Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Murdoch out to conquer public education

On 24 May, Rupert Murdoch delivered a speech at the G8 Forum in Paris. You can access it here:

Note the title. Read with a vomit bag handy.

Education: The Last Frontier

Last frontier. An undeveloped area, a region beckoning the imperialistically-minded to explore, invade and conquer.

When they explored, invaded and conquered the lands of other peoples, the invaders first demonised and dehumanised their prey. The "yellow races" were weak, diseased, effeminate. The "black races" were cannibals, victims of their own primitive urges, ignorant and stupid.

More recently, do we remember Race Slurs: Diggers to face Probe on March 25, 2011?:

THE Defence Force has launched an investigation after Australian soldiers serving in Afghanistan posted racist slurs about Afghans and insulted Prime Minister Julia Gillard on their Facebook pages.

One of the soldiers referred to Afghans as ''sand niggaz'' and ''dune coons'', and joked about running them over in a vehicle.

Another described an unidentified Afghan man in a photograph as a ''poof'' and said he should be butt-stroked - slang for beaten with a rifle.

Murdoch’s message about teachers is not this crude, but his method is: he dismisses them as people stuck in the past, people who don't know how to teach kids today (he does, of course, and he even gives an example!), people who are callously writing kids off as hopeless, who are stuck in the age of chalk and blackboards.

What they need is a good dose of privatised curriculum via Murdoch and other corporate digital leaders: "My company is determined to try - in a big way".

And guess what Murdoch cites as a great school - the privatised and for profit “IKEA” schools in Sweden!

Makes you wonder what might be happening when they say it’s time to assemble the kids!

These were described in an Economist article in 2008: “Kunskapsskolan (“Knowledge Schools”) opened its first six schools in 2000. Four more opened last autumn, bringing the total to 30. It now has 700 employees and teaches nearly 10,000 pupils, with an operating profit of SKr62m last year on a turnover of SKr655m.”

Should any company be allowed to keep money as a profit that could otherwise be spent educating the students in its schools?

What attracted Murdoch, sniffing for dollars like a dog at its neighbour’s bum, was this: “Like IKEA, a giant Swedish furniture-maker, Kunskapsskolan gets its customers to do much of the work themselves. The vital tool, though, is not an Allen key but the Kunskapsporten (“Knowledge Portal”), a website containing the entire syllabus.”

It doesn’t matter that the “IKEA” philosophy behind the school is absolutely terrible.

According to Peter Ledin, Kunskapsskolan’s boss, ““If we're religious about anything, it's standardisation. We tell our teachers it is more important to do things the same way than to do them well.”

However, the privatised “free” schools of Sweden, now buying their way into the UK and the US, do not have such a fantastic track record. See Swedish warning: do not repeat our free school errors here: for a counter-view.

US citizen Murdoch has done enough to stuff up Australia’s public schooling through the mis-named “Education Revolution” foisted on us by his lackeys Rudd and Gillard.

His terrible speech at the G8 Forum only contains promises of worse to come.

1 comment:

emma said...

Chilling. It makes me sick to think of all the kids who are not 'compatible' with this system and end up being denied an education. Another generation of poverty and agony.