Wednesday, May 04, 2011

At the One Voice Rally in Raleigh

Some of the signs from yesterday's One Voice for public education rally in Raleigh.

Teachers were coming to the rally as soon as they got away from their schools, so the first on the legislative plaza were Wake County teachers. But by 4:30 buses were arriving from all counties, including Watauga.

Meanwhile, the new Republican majority in the NC House were passing their massive cuts to education and health care, including 15.5% axed from the University system.


Anonymous said...

Strategy for Privatizing Public Schools Spelled out by Dick DeVos in 2002 Heritage Foundation Speech

Right-wing think tanks have determined that school vouchers are key to eradicating public education and Dick and Betsy DeVos lead the way in execution of the well-funded plan. The money is tracked in two extensive reports.

"We need to be cautious about talking too much about these activities," Dick DeVos warned in a December 2002 speech at the Heritage Foundation. DeVos was introduced by former Secretary of Education William Bennett and then proposed a stealth strategy for promoting school vouchers in state legislatures. DeVos and his wife Betsy had already spent millions promoting voucher initiatives that were soundly rejected by voters. Pro-privatization think tanks had concluded that vouchers were the most politically viable way to "dismantle" public schools; the DeVoses persevered. Dick DeVos introduced his 2002 Heritage Foundation audience to a covert strategy to provide "rewards or consequences" to state legislators, learning from the activities of the Great Lake Education Project (GLEP) initiated by Betsy DeVos. Vouchers should be promoted by local "grass roots" entities and could not be "viewed as only a conservative idea." DeVos added, "This has got to be the battle. It will not be as visible."

Ten years later, the DeVos stealth strategy has been implemented and is winning the voucher war in several states. As recommended to the Heritage Foundation in 2002, the public face of the movement is bipartisan and grass roots, and millions of dollars are poured into media firms to reinforce that image. However, behind the scenes the movement continues to be led by the DeVoses, and the funding used to provide "rewards or consequences" for state legislators continues to be raised from a small group of mega-donors.

Brushfire said...

I attended the rally and tried to speak to our legislators, who unfortunately were hiding from us. We did speak with the legislative assistant for Jordan however. He was absolutely un-responsive to our concerns and showed no hint of being open to considering other perspectives. I also spoke to a professional lobbyist who was rather proud of taking money to represent the moneyed interests. He was cold as ice.

Mike D. said...


That's great that you were given so much access. Good job!

Brushfire said...

Mike - You mean that I was allowed to speak to the legislative assistant? The peon who (while making more money than I do) sits behind the desk and answers phones? Or were you being ironic?