John Thompson: Oklahoma and the Same Tired Privatization Agenda, Part 3

Diane Ravitch's blog

This is the third in a series about education politics in Oklahoma by John Thompson, historian and retired teacher.

The Oklahoman no longer dominates Oklahoma politics as it did for generations, but it is still the biggest bear in our woods. Now that legislators and governor-elect are more inexperienced than ever, the corporate school reform-loving newspaper is aggressively pushing its privatization agenda. Since our state government is almost completely lacking in knowledge of how and why the state implemented the entire accountability-driven, charter-driven experiment at the beginning of the decade, who knows who will win the hearts and minds of newly-elected officials?

One of the most worrisome of the Oklahoman’s recent editorials praised Reason magazine’s prescription for school improvement. Reason’s diagnosis was virtually indistinguishable from that of Jeb Bush’s ExcelinEd, which said that underfunded high-poverty urban schools don’t need more money as much as they need to learn from high-performing…

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