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Liberals, Conservatives, Education Reform: There Is No Distinguishing Between Them

February 3, 2011

Is education reform a left, liberal domain? Are there any solutions to the great disaster of public education that don’t include redistributing wealth, asking the village to raise the child, or shoving all the round pegs into square holes? Well, in Missouri, it would seem that Republicans are still looking to the liberals for education reform answers.

Republican Representative, Scott Dieckhaus, is the Chair of the House Education Committee and a proponent of visual aids when enticing freshman representatives to buy into the Charter School love affair that is the cornerstone of Missouri’s Race To The Top initiative, Educated Citizenry 2020. During National School Choice Week, Dieckhaus led a panel that was part of a special screening for Missouri legislators, of the movie,Waiting for Superman. The movie’s director, Davis Guggenheim, also famous for An Inconvenient Truth, took no emotionally blackmailed prisoners when creating “Superman” but neglected to offer any fiscally responsible solutions to the lackluster public educational system. But, at the end of the day (movie) the message was: Charters are the answer!

Dieckhaus also loves to worship at the altar of left wing educational reformers via his twitter feed.

” href=”http://a3.twimg.com/profile_images/1100831759/Dieckhaus_Photo_normal.jpg”&gt;Scott <spanDieckhaus” width=”48″ height=”48″>
sdieckhaus Scott Dieckhaus
Ready to spend three days with some of the greatest education reformers in the world. Better education is coming to Missouri soon!
” href=”http://a3.twimg.com/profile_images/1100831759/Dieckhaus_Photo_normal.jpg”&gt;Scott <spanDieckhaus” width=”48″ height=”48″>
sdieckhaus Scott Dieckhaus
At #EIA10 and excited to hear from Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Eva Moskowitz, Arne Duncan among others.30 Nov Favorite Retweet Reply

We, at Culture Vigilante, are not the only ones asking why are so called conservatives following the left wing, pied piper Arne and company, and other Race To The Top lovers of educational reform. Anyone who has read Educated Citizenry 2020 and RT3 sees very clearly the mirror image parallels of the documents. Maybe they should also be asking, “Why would legislators who worked so hard, last year, to fight for sovereignty in healthcare, be working so hard this year, to throw it away via education reform?” At the 3:26 minute mark in this Heritage Foundation video, The Danger of National Standards, you will see Senator Jane Cunningham standing with Utah Congressman, Rob Bishop, in support of federalism in education.

And here you will see the Senator’s signature on Educated Citizenry 2020 which, among other things, throws educational sovereignty out the window by way of adopting Arne Duncan-style Common Core Standards, otherwise known as National Standards, for education.

And finally, House Majority Leader, Tim Jones, is introducing the Parent Trigger to Missouri.

Originally conceived in Los Angeles by Steve Barr’s (of Green Dot) Los Angeles Parents Union, and largely funded by the Broad Foundation, the “Parent Trigger” has spread east, and here and here. This is an initiative where if enough parents can be convinced, pressured, and tricked to sign a petition, a school will be closed down and replaced with a charter. On each Form 990 from 2005 to 2008, Steve Barr is listed as the CEO/President of the LAPU board.

Jones names the Missouri version of the latest hedge fund managed, charter school expansion the Parent Power and Choice Act. Jones states in a press release:

Next week, I will file the “Parent Power and Choice Act” that provides options for parents whose children are required to attend a school that is failing to meet their child’s educational needs. If parents believe their children are being underserved, and over fifty percent of those parents sign a petition requesting the local education agency to make education alternatives available, a triggering event occurs that requires the local agency to make those options available. Once the trigger is initiated, parents will have three options for providing the best educational scenario for their children. The first option is a restart model in which the local educational agency converts or reopens the existing school under a charter school operator, a charter management organization, or an education management organization that has been selected through a review process. The second option is to close the school and move the students to another school within the local educational agency. Option Three would allow a local educational agency to implement a school voucher program. …

Again, all roads lead to charter schools.

While some popular ideas of eliminating tenure and social promotion are being used to sell the latest version of reform, no where in any of the discussion is heard talk of privatization of schooling, or of government getting out of the education business. It seems that representative leadership isn’t quite ready to get their hands out of the educational cookie jar. If the lessons haven’t been learned by now, that government is the problem in education, how can we expect them to provide effective solutions?

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