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Public Education 2-Pack

Program #JONB001-KOZJ005.

First Program: Brian Jones - Education: Separate and Unequal

Efforts to privatize all things public in the United States rely on a relentless refrain: “Nobody does it better than the private sector.” Yet evidence to the contrary appears in the news daily, be it about the privatization of prisons, elections, highways, or wars. The privatization of public education system is seen as a potential bonanza for corporations. Not surprisingly, we hear: if only government, teachers, and their unions would get out of the way, test scores would go up and the U.S. would not be 23rd in science and 17th in literacy. Accompanying the ideological assault are the budget cuts. Public schools are being starved for funds. Teachers are laid off. Those still with jobs are asked to teach more classes with more students. Meanwhile does anyone know the cost of the 505 now abandoned bases the Pentagon built in Iraq?

 

Second Program: Jonathan Kozol - Humanizing Public Education

The Austrian-born economist Friedrich von Hayek may be intellectual godfather of neoliberalism: present-day right-wing economics. His book, The Road to Serfdom, is considered to be the bible of anti-government, free market ideas and the privatization of just about everything. From war to prisons, a core goal of neoliberalism is: Let the private sector do it. And there are few bigger targets than public education. The 50 million students who attend public schools are viewed as products and commodities. Under the banner of “choice,” the regime in Washington, according to Diane Ravitch, noted NYU professor, wants “to shrink the Department of Education, with the ultimate goal of getting rid of it entirely.” The neoliberals want cuts in the education budget for public schools and more taxpayer money to go to charter schools and to vouchers for private and religious schools.

Speaker(s):

Brian Jones

Brian Jones is a public school teacher in New York. He is also an actor and activist. He co-narrated the film, The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman and contributed to the book, Education and Capitalism: Struggles for Learning and Liberation. For more than a decade he has been performing to great acclaim Howard Zinn's one-man play Marx in Soho.

 

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