Monday, February 01, 2010

Katrina Good for New Orleans Schools

"Obama Plots Against Children" or so a sensationalist writer claimed. That writer would be yours truly actually. My column written last September chronicled the horrors visited upon public education by the current Education Secretary, Arne Duncan. He brazenly brags about the corporate take over of public education he oversaw in Chicago.
"I am not a manager of 600 schools. I'm a portfolio manager of 600 schools and I'm trying to improve the portfolio.” I didn't know public schools were corporations, but what do I know?
Obama's basketball buddy let his true colors show in a recent interview. "I’ve spent a lot of time in New Orleans and this is a tough thing to say but I’m going to be really honest. The best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans was Hurricane Katrina. That education system was a disaster."
Now I don't know anything about NOLA public schools prior to Katrina, but I do know that a natural disaster which displaced thousands of people wasn't good for anything or anyone. On second thought, I have to take that back. The hurricane cleared much of the poor black population out of New Orleans and what better way to start a school system or any other system from scratch if there are no pesky colored people asking questions or horror of horrors, making demands.
Duncan is like Barbara Bush, who opined that "under privileged" black people were actually doing quite well living in shelters after they lost their homes. Duncan may not be as crass as Pat Robertson who asserted that the Haitians brought an earthquake upon themselves by practicing devil worship. He has a little more sophistication than that, but not much. He too thinks that black people are well served by disasters which allow white people to take over.
If Duncan's boss were a white republican, black people would demand an apology. But his boss is Obama and we know what that means. He gets away with things that a white guy couldn't. So we will have to look at the shameful Duncan for as long as Obama wants him to stay in his job.
Duncan is a human disaster and the best thing that could happen to children all over this country would be to have an Education Secretary who truly cares for them. Lots of luck kids. You are stuck with Obama and Duncan too.