence.
Several experienced teachers spoke of dividing the Common Core, in which they found merit, from the high stakes testing, from which they found none.
This too was answered with silence.
Leonie (“ The Lioness”) Haimson of Class Size Matters challenged King directly to explain the legality and purpose of the data mining of InBloom, data mining which has already been rejected by many states due to parent pressure but not in New York.
King danced the watusi, the twist, and the bossa nova but never came anywhere near answering Haimson’s query.
Leonie was not surprised.
One mother offered the insight that the problem is that the “ state begins with the premise that kids don’t want to learn and teachers don’t want to teach.”
More silence.

Testing expert Fred Smith called for a moratorium on testing due to the shabbiness of their production offering example after example of the shoddiness of the work.

Parent activist Noah Gotbaum spoke passionately and personally about an entire array of DOE policy failings, including the fact that the Common Core barely even acknowledges the existence of, never mind the realties of, special needs children.

Not a word in reply.

Members of the MORE Caucus of the UFT, myself included, made their presence felt and heard through the long, weird night.

Perhaps the most challenging question of the evening was asked by a middle aged African American teacher who spoke poignantly of his upbringing in the South where he was raised by his grandmother and was an excellent high school student, only to discover that he was far behind his peers when he reached college. He declared himself a Common Core agnostic but asked a crucial question: if not Common Core, what?

It is a question that opponents of the Common Core must answer. Indeed, we ignore it at our peril.

For King who is somehow “completely convinced of the power the Common Core has for our students ” the Common Core is the solution not the problem.
For King and his subjects in StudentsFirstNY and E4E, we are the problem, not the Common Core.
The Common Core said King, offering no evidence whosoever, will “ create a “ citizenry ready for the 21st century.”

It was declarations such as this that led to my own question, the second to last of the night.
I told King and Tisch and all present that I am in awe of the Common Core, not as an educational tool, but as a political phenomenon. How a thing that was funded by Bill Gates and created by creepy entrepreneurs like David Coleman and Pearson Inc in a secrecy akin to that of the Manhattan Project could become signature educational policy of a Democratic president, applauded by both the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association, is mind boggling and without precedent in American history.

Furthermore, as the effusive praise and cult like mantras of the untested experiment gave evidence, I am equally in awe of Common Core as an exercise in mass perception management and public relations. But I wanted to know this: as the proponents of the Common Core were so unconscionably reckless as to impose the thing on a nation (spare me the “adopted in 45 states” line), where was the evidence to back up all these magical expectations? Or put another way: why was my child, as was every child in the nation, being used as a guinea pig in their experiment?

My question, like all questions of substance, was ignored. Very tactfully. Answering questions, after all, was not at all what the “forum” was about.

Addendum: Herein an uncommonly frank account in the main stream media of what transpired at King’s and Tisch’s New York “forums” and why.

The Lie and Disgrace that is NBC’s Education Nation

September 22, 2013


The yearly corporate sponsored corporate education reform propaganda extravaganza Education Nation sinks lower and lower and as it does so it showers the American people with greater and greater corporate contempt. Here is an event that is billed as a “summit” of educational leaders that, as far as I can see, includes not a single teacher in a position of prominence or authority. (Sorry Weingarten and Walcott, you don’t count.)
Here is an event beamed out across America that includes not a single dissenting voice from the “reformers “ increasingly reckless experiments on American children such as the deceitfully named Common Core State Standards.
Here is an event in which the promoters are not satisfied with merely elevating non-educator hucksters like Joel Klein, (billed as the CEO of education techno firm Amplify) or David Coleman (no longer known as “the architect “ of the Common Core but rather as President and Chief Educative Officer of the College Board ) to the level of expertise but also adds the educational wisdom of non-educator Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs, and non-educator politicians like Mike Bloomberg, Jeb Bush, Arne Duncan, and Bobby Jindal.

For a final spit in the face of American parents there is the inexplicable inclusion of filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan, singer Tony Bennett, and actress/comedienne Goldie Hawn.

Well, why not? If Joel Klein can use the “summit” on education to shill for Rupert Murdoch and Jeb Bush use it as an avenue to the presidency, why shouldn’t poor Goldie Hawn use it to get herself back into the public eye?
In short, here is a lineup for an event that is so ridiculous that it is impossible to parody.
And it would be funny if the stakes were not so high.
But they are.
A “summit” on education that is not merely not based on the experience and knowledge of teachers like Susan Ohanian but actively exclude teachers such as Ohanian is beyond a farce.

A “summit” on education that pretends to discuss “active parenting” and does not include the likes of Leonie Haimson and Class Size Matters is a sin.

A “summit” on education that does not include the political insights of Lois Weiner is a disgrace. A “ summit” on education that does not include the voice and vision of CORE’s Karen Lewis is a sham.

A “summit” on any aspect of education today that systemically excludes the moral and intellectual authority of Diane Ravitch is simply a lie and it should be identified as such.

And this should be done again and again and again and in any way, shape, or form that people who are meant to be brainwashed by this egregious show of money and influence will understand. NBC and the forces that created this thing are counting on our silence. We must not be so.

New York Times Editorials Reveal A Complete Ignorance of Common Core

August 20, 2013


But two days after a sizable anti-Common Core rally in suburban Port Jefferson, Long Island, the venerable New York Times saw fit to publish not one but two editorials in two days, not merely praising the Common Core State Standards, but attempting to reduce almost all criticism of it to right wing nut jobs like Glenn Beck and the Tea Party. To make matters worse, the editorials were written by Times heavy hitters Bill Keller and, sadly, Paul Krugman. Both articles reveal Keller and Krugman to be completely ignorant of both the Common Core Standards themselves, their genesis, as well as to the ever widening and deepening political opposition to the entire billion-dollar Common Core campaign.
Nonetheless both articles are a massive public relations gift to corporate education reformers nation wide – and you can rest assured they will make use of them. Moreover, by insinuating that most opposition to the CCSS derives from the far right, the articles are simultaneously an insult to the hundreds of thousands of educators from coast to coast who distrust or even loathe the Common Core and all that it stands for — particularly the very real fear that intrinsically related high stakes testing combined with junk science testing will lead to their termination — as well as to leading education scholars and activists such as Diane Ravitch, Lois Wiener, Gary Rubinstein, Leonie Haimson, Arthur Goldstein, Carol Burris, Anthony Cody, and Susan O’Hanian, to name but a few. Both Keller and Krugman seem oblivious to them all.
Neither seems to be aware of the fact that the Common Core has never even been field tested.
Neither writer seems to be aware that states were pressured if not coerced into “adopting” the Common Core because they were bankrupt.
Neither writer seems aware of the fact that, so great are the potential corporate profits, states were pressured into signing on to the Common Core before it was even finished.
Neither writer seems to be aware than prominent educators ( as opposed to politicians and billionaires) and have very serious issues with how developmentally appropriate the Common Core actually is and some are nothing less than appalled.
Neither writer, that is, seems to have a clue.

Whereas Keller’s piece reads as if it were cribbed from Arne Duncan press releases with political slants provided by Thomas Friedman and David Brooks, Krugman’s piece reads like a dashed off afterthought, seemingly composed solely to support Keller’s would-be -arguments, and, highly uncharacteristic of Krugman’s work, contains not a single original thought. For his sake, I hope Krugman, always the most prescient and intrepid of the Times scribes, was drunk when he wrote it so that he might be excused for employing such extravagant or even silly language such as “ entirely praiseworthy” to describe a subject he clearly knows absolutely nothing about.

Note: I have read the Times consistently my entire adult life and I do not recall a single instance in which two writers wrote essentially the same article two days in a row on the same subject.

Given the prestige and national reach of the Times, the tag team approach is an immense gift to corporate reformers and, to that end, the timing of the articles could not have been better. There has been evidence of ever growing parental dissatisfaction over the CCSS since the 30% drop in test scores that were bizarrely celebrated by virtually the entire New York City and New York State education hierarchy. Such dissatisfaction culminated in Saturday’s rally on Long Island.
I lost respect for both Bill Keller in particular and the New York Times in general years ago when they both reduced themselves to mindless cheerleaders for the butchery of Iraq (it was not a war), which has been proven to have been exactly what many of it critics predicted it would be: a pointless, needless and grotesque slaughter based on deliberately falsified evidence, rank ideology and colossal hubris.

Structurally, minis the bloodshed and the bombs, something similar is afoot with the plutocrats and corporate America’s ceaseless and insidious campaign for the Common Core. So here we are a decade later with that debacle having receded from American consciousness altogether, and here is the same Bill Keller pontificating about yet another war ( “The War on the Core” ) based on falsified data, widely exaggerated threats with equal ignorance and hubris.

Oh! And let us not forget Condi Rice and Joel Klein declaring American education to be a threat to national security!

(Note: in the same way public relation firms tricked Americans into referring to McDonald’s as the almost familial “Mickey D’s”, adherents of the Common Core State Standards seem to refer to the thing, as does Keller, as the much cozier “the Core.”)
Whereas in Iraq there was falsified evidence, with the Core there simply is no evidence at all: the Common Core, like much of corporate education reform, is entirely faith based. It troubles Keller not at all that the deceptively named Common Core State Standards are yet another extra-legislative imposition created and engendered by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which has become the de facto US Department of Education with Bill, in the words of Diane Ravitch, “the nation’s Superintendent of schools. “

Keller essentially repeats a more conversational version of Common Core press releases including the outright lies that “ the Common Core was created with a broad, nonpartisan consensus of educators, convinced that after decades of embarrassing decline in K-12 education, the country had to come together on a way to hold our public schools accountable.”
Virtually noting of the above sentence is true. If there were any educators present in the creation of “ The Core “ they were tokens, there to give cover for its corporate genesis. Keller seems utterly unaware of the fact that “The Core” is, at best, a vast taxpayer funded experiment on American school children based on nothing but rhetoric. Everything that can be said about it is pure speculation.
To this, Keller and Krugman are oblivious or unconcerned. For Keller and Krugman, to be against “The Core” is to be aligned with right wing nut jobs like Glenn Beck or more sinister and shadowy Tea Party associates.
“But overwhelmingly,” writes Keller, “ the animus against the standards comes from the right.”
Curiously, Keller mocks as fantasy Beck’s fear of “bio wristbands, ” gizmos that sound incredibly similar to Bill Gates fascistic idea of students and teachers wearing “galvanic bracelets “ to somehow measure student engagement. “ Beck,” writes Keller, “ also appears to believe that the plan calls for children to be fitted with bio-wristbands and little cameras so they can be monitored at all times for corporate exploitation.”
That said, I have no illusions as to the continued power of the Times to influence middle class America, to convince them, even with the intellectual shabbiness of these articles, that to be against the sacred Common Core is to be with Glen Beck and his paranoid yokels. This is bad. It is so bad that it behooves every parent and educator in America to write the Times and speak his or her truth to power. Who knows, if enough do and do so with clarity, a man like Krugman could even become a powerful ally.