On Sat, Sep 8, 2012 at 6:26 AM, Haim <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
<< snip >>
> Oh yes, Virginia, there is an Education Mafia (apologies to "The Sun" newspaper). And, just like their prototype, they do not get up every morning intending to hurt your children, but they will, if they feel that is what they need to do to protect their interests. > > Haim > Shovel ready? What shovel ready?
We agree the NEA exists. I had offices in the same building once, in DC (I've just returned from said city, though I didn't get in to downtown, saw the "Exorcist steps" in Georgetown at least -- near where my friend EJA used to live). I confirm it exists.
But does it follow that the rest of your analysis is precise? Is the Education Mafia necessarily "leftist" and what does that mean? How much Noam Chomsky is actually assigned reading at the high school level, if we do a survey / poll? Having mingled with the NFL (National Forensic League) quite a bit, and seen what foundations support it (Ayn Rand is big, Reagan Foundation in the picture), I'm not persuaded this was a "leftist operation". Yet here I was, in a public high school (Ben Davis / Indianapolis) surrounded by kids from public high schools from across the land, in the company of their teacher coaches. This is the rhetorical pinnacle, the cutting edge of articulateness, so not a bad way to measure. Sure, some kids take leftist positions in their debates, but the sport involves switching sides a lot.
Then lets take Big Publishing. You talk out both sides of your mouth saying leftists are stupid to think in terms of Wall Street or Big Oil, but then invoke precisely these entities to bolster your Education Mafia idea. You both trash and uphold the same belief system. Big Publishing wants common core standards because there's a real danger, with electronic publishing, that schools will start authoring their own curriculum content and storing it to school servers. There will be no need to outsource to wood pulp publishers, many with a presence on the stock market. I used to work in Rockefeller Center in downtown Manhattan for McGraw-Hill. Isn't that kind of close to Wall Street, even financially? Isn't public education a big business? Isn't the private sector hugely invested in the future of public education? Look at Texas Instruments.