Deep Doo Doo: Neoliberalism and Educational Reform — Susan Ohanian reports on Lois Weiner’s NYU speech

[Lois Weiner spoke recently to group of Chicago teachers on the current crisis in education.  In the following talk, given at NYU, she explains how Diane Ravitch doesn’t go far enough in her critique of No Child Left Behind.  Ravitch had been on a panel with Weiner, but had to leave when her talk was over.  Weiner concludes by saying she probably disagrees with, and could argue with, Ravitch on whether schools and education in the US always conformed to a goal of reproducing the dominant society;  there is, however, no doubt about their function today, and no doubt about why public education is being/has been dismantled world wide.  — Lew Rosenbaum]

NCLB Outrages: We Are In Deep Doo Doo by Susan Ohanian

Thanks to Borderland for this important transcription of Lois Weiner’s remarks at the NYU Radical Film and Lecture Series.

Lois Weiner, who has been documenting the global neoliberal assault on teachers, posted a critique of Diane Ravitch’s new book on her blog today that is worth every public school teacher’s attention.

Lois Weiner:

The publicity for Ravitch’s book has certainly put her incisive critique of the reforms (privatizing education; using standardized tests to measure everything; looking to “choice” and charter schools drive improvement) in the news…..

Still, it’s important to note what she gets wrong and why. In the book she explains being “caught up” in the widespread “enthusiasm” for market reforms. She will not, however, name this as the neoliberal project. By the political yardstick she uses in the book, the American Enterprise Institute is a “well-respected conservative think tank.” Someone whose first job in New York was at the New Leader, where she learned all about left sectarian politics and met Max Shachtman, (as she noted in our exchange before the panel), knows enough to name capitalism’s latest iteration.

Ravitch won’t name neoliberalism as the problem because it would force her to confront facts she’d rather ignore. Like the fact that 70% of the new jobs being created only require a minimal education. . .

Read the entire article here.


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