One insight that I have learned in the last five years of having children in the public school system is that there is an official narrative, and then there is the reality on the ground. The two are often discordant. Because there is a political dimension to the official narrative. Who gets to frame the story, whose voices are heard and who benefits.
I was thinking about this because I went to a wonderful event in my town, TEDxJP. I spent the day listening to amazing speakers talk about their work and their insights. But there was one speaker who got up to talk about disrupting dying systems in order for them to be replaced with something healthier.
And soon as I heard the word disruption, I just knew that we were going to hear about failing schools. Because Ladies and Gentlemen, I KNOW the narrative. I know the mainstream story before it begins.
And that is exactly what happened. But it was interesting because the speaker said, “Schools are failing our children” almost as an offhanded remark, as if she felt that she didn’t even need to explain herself.
At the break, I approached her and told her I took issue with this. I said that schools are not failing our children. Schools have been abandoned and what she was mimicking was a narrative that was being used to justify privatization. She responded that she intended her speech to provoke.
Well, consider me provoked.
Because our schools are not failing. They are intentionally being starved of resources so that they cannot function. This isn’t by some organic mechanism. This by design of the ruling class so that they can justify removing publically held goods and hand them over to the control of private entities.
The education reformers may have the best intentions in the whole world. This is still DEAD WRONG. It is wrong to privatize education.
I am just a mom with a blog and a twitter account. Some of the most powerful people in the whole world are behind this. I can’t stop it. But I’ll be damned if I let people make off handed remarks that support a narrative that just isn’t true.