Mr. Staples: Here's What Happened to Black Teachers
As the chief education spokesman for the New York Times editorial board, Brent Staples' support for corporate education polices most often goes unsigned in his editorials. This week, however, Mr. Staples has an editorial piece in the Times that asks, "where did all the black teachers go?"
For almost three decades, Brent Staples has refined the New York Times' editorial policy on education to support, unfailingly, the corporate education reform agenda that began in Charlottesville, VA almost 30 years ago. It was in 1989 that GHW Bush called together the nation's governors to meet with the nation's leading CEOs to set a national education agenda designed to put corporations in charge of making education policy based on Reagan market ideology, and to put governors in charge of implementation of that policy.
The year after in 1990, Brent Staples joined the Times editorial board. It was the same year that one of the governors leading the Charlottesville Conference, Lamar Alexander, was named Secretary of Education and charged with promoting education privatization policies to end the "public school monopoly." The other governor in charge at the Charlottesville Conference, Bill Clinton, was elected President in 1992, which began the school privatization effort in earnest.
Clinton used the bully pulpit to advance charter growth, and by the time Clinton left office the nation was seven schools short (1,993) of meeting Clinton's goal of 2,000 charter schools in the U. S. by the year 2000.
As a black man embracing white racist policies, Staples voiced support for the white elite corporate education policies and policy talk that has for centuries blamed the shiftless poor for their impoverished and oppressed conditions and their lazy and ignorant black teachers for falling short of expectations on standardized tests designed to humiliate anyone outside the white middle class for which the tests were normed.
With Clinton, accountability demands began to be ratcheted up with more testing, so that by the time GW Bush was appointed President in 2000 by the Supreme Court, Brent Staples, as the voice of the Times on education, was ready to embrace a multi-Schools Matter: Mr. Staples: Here's What Happened to Black Teachers: