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May 30, 2016

Professor Sheila Kennedy has posed the issue of what to do about public education and the various reforms proposed by those who would destroy it. I responded to her invitation to comment as follows.

Let’s look beyond the controversy Sheila has identified in her piece today. The expression “Divide and Conquer” comes to mind when discussing the state of education in the country these days. We see it in other areas as well. The corporate would be conqueror first frames the issues in true Lakoffian fashion (aided by Pence and other lackeys), incessantly trashes the pubic endeavor (whether education, the post office, social security, or any other public endeavor where there is a pile of money and weak resistance to “reform”), and then, after softening up the resistance with their propaganda, march in and save the day on their white horses. I think the move to come up with various forms of “reform” is at base a corporate design to take over public education and the vast pile of taxpayer funds involved in supporting public (and private) education. Welcome to your new curricular designers – corporate boards- who will make ALEC look like liberals with their market-worshiping 1984 brainwashing of hapless students – and all at taxpayer expense! Currently we are in the “trashing” phase of the corporate project to privatize virtually all public endeavors and need to do some Lakoffian framing of our own if we are to avoid total corporate control and morph into 1984 Smiths.

Supplementing the foregoing response, I responded to one of the professor’s commentators who asked permission to use my piece as follows.

Paul – Feel free to use my commentary. We are on the verge of being swallowed up into the corporate maw, and publicly funded endeavors are just the low-hanging fruit. Higher fruit is still on the list of corporate ingestion. We need to get the word out by reframing the issues and arguing from there in true Lakoffian fashion.


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