Salvatore Babones: The Real Reason that Corporate America, the Right, and Democratic Dupes Have Declared War on Our Public Schools

09 Aug

When did “reform” become a curse word?

Diane Ravitch's blog

This is a great article, written in 2015. How could I have missed it!

It was written by Salvator Babones, a professor of sociology at the University of Sydney and the Institute for Policy Studies.

He begins:

When did reform become a dirty word? Thirty years of education reform have brought a barren, test-bound curriculum that stigmatizes students, vilifies teachers, and encourages administrators to commit wholesale fraud in order to hit the testing goals that have been set for them. Strangely, reform has gone from being a progressive cause to being a conservative curse. It used to be that good people pursued reform to make the world a better place, usually by bringing public services under transparent, meritocratic, democratically governed public control. Today, reform more often involves firing people and dismantling public services in the pursuit of private gain. Where did it all go so wrong? Who stole our ever-progressing…

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Posted by on August 9, 2018 in Uncategorized


7 responses to “Salvatore Babones: The Real Reason that Corporate America, the Right, and Democratic Dupes Have Declared War on Our Public Schools

  1. stiegem

    August 9, 2018 at 12:21

    Many, many people do not like “change”. They are comfortable (comfortably numb) with “familiarity”. If one sees the need to change (or reform something), work, rebellion, war is required. Paradoxically, war is a common and ongoing result of the frustratingly difficult actions to move forward to a better place. War is common and has been waged by the United States to keep us comfortable. Complex question, as you well know Lloyd.

    • Lloyd Lofthouse

      August 9, 2018 at 13:11

      Yes, very complex, but the US spends more money on its defense and military than the next seven countries combined.

      China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, India, France, the UK and Japan spent $547 billion on their defense vs $610 billion for the United States, and that’s based on 2017 spending. Trump and the GOP have added more than a $100 billion to that for 2018. Why does the U.S. “need” more aircraft carriers than the rest of the world combined?

      Russia is allegedgly our most dangerous enemy, depdning on the news cycle, and they spend less than 10-percent what the U.S. spends annually on defense.

  2. stiegem

    August 9, 2018 at 14:59

    I don’t REALLY know the US budget. I do know what I spend on taxes. We citizens are all funding continuous wars. You cite forbes. I can cite many others; just 1:
    It’s what one wants to believe.
    But I keep saying to you, Lloyd, you were there in Vietnam. Was it worth it to keep us all safe here in the US? It went from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism. Shift. US is always “shifting” to get us citizens to pay for aggression and “the killing fields”. And Vietnam (among others) wasn’t even a declared war by Congress. US has been at war for 17 years now (if not from the very beginning); not declared by Congress. Last declared was WWII. Was the atomic bomb worth the win? Japan had already surrendered.
    There’s a “war” on education now (and has been for quite awhile). From way back. We’re about the same age. We’re both educators. It IS about education. Does Forbes educate us now? Does Truthout? As my mum would say, “Consider the source.” As Brian Dunning says, “Consider, Confirm, Conclude.” Shortened version of the 5 steps of the Scientific Method.
    Is humanity all an experiment, in what works and what doesn’t work? Many believe in Trump, and God.
    And we won’t even talk about Love. That was a “legal” contract (much like the Constitution).
    Hope you got a good lawyer.
    It’s complex, complicated and confusing. Even with all the “information” at the touch of a key
    What’s it all about, Alfie?

    Complex and complicated.
    I won’t attach all the links. But I so appreciate all of yours!

    • Lloyd Lofthouse

      August 9, 2018 at 15:52

      The last war the US fought where we were actually protecting the United States from a future invasion was World War II with Japan and Germany.

      All the wars since 1945 were unnecessary. None of those countries were ever a threat to the United States. I didn’t know that when I was in my early 20s, but I learned the facts, the real truth, years later.

      That truth is that Vietnam and Korea were socialist threats to capitalism and the 1% couldn’t let that pass because they wanted to protect their ill-gotten gains since most huge fortunes were started illegally.

      There might be an argument about the Korean conflict since North Korea invaded South Korea and we had a treaty with South Korea to help defend that country but protecting the United States was not valid justification for even that conflict.

      There is also an argument to be made that the cost of all the wars since World War II do not come out of our state and federal taxes because I think the cost of those wars is what is responsible for the national debt. Simply, all those wars were charged to a credit card account called The National Debt for Blood Drenched Corporate Profits.

      • stiegem

        August 9, 2018 at 17:26

        I’ll say it again: I DON”T REALLY KNOW! Much information, including videos. Howard Zinn – always good info.
        What you say as you share your knowledge is always good to me. I frequently challenge you if I disagree. I remember you posting about your literary professor who advised you to not write a “memoir” of truth, but to put it into fiction. Which you did. We do really need to know the difference between fact and fiction. Tell it like it is:
        I’m not a “little” girl anymore either. I might not have much time to find out all the truth that is available out there. But I do value life, which is why this anniversary of the bomb disturbs me every year. You’ve seen all the celebratory pictures of “the end of WWII”. My father was a flight surgeon in the Korean War. He always loved the Navy. He was not combat, but he never told me if he picked up “the enemy”. As I learn, I go with David Swanson (War Is A Lie) and Alice Walker (WHY WAR IS NEVER A GOOD IDEA). Maybe my father would be ashamed of me not supporting the idea, of killing for profit. He was a good doctor. He just didn’t live long enough to learn the truths. I’ve recently come out of a 5 relationship with a Vietnam Vet (all the MyHealthVet medical stuff and PTSD). I just couldn’t deal with his defenses every single day.
        Lloyd, I so appreciate hearing your story. We all have a story, don’t we?

      • Lloyd Lofthouse

        August 9, 2018 at 20:37

        Yes, everyone has a story, but … many people don’t think they have a story because they think what they have exepriecned isn’t unique when it always is.

    • Lloyd Lofthouse

      August 18, 2018 at 09:12

      There’s the federal budget and then the states’ budgets.

      This link will take you to a chart that shows the history of the US Federal Budget. How much they take in and how much they spend.

      If you want to break the federal budget down into department allocations there are sites that do that too so you know how much is being spent by the Department of Defense vs SNAP, the food stamp program and SNAP goes into detail breaking down food stamp recipients by age and how many have jobs so you know how many Americans are working for poverty wages and due to that low pay qualify for supplemental food stamps so they don’t starve.

      State budges can be found through Ballotpedia and other sites.

      Here’s the link to California with lots of details if you scroll down through all the info.


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