[Marxism] NYU's new board of trustees chair -- his charter school is tough on 5 year olds

Sheldon Ranz sranz18 at gmail.com
Sat Jun 14 14:43:10 MDT 2014

Carol Burris: The “culture” is more aligned with a communist nation than
our nation.

Well, that would be a 'faux-communist' nation, following the semantic style
of, say, Israel Shamir, who has been rumored to refer to a certain event
during World War 2 as a 'faux-Holocaust'.

I would hope that Louis will respond to Shamey's personal attack on him in
the current Counterpunch.

On Sat, Jun 14, 2014 at 10:51 AM, Louis Proyect via Marxism <
marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:

> ======================================================================
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> NY Times, June 14 2014
> New Chairman of Board at N.Y.U. Is Announced
> New York University has announced a new leader for its board of trustees,
> one of the largest and most powerful in American academia: William R.
> Berkley, an insurance industry executive currently serving as a board vice
> chairman.
> Mr. Berkley will have the title of chair-designate until October 2015,
> when he will officially succeed Martin Lipton, who has overseen the
> university’s ambitious and controversial expansion in New York and around
> the world.
> (clip)
> In addition to his roles at N.Y.U., he has been active at Georgetown
> University, where he helped found the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace
> and World Affairs. In the New York metropolitan region, he has played a
> role in the charter school movement, as chairman of Achievement First,
> which operates 25 schools in three states.
> ---
> http://dianeravitch.net/2013/07/10/achievement-first-boot-
> camp-for-kiddies/
> Achievement First prides itself on its high test scores, but recent
> stories report that these charters are also distinguished for startlingly
> high suspension rates. Half the 5-year-olds were suspended last year.
> Dacia Toll, the Ivy League-educated leader of the charter chain, promised
> to cut the suspension rate in half. Instead of suspending the kids,
> apparently they will get even tougher on them in school.
> I have always wondered how privileged white college graduates learned to
> be so hard on impoverished black children. It is highly unlikely that what
> they do in these boot camps reflects their own home life or schooling.
> Here is the drill in the AF charters that gets higher test scores:
> “There is an urgency in the tenor of the classrooms at Achievement First
> schools; a sense that every second must be used for learning. Even on the
> last day of school at the Hartford middle school, a history teacher has a
> tightly structured lesson that students are clearly enjoying. She uses a
> timer to ensure that small tasks — like moving the desks into a U-shape for
> discussion — don’t take longer then necessary.
> “The schools also have a language of their own that expedites
> communication and students, for the most part, respond like a precision
> team. A teacher at Bridgeport elementary schools tells her students to:
> “SLANT, fold your hands and make a bubble.” Translation: Sit up straight,
> listen, ask and answer questions, nod to signal engagement and track the
> teacher with your eyes. And the bubble? Purse your lips and fill your
> cheeks with air — a move that ensures quiet.
> “For years, the Achievement First students in Hartford, New Haven and
> Bridgeport, have outperformed their peers on state tests in almost all
> grades and subjects. On a recent visit to Achievement First’s middle school
> in Hartford, a strict disciplinary code was evident.
> “In a large lecture hall with stadium seating — the “reflection room” —
> two or three students who had been removed from class for behavioral
> reasons sit quietly under the supervision of a staff member.
> “At the front of the room, the consequences of breaking the rules and the
> rewards of not doing so are spelled out on large posters that proclaim,
> “You’re not a born winner, you’re not a born loser. You’re a born chooser.
> Make the Right Choice!”
> “And in most classrooms, two or three students wear a white shirt over
> their blue school uniform, signaling that they are in “re-orientation” — a
> disciplinary measure that permits them to stay in academic classes but
> forbids interaction with peers and removes them from special classes like
> music or physical education.”
> There is something Orwellian about that “Reflection Room.” I wouldn’t let
> my children or grandchildren go to such a school. Would you?
> A comment posted on the article by Carol Burris, the principal of South
> Side High School in New York:
> “As a public school principal, if I engaged in such practices, I would be
> fired. No middle class suburban parent would put up with the systematic
> humiliation of their children. The “culture” is more aligned with a
> communist nation than our nation.
> “As for the “reflection room”–that is in-school suspension and for state
> accounting purposes, it should be counted as such. These practices may
> develop compliant children controlled by fear, but they will not develop
> leaders who have learned self-control.”
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