According to Raw Replay (online) a rap song created by a duo calling themselves “Two Teachers and a Microphone” slaps down U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan for failing to acknowledge poverty and inequality, and accuses him of “pimping out Pearson and private charters.” You can hear the song at: http://www.rawstory.com/rawreplay/2011/08/teachers-rap-song-blasts-education-secretary-for-pimping-charter-schools/
However, putting all the ‘song and parody’ aside, any real and meaningful challenge to the right-wing Trojan Horses they call charter schools must come from direct action and organized resistance. Charter schools are simply foreplay for the real fornication of the public: privatized vouchers. As I have written for more than ten years, charter schools were launched in face of the fact that the public would not buy wholesale privatization and a voucher program as was tried first in Milwaukee. Now that charters have been introduced in almost every state in the union and embraced by the corporate puppet, Obama, a generation of Americans have been ‘softened up’; they have now seemed to swallow the idea as a ‘reform’ when in fact it is ‘deform’: a “you hold them, I’ll hit them” posture by the corporatocracy when it comes to public perception.
Charters have and are doing their job and it is not to educate kids; no, instead it is to introduce a rather illiterate public to the notion of privatization while profitting a few, all wrapped up and embraced in the ideology of “free market” (free from regulations and taxations for the rich and the owners of the means of production) as the panacea for all that ails America. In fact, it is this “free market” ideology in the form of neo-liberal politics that has turned America into the banana republic it now is.
It is good to see that American creativity and resistance has compiled itself into a rap song that puts Duncan in the cross-hairs for using government to support charterization and the post-literate society; we need more cultural critique. But it will take more than a song to change the facts on the ground. Education is simply one dysfunctional institution among many in American life. Inadequate health care is another, to take an immediate example. They are related as is the fight for collective bargaining and unions along with struggles against kleptocracy which is American economic life.
To assure adequate public education and public health care, not to mention stuanching the bleeding of massive inequality, it will take an oppositional movement of Americans willing to engage in direct action to stop the insidious public policy plans of the neo-fascists who dress up as capitalists of compassion when in fact they are the neo-liberal and neocolonial face of authoritarianism and the rank degeneration of American life. We must come to terms with the fact that America is a criminal racket, controlled by organized criminals and protected by war profiteers and death merchants. Until we do, charters will swell, for the educational means of production is now changing into ‘virtual’ production and as long as this educational means of production is owned and controlled by corporations and their minions, education will be relegated to mis-education in the neo-feudal digital dark ages that is emerging as we leave the Enlightenment and enter into the Age of Irrationality.