They want you to believe that the corporate vultures preying on our public schools are really just misunderstood philanthropists.
So what’s a corporate education reformer to do?
Answer: Change the narrative.
They can’t control the facts, so instead they try to control the story being told about the facts.
It’s a classic propaganda technique. As Malcolm X put it:
“If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”
Their story goes like this – yes, there is a battle going on over public education. But the two sides fighting aren’t who you think they are.
The fight for public schools isn’t between grassroots communities and well-funded AstroTurf organizations, they say. Despite the evidence of your eyes, the fight isn’t between charter school sycophants and standardized test companies, on the one hand, and parents, students and teachers on the other.
They want you to believe that the corporate vultures preying on our public schools are really just misunderstood philanthropists. And those demanding a fair shake for their own children and communities are really just paid shills from a monolithic and uncaring bureaucracy.
2) Unions are evil by definition and they pervert everything they touch.
Put simply, unions are not perfect, but they are not evil. In fact, they are essential to the health of public education.
I’m not going to bother with the first claim here. There is an inherent bias from those who wish to change the laws so they can more easily profit off of schools without actually helping students learn and in fact exist at the expense of that learning. If you can’t see through the propaganda wing of the Walmart corporation, the Broad Foundation and Big Daddy Bill Gates, you probably won’t be very receptive to anything else I have to say.
Instead I will focus on the second claim, because it is the more pernicious of the two.