Freedom Rider: Obama Plots Against Children

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
The only beneficiaries of President Obama's educational policies “will be the testing and charter school corporations.The president's top executive for educational business affairs, Arne Duncan, is free to treat the nation's schools as his “portfolio.” Unfortunately, “children performing below grade level, or in need of special education are not welcome in corporate education land.”
 
 Freedom Rider: Obama Plots Against Children
by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
The only beneficiaries of his educational policy will be the testing and charter school corporations.”
According to conservatives, Barack Obama is after the little kiddies. He hatched a nefarious plot to start an Obama Youth movement and propagandize tender young minds into mindlessly following his fascist, socialist, communist, atheist, not born in the USA political cult. In fact, he delivered a speech to kids ranging in age from elementary school through high school, in which he exhorted them to do their homework, stay in school, flee from drugs, realize their dreams, and well, you know the rest.
The idea of a presidential fireside chat for children is more ridiculous than anything else. It is akin to Bill Clinton’s school uniform policy, relatively harmless but cloaking more important and more dangerous policy decisions. All of the hot air from the right wing has obscured the truly offensive nature of the president’s goals in speaking to school children.
Obama is always a corporatist, whether he claims to want health care reform or to save the economy. Health care “reform” will enrich the insurance companies at the expense of Medicaid and Medicare. The economic rescue is a rescue of the financial services industry which resulted in the transfer of trillions of dollars in public money to the criminal bankster class who brought millions of people to economic ruin. His educational reform plans fit the same mode. The only beneficiaries of his educational policy will be the testing and charter school corporations.
Corporate control of education will exacerbate every problem facing American kids.”
As usual, the Obama modus operandi, reconciling the irreconcilable, is at work in his educational policy. The president says he wants to decrease the high school drop out rate, but he also wants to expand the corporate takeover of the public school system. Corporate control of education will in fact exacerbate every problem facing American kids.By their very nature, charter schools are meant to exclude the young people most in need of a robust educational system that is dedicated to serving every child. Children performing below grade level, or in need of special education are not welcome in corporate education land.
Obama’s secretary of education, Arne Duncan, earned his position by bringing the corporate model to the Chicago public school system. The fact that he held the title CEO instead of Commissioner or Superintendent or Chancellor was quite telling. The man who ran one of the largest school systems in the country was never an educator, and he said so proudly. "I am not a manager of 600 schools. I'm a portfolio manager of 600 schools and I'm trying to improve the portfolio.”
Barack Obama has a lot of nerve filling helpless, impressionable young minds with lectures about responsibility when irresponsibility is the byword of his educational policy. The wholesale firing of black teachers in Chicago, done under the guise of closing “under performing” schools, has resulted in a discrimination suit against that city. The legacy of Arne Duncan has been an absolute disaster, and the man who elevated him to a position that endangers the entire nation’s public education system should not be given a pass just because of bizarre, rightwing conspiracy theories.
The legacy of Arne Duncan has been an absolute disaster.”
On the other hand, politicians in need of a cute photo opportunity backdrop are nothing new. Children are always used to further the ends of cynical office holders. The Bush administration used internet child pornography as a pretext for spying on millions of people. The safety of children was the phony rationale for concocting a war on drugs. Who can argue against keeping drug kingpins off the streets and saving young souls? The safety of children is the justification for endless warfare. There are terrorists hiding behind every tree, just waiting for an opportunity to snuff out young America lives.
Not only is Obama behaving as his predecessors did, but he is once again mastering the art of corporate control better than any of them. McDonald’s set out to capture two-year-olds with Ronald McDonald and happy meals. If the idea worked for fast food, it should be good enough for the government too. Let the kids in on the action early. Snake oil can be consumed at any age.

Margaret Kimberley's Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgandaReport.Com