The End of Public Education: The Corporate Reform Agenda to Privatise Education: David Hursh

Press Release 650

                                AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL FOR THE DEFENCE OF GOVERNMENT

SCHOOLS

 

PRESS RELEASE 650#

 

THE END OF PUBLIC EDUCATION:

 

THE CORPORATE REFORM AGENDA TO

 

PRIVATISE EDUCATION : DAVID HURSH

 

 

Supporters of public education in Australia are not alone in their concern that mega-rich oligarchs and religious establishments are engaged in an all-out assault on one of our most basic democratic institutions. The problem has been recently analysed by David W. Hursh in a recently published book.

 

David Hursh’s new book ‘The End of Public Education: The Corporate Reform Agenda to Privatize Education, Routledge, 2016, 123 pp., $49.95.

is a devastating, spot-on, detailed, documented survey of the crescendoing assault on public education, teachers and teacher unions.

 

This  assault is funded mainly by mega-rich foundations and privatizers eager to reap profit from the over $600 billion spent annually on K-12 education in the U.S. It goes well beyond just vouchers and tax credits for sectarian private schools to public funding of for-profit charter schools, management companies, and suppliers of services to schools. And most of the besiegers are people with little or no experience as classroom teachers.

 

The respected 2014 Stanford CREDO study found that nearly 40% of charters are worse than regular public schools, while fewer than 20% are any better, and that due mainly to their various forms of selectivity.

 

The pseudo-reformers, or “reformists,” and privatizers ignore these facts: student performance has less to do with the efforts of teachers than that it is closely related to family socioeconomic status and education level; and over two-thirds of Americans regularly give an A or B rating to the schools serving their own kids, according to decades of annual Gallup education polls, despite our schools’ acknowledged problems.

 

The privatizers, generally lacking actual teaching experience, seem to think that reform means turning teachers into factory assembly-line drones producing widgets.

 

Missing from the privatizers’ grandiose plans are consideration of what real, experienced educators know is needed to improve public education: more adequate and more equitably distributed funding, smaller classes, richer curricula, wraparound social and medical services, serious efforts to alleviate the poverty that affects nearly half of America’s kids, an end to the diversion of public funds to sectarian private schools through vouchers and tax credits, and an end to overemphasis on unpiloted standardized tests.

 

Hursh, professor of Teaching and Curriculum at the University of Rochester (New York), names names and pins tails on donkeys. He concludes that the reformists’ efforts, if not halted, will wreck public education in the U.S. and send the teaching profession down the drain. This book, though a bit pricy, easily rates five stars.

— Edd Doerr

This review occurred in the Spring 2016 Voice of Reason, the Journal of Americans for Religious Liberty pp 13-14.  http://www.arlinc.org/newsletters.html

The particular Newsletter which has a lot of information on issues of religious liberty on an international level, vouchers, and recent court cases, is found at the bottom of this News Release.  

 

 

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