What I will describe has been an ideological undertaking hatched in the back rooms of Wall Street in an effort to back hand the public. Schooling has now been transformed into a business plan and an ominous one at that, if one is interested in safeguarding anything public. The whole plan goes under many names: Charter Management Organizations, Profile Schools, the Diverse Provider Strategy and more. It is an idiomatic and thus ideological undertaking now, a Machiavellian Race to the Top in an effort to convince an unsuspecting community that public schools, the teachers, the unions, along with the students who inhabit them are cretins, or philistines in need of remediation or rehabilitation.
Meanwhile, the richly funded and well-oiled juggernaut of privatization continues to move forward, carving out increasingly large pieces of the public system. If those of us who profess to value public schools and the principle of democratic access they uphold cannot find the courage or the motivation to fight in their defense, we may soon wake up to find that they have been replaced by wholly owned subsidiaries of Me- Donald’s, Burger King, and Wal-Mart.