Copied this from Facebook after realizing it was way to long an update and links.
This makes me incredibly sad. Another push to make public education untenable with a series of circular arguments.
Start with the largely unsupported claim that public schools are bad, often using a straw man argument by taking an outlier and strange anecdotes, generalizing to all schools in your whole state. Then take away the money needed to run them and really beat up on your straw man. Then the bad test scores roll in.
You take over the district that is the straw man and further run it into the ground and strip more financial resources. You don’t do it a little; instead, to the point that parents are asked to pay out of pocket for basic materials and services, which really makes the district look horrible.
Then, without evidence, claim that, even with proper funding, the district would fail remain closed to even the idea of trying funding adequately as an experiment. This because you believe money is protected speech, not power to do work. If it were the latter, then giving money to schools would allow them to make change in the lives if their kids.
At the end, the politician claims, with his/her manufactured evidence, that public schools are a failure and we need to privatize. Fait accompli. Corporate schools are the way and you give away all the buildings and resources to them with the idea they will eventually have to pay taxes, and you’ll have revenue and repayment.
However, because you, the political actor does not believe in taxing anyone, especially the wealthy, that never happens, so parents just struggle to pay for the schools while you keep the education funds for tax cuts and business interests.
Eventually, your state looks like a 1970s banana republic and everyone moves out, schools are shuttered by the corporations who can no longer profit, and they move on to feed on another state like locusts and education becomes only a luxury for the wealthy once more.
The AERA conference is going to be in Philadelphia this spring. Am interested to talk to faculty from there about the situation. Why is it so hard to point out the politician’s fraudulent logic in these instances?