The Southern Progressive

The Blog for "Progressive Politics: Tennessee Style" Radio Show!

Episode #7: May 6, 2012 “ALEC vs. Public Education”

First of all, I wish to send my apologies to anyone who listened, or will listen in the future to this episode. Not because of the content, but because your host (if you couldn’t possibly tell…) was not “up to form“.  The day gave me plenty of reasons to be stuffed up, and very sniffy and sneezy. The grass was cut the afternoon before. It rained the evening prior to the show, and dried out before the show aired. Pollen was crazy, and by the time I had to go on-air, I was a sniffly mess. My apologies. We’ll get better.

Also I would like to issue the show’s first (of doubtless many) correction/retraction: At one point in the show, I said that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation had given more than $367,000.00 to ALEC. Shortly thereafter, I said they had given more than $350 million. The first number was correct; the second was incorrect. I apologize for the error.

Logo of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. S...

Logo of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Source: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation 2007 Annual Report (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Seal of the United States Department of Education

Seal of the United States Department of Education (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The general gist of the show was to discuss the current condition of Public Education, and Educators in America today. We also looked at the conditions of private, home school, Voucher and Charter education, as well. We looked at the attack on Public Employee Unions, Teacher Unions, and Educational Organizations. We highlighted the American Legislative Exchange Council‘s Education Task Force agenda for it’s meetings May 10-11, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina. As this was mostly an “information” show, we did not feature a guest for the show.

The idea was that you, the listeners would call into the show, and share your awareness and opinions on the general debate between public and private education in America, and what we should pursue going forward. For the first time, the show had NO callers or chat activity this week. It’s really interesting, because this show is (so far) the #2 in popularity. Hopefully, those who listen to the archive show may have comments, or questions in the days and weeks to come. If so, please feel free to post them as comments at the show itself, or here as a comment. The entire purpose was to generate thoughtful evaluation of the education system in America. We discussed the  clear distinctions between the Democratic Party, who wishes to fix and expand public education in America, and Republicans who are generally much more in favor of disbanding public education, in favor of private or other options. We looked at the Department of Education, and what it should look like in the future.

ALEC would completely privatize education in America, and is not shy about saying so. In fact, looking at the agenda they have set for their Spring meeting, they seem to be hell-bent on that very thing. It is well worth looking at their agenda, which can be found as “Amendment 4” to their IRS complaint filing.  The future of education has been consistently under attack for much of recent history. It would appear that, if allowed, ALEC would put that battle into warp speed.

There can be no doubt that State Legislatures, and Boards of Higher Education/Boards of Education in every State are direct targets for the immediate dismantling of Public Education by doing so via union-busting techniques and de-funding at the State level. This is an imperative issue before us in this election. The implications are immense, and it falls upon every citizen to fully recognize not only the intent, but the battle ongoing which surrounds the future of education in America.  Hopefully, this episode will give you an overview of the subject, and perhaps even give you a couple of actions you can take in your community, and your State to hold others accountable for the influence they are being hypnotized by.

In two weeks, we will discuss this again, from the perspective of my State’s reality, and perhaps a bit more specific information from (hopefully) a guest expert on the subject. IF you have any suggestions for an expert guest, please let me know here, in a comment.

Thank you for your continued support of the show. “Progressive Politics: Tennessee Style” (PPTS) is what it is because of your participation and loyal listening.

For the show,

The Tennessee Progressive

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This entry was posted on May 12, 2012 by in Episode Wrap Up, Future Episode Guests, PPTS and tagged , , , , , , , .
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