Presented for your consideration

If you care anything about the future of public education, watch this through to the end for a glimpse of what's coming your way. This video describing reform efforts in Illinois went viral over the weekend. The presenter already tried to walk it back. Too little, too late. A few comments from around the Web:

Schools Matter: For those who still believe that there is any way to trust, negotiate with, compromise with, or have any dealings with Ed Deform in any way that does not demand complete capitulation to the ed deformers, watch this video. Play it at your next union meeting, share it with the world.


In this Machiavellian masterpiece, we see Jonah Edelman of Stand for Children infamy (list of donors here) describe in great detail how

great wads of hedge-fund and other corporate cash came to bear on the last legislative election in Illinois, how all the best lobbyists were bought up by Deform (including minority ones), how unions were outspent and how politicians followed the money, how teacher unions were lured to the table and how they were totally manhandled by the best lawyers and negotiators that money can buy, how union leaders became complicit, scared, weak, groveling.

Jersey Jazzman: Edelman's group, Stand for Children (these guys really have no shame, do they?), outlines why SB7 is the greatest thing for kids since the polio vaccine. It's the same old reformy pap: "... teacher effectiveness is the number one in-school factor determining student learning..." is always a clue that you're in for the same old "reforms." Test scores for evaluations, gutting tenure, principals getting more say in hiring... and, of course, lots of tests, tests, tests!

What's fascinating here is the ruthlessness and self-regard that Edelman evinces. Basically, when the Democrats in Illinois decided to screw teachers out of their pensions, the unions decided to withhold support. In jumped Edelman, in pure Shock Doctrine fashion, to use the state's fiscal problems as an excuse to push his corporate reform agenda (an agenda, by the way, that shows no evidence of working to solve a problem no one has shown to exist).

Hyde Park Johnny: All of the speakers and participants in the panel agree now: SB7 and how "Stand" brought it to Illinois is now a model that the ruling class is going to follow in the future to forge legislation based on the bipartisan consensus they are parading out as a key to the next phase of corporate "school reform." Substance is working on getting a complete transcript of the Aspen Institute session, as well as interviewing leaders of the Illinois Education Association (IEA) about their personal and organizational role in creating and maintaining the Jim Crow "separate and not equal status" of the largest (mostly minority) school district in Illinois, Chicago, at the back of the bud legislatively. This story is just beginning to be told, and the role of the wealthy men and women who are creating phony "grass roots" organizations like "Stand for Children" and "Advance Illinois" will be studied and exposed as well.

On July 9, 2011, the direct link to the Aspen Institute site that contained the video became unavailable, but the link through the Chicago Tribune blog (district was still up. The Tribune blog link, for those who cannot get a hotlink, is:

(Cross-posted from Scrutiny Hooligans.)