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Susan Adams

Rob, thanks for posting here your thoughtful response to the Mindtrust's plan. Thanks especially for referencing Duncan-Andrade, who has been on my mind all week and I wrestle with Cornell West's idea of critical hope.

You are right that schools and colleges of education are not in the conversation, whether by exclusion or by choice. I have been wondering what we can do to make ourselves relevant to the public and to the powers that be in this conversation without shrinking back from or neglecting the work already before us as teachers of future educators.

If the message has been jacked (and you know I absolutely believe it has been jacked in scandalous ways) how do we "unjack" it, reframe the debate, or pull back the curtain to reveal who and what is manipulating the powerful and seemingly unstoppable Oz in our scenario? How do we convince people to pay attention to the money AND to the man behind the curtain? How do we persuade folks Oz can't and won't give us anything we don't already have?

I will stop before I indulge myself by playing with the flying monkey metaphor, but I believe it is crucial to pay close attention always to the plans being laid for urban kids and then to ask what changes, if any, are in store for wealthy, privileged students.

James C. Jupp


1) Cut central office budgets;

2) Provide more autonomy to Principals and teachers;

3) And, continue the focus on early child education.

As someone who taught in both comprehensive students,"special programs" in them, and different hybrids of special programs and comprehensive schools, I totally agree on the capacitating and enabling professionals.

I agree, also, that charters and special programs SHOULD NOT HAVE TO EXIST. I think that much more radical investment in structural changes are needed to do that. Currently, the US government spends only 3% of GNP education.

Other countries spend a lot more in comparison. "Transformation" to smaller schools, a forgotten movement in the 1990s, seems even relevant today than ever. Reforms with charter schools and other marketizing measures are just recurring efforts to carve out niches of the deserving and underserving poor, as Michael Katz called it in the 1980s under Reagan policies. More money, more commitment to public values, and more love of democracy will have to take place b/f we will be "allowed" at the table.

Bill Gates, capitalist philanthropist, is very much the model of reform, but as you said, it is important to recognize that this "crisis" goes back at least to another time, the early 1960s in which Admiral Rickover was the chief representative of, not the Digital Age as is Gates but rather the Atomic Age.

Not surprisingly, both of them couch their language in competition, militarism, fear, crisis, and global threats. That is what fuels these debates, and only by understanding American anti-intellectualism and paranoid style can we really move toward a rational discourse that might include teachers and educators as "people" with much to say. Until then, we'll have, as Pinar reminds us "gracious" sumbmission to "Billionarire" visionaries who just "know better," even though they never spent a day in schools, teaching, or concerned, truly, with public questions of democracy, fairness, and justice.


Can't believe you didn't cite this dude. : )

Good stuff!

Lonni Gill, Ph.D.

It always surprizes me that people just skim off the top of issues and do not look deeper to see what the "insiders" know, but do not divulge and the public gets "jacked" or "played" or "used" for someone else's ulterior motives.
How many times does this have to happen until we wake up and see what is going on? You would have thought that the Wall Street fiasco would have alerted people to the possibilities that others are doing things for their own gains.
Using children as the commodity is about as low as we can get, they deserve better from their elders; after all they will be taking care of us someday!!

Rob Helfenbein

Thanks for the comments here! Feel free to pass along to other interested folks.

Evan B

Great assessment of the proposal, wish I could have seen it in person.


Thanks for publishing here your careful reaction to the Mindtrust's strategy. Thanks especially for referencing Duncan-Andrade, who has been on my thoughts all weeks time and I battle with Cornell West's concept of crucial wish.

Any Rina

On the Education Reform Movement is a good post at all! I got some good information from this site. really i was looking forward to read about it. Thanks for this allocation. :lol:

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