The new face of education reform

Over at Forbes I talk about Scott Walker’s plans to layoff 1,500 state workers and cut $1 billion in state aid to schools and local governments. I think Walker is doing what Chris Christie would like to do, and what reformers like Michelle Rhee never had the power to do – he calls it balancing the budget, but really this is the bald face of conservative education reform. For a long time conservatives played around at the margins, flirting with school choice, flirting with vouchers. It wasn’t until prominent Democrats joined the school choice movement that Republicans became emboldened enough to go for the jugular.

Defending teachers from the noise machine
My new education-policy blog






53 replies
  1. 1
    Quiddity says:

    Walker’s plan sounds like something Joe Klein could really get behind. I look forward to Mr. K describing it as “modest”, once again.

  2. 2

    Scott Walker is a dick, full stop. he doesn’t care about education. period. the lot of them are sick fuckers.

  3. 3
    General Stuck says:

    Given polling in Wi and nationwide in support of union bargaining rights, even, or more for public employees, laying off teachers ain’t exactly going to thrill the well scrubbed middle classers. With each new poll, and the longer this goes on, the more the public can be educated to what is really going on. It is a lunge at the jugular of progressive America, even at the idjit goopers who don’t know any better.

    But it is a lunge that is borne of the ideologue, and that usually is poison to any politician in this country in high office. Especially when the target of their assault ends up being part of their own voting blocks.

    I can’t think of a better campaign message and rallying point for democrats than Scott Walker. Somebody ought to send him a donkey with a thank you note attached.

  4. 4
    E.D. Kain says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: The problem with Walker is he’s also really, really boring. At least Christie is mildly entertaining.

  5. 5

    Dear Floridians,
    You know I love some of ya’ll, but when you wake up one morning and find yourselves short a governor, and you check the state coffers and a couple of moths come flapping out, I am going to L-A-U-G-H.

    Sincerely,

    TBCC

    P.S. Don’t bother moving up this way, you’ll freeze to death by mid-September.

  6. 6
    E.D. Kain says:

    @General Stuck: Totally. Walker is handing the Democrats a gift-basket. Will they seize the moment? I certainly hope so, but I’m not a very optimistic guy these days.

  7. 7
    Tom Levenson says:

    I hope that the Dems don’t blink. This is a murder suicide pact Walker is laying out; can’t stop the murder right now (that’s the point of the whole excercise) but in that light, we shouldn’t let Walker off the hook either. He’s a one -year governor waiting to happen, and we should do nothing to ease that glide path.

    Mixed metaphors, enough?

  8. 8
    jwb says:

    @General Stuck: You gotta hope that’s the case, because the alternative is too ghastly to contemplate. On the other hand, you also have to remember that it is only a hope, and societies do sometimes lose their collective minds. When that happens, it never ends well.

  9. 9

    @E.D. Kain: Really, he’s boring. because i thought he was sarah palin stupid. he played chicken with people who do this shit for a living. christie at least teases his marks – and he’s a dick too.

  10. 10
    jwb says:

    @Tom Levenson: Except I really don’t see how the Dems get through this year unless they can somehow either recall those eight senators and get new ones in their place or get enough Republicans to break with Walker. Wisconsin does need a budget for next year, and they do require a quorum to pass the budget. At least that’s how I understand the situation.

  11. 11
    General Stuck says:

    @E.D. Kain:

    Will they seize the moment? I certainly hope so, but I’m not a very optimistic guy these days.

    Fortunately, I don’t think individual politicians have to do that much, other than show support to the victims of these winger power plays. This is a direct confrontation between the wingnut and ordinary citizens in this country, and he done shit on their kitchen table. And it shouldn’t be that necessary for anyone to tell them what has happened.

    And Unions are too important to the dem voting coalition for them to cave, or otherwise stab in the back, whatever that would entail. It’s not even the money so much as union folks are the best foot soldiers dems have, native to their states for GOTV and general electioneering. I think the wingnuts are more afraid of that than the money contributions.

  12. 12
    General Stuck says:

    @jwb:

    There are so many competing memes right now in American politics, it is impossible, or unwise, to put too much faith in any one area. This is good politics for dems, but is mostly unrelated to other deeper conflicts and resentments, other than adding to winger desperation in general about their long term viability as a national party.

    They are running on populist and ideological fumes right now. Walker et al, are simply lighting the match for there to be the fire realized. But when that happens, people get burnt where they live, and then don’t give a shit about political theory. But there is always that 30 percent, or so in this country that are just thoroughly insane, kind of like a pack of hungry wolves waiting for a degree of dystopia to feed on.

    I think what is happening is the natural evolution in a liberal democracy, whereas the ideal and sanctity of the core of democracy, being one man one vote, is going to be the bottom line battle at some point. All of this with unions and citizens united, are just ways to avoid that ultimate confrontation. And the natural extinction that must occur, of the idea of historical prevailing white superiority in this country. No way around other than concession or rebellion, of one sort or another.

  13. 13
    Dustin says:

    @jwb

    Do you honestly think we’re blaming the Democratic senators for the budget mess? They’re playing chicken with a corporate bag man/teaparty ideologue. The longer the drama continues the clearer that becomes to everyone.

  14. 14
    jayjaybear says:

    I’m pretty sure that Wanker’s paymasters aren’t too happy with him right now. Especially if they’re paying attention to the polls and public opinion. I think Wanker tripped over his own dick on this and pushed too hard, too soon.

  15. 15
    E.D. Kain says:

    @General Stuck: Good point.

  16. 16
    E.D. Kain says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: Christie’s a dick but he’s a hell of a lot more interesting to listen to than Walker, and a lot smarter even though he’s wrong most of the time. Walker is the perfect villain for Democrats.

  17. 17
    feebog says:

    If you look at the recall possibilities, there are four State Senators who are vulnerable. What I don’t see yet is and tangible move toward starting a recall movement.

  18. 18
    Mark S. says:

    Krugman says that Texas is thinking of cutting 100,000 teachers, which seems like a helluva lot even for a state as big as Texas.

    ETA: He doesn’t say teachers, just schools, so maybe they won’t all be teachers. Still, that’s pretty fucking bad.

  19. 19

    BTW, EDK, are we going to be constantly assaulted by cross-postings in which you don’t include the bulk of the text, because I could see that calling forth another m_c infestation.

    And, fwiw, i can’t listen to any of these GOP fucksticks, because my blood pressure would boil. I read Walker’s statements, but I can’t stand to listen to his sorry ass. or Newt, or Sarah P., or Christie or any of the other barely breathing dipshits they are parading as the paragons of conservatism these day.

  20. 20
    Corner Stone says:

    Over at Forbes

    So…why should any of us here care again? If I wanted to visit Steve Forbes’ place I’d put on my thin helmet and smack the shit out of myself with a hammer.

  21. 21
    Corner Stone says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    BTW, EDK, are we going to be constantly assaulted by cross-postings

    ISTM the answer is Yes. EDK is leveraging Cole’s stupidity to get clicks on his new paying gig.

  22. 22
  23. 23
    Corner Stone says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: I’m too busy Rolling in the Deep.
    You figger it out.

  24. 24
    Caz says:

    So what is the implicaton here? That R’s want our children to be poorly educated so they are trying to get rid of teachers? I don’t even understand what you are getting at here you’re so lost. I would love to hear the theory here. How about just come out and say what you think the R’s education reform idea is?? I’m sure it makes lots of sense to you, lol. PLEASE enlighten us (e.g. me, lol).

  25. 25

    @Caz: i think the theory we’re operating on is that you are a dipshit troll. but please, enlighten us otherwise.

  26. 26
    Caz says:

    Dipshit troll, ok, got it. Again, what is the theory you are trying to put forth here? I’m the dipshit troll, lol. I’m asking what the theory is, why are you asking me to enlighten you otherwise?? I’ve yet to hear what the theory is, lol. But I’m the dipshit. You all are the ones putting forth the theory, so let me here in plain English what the theory is for what the R’s education reform agenda is. Pretty please??

  27. 27
    Xenos says:

    @Corner Stone: The funny thing is that Steve Forbes was the radical Galtian figure a couple decades ago and seems like a mainstream Republican now. I suppose people find him much more palatable than the neo-birchers – still crazy, but not that flavour of nastiness that the rights has now.

  28. 28

    @Caz: here’s the R’s education reform agenda is as best I can tell: fuck the darkies, and Jeebus all the way. If you can correct me on this, I await it, dipshit troll.

  29. 29
    Caz says:

    Arguingwithsignposts, what the hell does that even mean?? “Jeebus all the way?” Is that like the non-troll, cool-blogosphere version of “Jesus,” meaning what exactly? That their agenda is “Jesus all the way?”

    Honestly, can anyone actually explain in a regular, English language manner what the hell you all think the R’s education reform agenda is based on this blog post??

    I mean, what the fuck, I am asking a regular, straightforward question, right?? Why all the idiocy?? Can’t anyone just give me a straight answer? It seems like none of you really have any idea what you are supporting or opposing, because none of you can even articulate any of it without dumbass catch words like troll, jeebus, darkies, neo-birchers.

    Pretend I’m a totaly dumbass in this area…but I speak English fluently. Now, what is the R’s education reform policy or agenda or initiative, or whatever you prefer to call it. Anyone? Anyone? Buehler??

  30. 30

    @Caz:
    Shibboleth test: say who the Dems are.

  31. 31

    @Caz:

    I mean, what the fuck, I am asking a regular, straightforward question, right??

    No, you don’t. I’ve seen you troll this blog before. It’s not straightforward, it’s not regular, it’s not honest. R’s plan for “education reform” is to fuck over the public schools, unions, students, etc. And deny evolution and global warming. It’s to deny history and any other vague notion of truth or honesty. Is that clear enough for you?

  32. 32
    Xenos says:

    @Caz: If you want an answer to the question, compose it in a coherent fashion that can be answered in a straightforward way.

    ex: “You all are the ones putting forth the theory, so let me here in plain English what the theory is for what the R’s education reform agenda is.

    This is bad because you are randomly calling out people to write you some sort of essay. Hint: when they can’t be bothered to do so for your sake, that does not mean you win any points.

    ex: “Can any of you wankers tell me what the fuck your retarded front-pager means when he says that the hallmark of insincere reforms are their ‘top-down’ nature? How the hell are we supposed to reform anything except with dynamic leaders who clear up some of the patronage and cronyism that have wrecked our urban schools?

    That at least is somewhat specific, has some bracing profanity, and if it does not inspire an honest debate it might at least get a readable flame war going.

  33. 33
    gwangung says:

    Pretend I’m a totaly dumbass in this area…but I speak English fluently.

    Evidence not apparent.

  34. 34
    Jebediah says:

    @Caz:
    Wingers want to destroy public education and replace it with private schooling for everybody. This is old news. Why are you pretending to not know this? Do you get paid more if you are more annoying?

  35. 35
    Quiddity says:

    @E.D. Kain: I’d rather have Walker representing the Republicans instead of a character like Christie. If/when things turn bad, then people like Christie can be excused away (by Republicans) as some sort of outlier. But Walker’s colorlessness means that the thing people remember is less the man, and more the party.

  36. 36
    E.D. Kain says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: Nope. I figured new blog, get the word out, hopefully get some regular readers. Other people expressed interest earlier.

    In other words – deal with it. You cannot be ‘assailed’ by words on a screen.

    @Corner Stone: This is where I tell you to fuck off and go DIAF. I could really care less if you could care less.

  37. 37

    @E.D. Kain: fair enough, but at least ABL does full cross-posts. Maybe caz will take up on the other blog. or SWSNBM.

  38. 38
    Corner Stone says:

    @E.D. Kain: I’m a little hurt now. I thought if anyone could get beyond the hoopla of where we were it would be you EDK. In this post-Giffords era it seems pretty harsh to be wishing physical violence on others.
    I wouldn’t have expected this of you.

  39. 39
  40. 40
    Caz says:

    Wow, ok. It’s hilarious how clueless some of you are. Most of you are actually pissed that I stop by and read/comment on this blog, like you hate it when someone actually wants to debate the issues or doesn’t agree with your insane, out of touch, views that all conservatives are seeking to destroy the world. It’s not about debate, it’s about being arrogant know-it-alls and not having to evaluate your own points of view I guess. God forbid someone with a different opinion challenges you, then you get all “evil troll!” on them, lol.

    Does it occur to you that conservatives have an idea about how best for this country to remain prosperous? Do you even think it’s reasonable that the GOP wants to destroy the education system, and fuck over everyone? How would that benefit anyone, even the high level GOP’ers?? Are you interested in hearing the other side of these issues at all? Obviously not. I’m not even a republican, lol.

    If you aren’t open to debate, you’re never going to even see where you’re wrong, and all of us are wrong from time to time.

    I just don’t understand the hatemongering and fear.

    Do any of you even have the balls to read something like Cato Institute’s blog? How scary! You might learn something.

    Alright, that’s it for me tonight. Maybe I’ll troll here again tomorrow for some more engaging debate. Can I use “troll” as a verb? Is it also a noun? Am I a troll who trolls?

    “I’ve seen you troll this place before!” Oooh, so fucking what?? lol. Somehow that’s a bad thing and it makes you feel dirty or pissed or something?

    I honestly don’t get it, but whatever.

  41. 41
    Corner Stone says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: He’s always seemed like such a nice, reasonable young man too.
    I’m a little disillusioned at this point.

  42. 42

    Does it occur to you that conservatives have an idea about how best for this country to remain prosperous?

    no, hasn’t been apparent yet.

    Do you even think it’s reasonable that the GOP wants to destroy the education system, and fuck over everyone?

    Not just reasonable but apparent.

    How would that benefit anyone, even the high level GOP’ers??

    Serfs are cheaper.

    Are you interested in hearing the other side of these issues at all?

    If you can pony up something besides the usual GOP talking points, be our guest.

    I’m not even a republican, lol

    Yes, a stupidtarian instead. Cato blog was a tell, btw.

  43. 43
    Mike in NC says:

    @Caz:

    Do any of you even have the balls to read something like Cato Institute’s blog? How scary! You might learn something.

    Cato? Really? Go fuck yourself, moron.

  44. 44
    Jebediah says:

    @Caz:

    Are you interested in hearing the other side of these issues at all? Obviously not

    Are you interested in presenting them?
    Obviously not. You can only shout “You won’t listen to me!!!” for so long. Eventually you have to put up or shut up.
    Put up proof that what we have said is wrong. Not just your “lol”-punctuated assertions, but proof. Actions, speeches, or position papers by Goopers that show that they value a strong, effective public education system for all Americans.
    Cuz, you know, we are just going by their actions and words and stuff.
    Fuck the Cato blog – is the Cato blog an elected Gooper?

  45. 45
    piratedan says:

    @Caz: really Caz? How does the GOP plan for future economic recovery look? So far we’ve seen threats of a government shutdown and abortion bills but birth control for horses. Where are the jobs programs that the right promised? Jobs priority one? My ass. How has the GOP plan for bringing Al Queda to bear regarding the crimes for 9/11 been going? That went well didn’t it? We managed to take world sympathy for us and the opportunity for global cooperation and still found a way to turn the entire world against us by not focusing on Bin Laden and instead going after Hussein.

    The GOP has long backed the voucher system, home schooling and charter schools. What have we found out? Essentially, charter schools that are extremely well funded and staffed are just like private schools. Great, glad we figured that out at the expense of public school funding. We’ve also found out that education is another great mechanism for grifting middle class parents who have been inundated with a steady diet of “fear the other” from your Southern Strategy GOP buddies to keep up racial tension in the country.

    If your CATO institute theocrats gave a good goddamn about the country they wouldn’t be playing partisan politics about fixing what is going on in this country instead of finding ways to make the current administration the fall guy for the previous adminsitrations complete clusterfucking of the entire western economy and allowing the greatest terrorist to walk away while he settled his dad’s past business in a completely drummed up war that cost US taxpayers billions of dollars and incidentially a few thousand American lives.

    You want a debate? How about a dabate on how the previous Administration finally removed any vestiges of the US being perceived as the good guys internationally? How about torture? how about circumventing the Constitution in order to lie to itself that what it was doing was perfectly okay? How about a lively debate about what went wrong with the past administration and its “wrongs” and its “partisanship” every step of the way that put us in this particular position today?

    You state that all conservatives are not seeking to ruin the country, tell that to anyone making less than 100k a year who isn’t running around in a mediscooter complaining about illegal immigration. The GOP wants dumb, easily distracted proles who watch American Idol who are scared of their neighbors because they might practice a different religion or have a different skin pigmentation. All of that crap is defined and acknowledged as the “southern strategy” and is practiced and applied by damn near every GOP candidate for public office.

    you don’t understand the hatemongering and the fear? Well take a look in the mirror buddy because that’s the shit “your side” is selling.

    We’ve heard your side already, we’ve pretty much decided that you’re a bunch of politically motivated grifters who will do anything to stay in power or you’re their lackies who don’t have a fucking clue that you’re even being used because they look just like you and therefore they must be good….

    in short, piss off.

  46. 46
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Caz:

    Does it occur to you that conservatives have an idea about how best for this country to remain prosperous?

    Considering that their best idea right now is to lay off about 1 million people, I guess you could say they have an idea. It’s just a really, really, really terrible idea that goes contrary to reality. But, hey, I guess we have to give them credit for having some form of an idea.

    Do you even think it’s reasonable that the GOP wants to destroy the education system, and fuck over everyone?

    Is it reasonable for them to do it? No. Are they actually, in fact, doing it right this very minute? Yes. Yes, they are.

    Given the long record of Republicans taking stupid, counterproductive actions that got the opposite results of what they claimed would happen, I’m not sure why you think that insisting that only unreasonable people would take that action would somehow prove your point. Republicans have made it very clear over the last decade that they are not reasoning people by any stretch of the imagination.

    How would that benefit anyone, even the high level GOP’ers??

    Take a look at any third world country for the answer. A very small elite benefits greatly if they can exploit everyone else. The sad part is that you really seem to think that you’re going to be part of that ruling elite even though they’re going to grind you into the dust along with the rest of us peasants.

  47. 47
    E.D. Kain says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: I very rarely cross-post. And I won’t cross-post anything at Forbes.

  48. 48
    Gian says:

    @Caz:

    Just a note, if I want right wing talking points, I can get them from Fox.
    Or just about any a.m. radio station.
    Or about any Sunday morning TV show.

    I appreciate the effort to post them here too, but really, they have enough exposure already. You don’t need to pitch them here in some fake veneer of civility.

    If you’re going to be a winger like that, you have to go the full dickens
    sample:
    are there no prisons? are there no workhouses?

    (edit to add, not that Dickens actually advocated prisons and workhouses)

  49. 49
    harmonicbalance says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    I think another tell is ending every other paragraph with “lol”

  50. 50
    harmonicbalance says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    I think another tell is all the lols. I can see the instruction manual, throw in lots of lols, looks like you are aware of “all the internet traditionzzzzz”

  51. 51
    Feudalism Now!: Serfs up says:

    There are many flavors of conservatism fueling this attack on public schools. You have the religious fundamentalist prong of Creationism, prayer in schools, and no icky sex Ed or teh ghey. You have the libretarian facism of free market fixes everything even and the those with the least deserve it. You also have the schandenfreude republicans who just like to see anything related to democrats suffer. And finally, the biggest conservative bias is the we need a strong daddy contingent for a top down controlling overdoses. I think that covers it.

  52. 52
    grape_crush says:

    …he calls it balancing the budget, but really this is the bald face of conservative education reform.

    I think that it’s about more than just that – it’s an attempt to weaken the opponents of the right-wing’s power grab – but conservative education reform is a nice bonus in a killing-two-or-more-birds-with-one-stone sort of way.

  53. 53
    kay says:

    E.D., you should look at rural public schools. The conservative-libertarian privatization template won’t work here, for two reasons: 1. there simply aren’t enough children in any one area to support charter schools or private schools (our single private religious school exists only with hefty subsidies from a larger religious base; they have declining enrollment), and 2. public schools are much, much more than “schools” in rural areas. They’re the center of whole communities. Without public schools, there wouldn’t be a “community” where I live. There would be a series of houses and stores.
    Since rural areas are represented by conservatives or libertarians, I think it’s interesting that their template applies only to suburban and urban districts, rather than the school districts-areas they actually represent.

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