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If Schools Were on Wall Street


Doug Noon of Borderland imagines what life would be like if education reform got the same treatment as the Wall Street bailout.

If education reform worked anything like the $700 billion Wall Street bailout plan now on the table, we’d have seen government officials immediately call for implementing a plan that, as George Bush would argue, “matches the scope of the problem.” We’d see the debt ceiling raised, with hundreds of billions of dollars committed to resolving the crisis, and no demand for accountability.

For Noon, the bailout illustrates education reform’s low-priority status in the American government.

The quick willingness of the Bush administration to commit public funds to the Wall Street bailout exposes the duplicity behind objections that the Broader, Bolder proposal for education reform is too expensive.

As I wrote in my own blog: President Bush stated in his radio address explaining the unprecedented government bailout of faltering Wall Street giants, "Given the precarious state of our financial markets and their vital importance to the daily lives of the American people, government intervention is not only warranted, it is essential."

Are the children of our inner cities and rural areas any less vital or their situation any less precarious than that of AIG or Bear-Stearns?

PBS just ran a special (Where We Stand) that certainly goes some ways in making the case that for the primacy of education in affecting our world standing--and the stagnation in the face of growth elsewhere.

While I personally cheer for Renee's suggestion that our children ought to be seen as just as important, and cry when Jonathon Kozol suggests that they deserve better because they are our children, I am afraid that the stronger argument is that the state of American education is vital to our financial position in the world.

Renee, I too saw the PBS special "Where We Stand" and wept as I saw everyday citizens (not the government) voting not to support their local schools because their own children were out of the school system. I believe that in order for real change to occur it must begin with us and (by force) the government will follow.
What will to the happen of education to those “yielding the least” when profit is the motivation for providing the most basic of needs? When the argument to educate our children hinges on our financial position in the world and not our obligation to give to the next generation what the previous generation gave to us, the least among us is doomed to destruction. If we who love and care for children adopt the mindset of the greedy the worst parts of this country's history will be repeated. Only this time the defining line will not be race but education.

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Recent Comments

  • Stacyann Rolle: Renee, I too saw the PBS special "Where We Stand" read more
  • Margo/Mom: PBS just ran a special (Where We Stand) that certainly read more
  • Renee Moore: Amen. As I wrote in my own blog: President Bush read more




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