Friday, July 31, 2015

On the Road to Receivership

A recent $8.5 million donation to Evil Moskowitz’s torture chambers charter schools by billionaire hedge funder John Paulson is a mere bubble amid the tsunami of Big Money careening toward public education in New York State. It’s doubtless Paulson would have donated at least twice that amount had Andrew “I am the Government” Cuomo not failed to enrich Paulson and other Wall St. wankers via another one of his tax-cuts-for-billionaires bills.  

Alas, the Lobbyist for the Student’s dubiously-dubbed “Parental Choice in Education Act” did not even come to a vote, though Cuomo did manage to slip a few more charter schools for his slimy associates into Albany’s putrid package of legislation. Cuomo continues to “get things done” by ramming through ludicrous laws before most legislators even have a chance to put their reading glasses on.   

Contrary to what The New York Times says, Paulson’s donation will not cause New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio additional angst in accommodating Moskowitz’s schools—Cuomo already carved out space for them in the state budget through seemingly unrelated legislation.

Under a new “school receivership” law encased in the budget, Moskowitz and other public school predators are now clear to subsume “failing” schools within one year, kicking union contracts and our most vulnerable kids to the curb. After all, neither Moskowitz nor Paulson’s money will tolerate low Cuomo Core test scores. Kids who happen to struggle because their parents are destitute, disabled or dead will be out of luck; rather than fitted for a charter school uniform, they will be promised all the knowledge in the world via asinine online classes on a refurbished iPad. 

The good news is that many intelligent people understand that test scores do not define children, or teachers for that matter. Paulson and other education misanthropists should remember this the next time they agonize over the worthlessness of their worth and attempt to live vicariously through other people's kids. It’s not our fault that Paulson decided to become a billionaire and now needs another reason to exist besides money. Perhaps his fortune would be better spent saving lions in Africa. 

Billionaire John Paulson is now in the market for a soul

Awash in ignorant hubris, Paulson’s beneficence also helps destroy those precious middle-class jobs politicians like to tout, as the faculty and staff in charter schools have less job security than a drunken babysitter. Yes, public schools are similar to corporations in that they also provide jobs to the community, jobs politicians from both parties are desperate to downgrade.

Fortunately, more people are paying attention. One of the largest acts of civil disobedience took place this year in New York when over 200,000 ordinary citizens decided they would refuse to allow their kids to participate in Andrew Cuomo’s greedy and vindictive quest to destroy their schools with standardized tests. This number will only increase next year as more people start to realize that the road to receivership is paved with low test scores. If Moskowitz and others continue to get their way, this road will soon crisscross the state, with hundreds of schools labelled as “failing” and in need of a Paulson donation.

Besides an attempt at fumigating college readiness standards that are more toxic than Chernobyl on a windy day, the state’s only answer for the Refuse movement will be to intimidate and punish any teacher suspected of supporting the uprising. Cuomo’s Orwellian “moral character” law contained in the budget is clearly meant for this purpose, as our sociopathic leader’s definition of immorality pertains to anyone who challenges his ego. How many teachers, for example, will the state try to railroad out of the profession because they "like" a status on Facebook?

History shows, however, that people don't digest force-fed injustices very well, especially ones that include children and hard-working teachers as their ingredients.

Paradoxically, injustice also breeds solidarity, and it is now the job of everyone who cares about public education—from bus drivers to board members—to coalesce around the Refuse movement. Refuse the road to receivership by refusing the tests.

It is the only way to save our schools from the clutches of strife.

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