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Mitchell Robinson Consoles Fordham Institute on Loss of Scott Walker

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Mitchell Robinson, a professor of music education at Michigan State, was bemused by the reaction of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute’s to Scott Walker’s election defeat.

He begins:

“I have to say that it’s pretty amusing to see an–allegedly–education-focused website like the Fordham Institute print this “sky is falling” forecast of new Wisconsin governor Tony Evers’ predicted influence on schooling in the state, but it’s illustrative of Fordham’s deep hatred for public education, and their support for the corporate ed reform agenda. Between the twisting of facts and innuendos, it’s like taking a stroll through a hallway of funhouse mirrors…so join me as we take a peek at their concerns:

“They are concerned that Evers wants to adequately fund schools: “Evers wants to increase school funding—even more than Walker”…

“Yes, because Walker was such a big supporter of public schools. (My eyes just rolled back so hard they bumped into the rear of my skull.)

“This point is supported by some snarky references to the “fact” that spending increases (caveat: above a certain threshold) don’t improve student learning–because, you know, no one with the financial means to do so ever decides to buy a house in a community that spends a lot of money on their kids’ schools. And because standardized test scores aren’t directly correlated with parental income levels. And because spending more money on stuff helps in every single other aspect of life…except for education.

“(The next time some neo-con tells you that “throwing money at education doesn’t do any good!”, tell them, “You may be right, but spending less money on schools hasn’t worked, so let’s try spending more and see what happens!”)

“I mean, these Fordham guys are just unbelievable.”

Then, they are disappointed that Governor Evers won’t give as much money to private schools as to public schools. How sad.

“And not to be a scold or anything, but I thought that spending more money on schooling doesn’t improve student learning…so isn’t Evers actually helping private schools by spending less on them?

“What will Evers think of next? Rolling back the voucher programs that have decimated Wisconsin’s public schools, once one of the very finest state school systems in the country? Egads…

“And the Fordham Institute is sad about what might be lost with respect to Walker’s “legacy”?

The bottom line here is that it’s richly ironic to see an anti-education “think tank” like Fordham losing their minds over the prospect of a duly-elected governor who may actually do her or his job. An occurrence that is becoming more common in the Midwest, with new Democratic governors and senators being elected in the three states that handed Trump the White House in 2016: Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan.

“Wisconsin has suffered for 8 long years under the tyrannical rule of Koch-puppet Scott Walker. The state’s citizens—and children—can finally see a light at the end of the tunnel, and the folks at Fordham may want to step off the tracks before they get run over. Because change is coming. Fast.”

The corporate reform “movement” is in disarray.

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