After a steamy summer spent belowdecks at the captured Utah Association of Public Charter Schools (UAPCS) schooner – recovering from the bloody effort of tossing nearly the entire crew overboard, no doubt – the Parents for Choice in Education (PCE) pirates have finally emerged topside with their new agenda.
The agenda wasn’t that difficult to guess for anyone familiar with PCE and its goals. Using the Trojan horse of parental “choice” in education, PCE/UAPCS will now be sailing full steam ahead on a totally predictable course:
1. Union busting.
2. Destruction of public neighborhood schools.
When PCE managed its hostile takeover of the UAPCS board last winter, with barely a whimper of protest from the scores of Utah charter schools represented by their Association, the smashing of dissent and merging of agendas was inevitable. Now, the charter schools who failed to understand the dangerousness of the PCE agenda will be forced to wear it.
So, first out of the gate:
Another PCE hijacking. This time, of the UAPCS legislative lobbying tool, the UCAN (Utah Charter Advocates Network) email list.
PCE/UAPCS, whose new slogan is “grassroots” (more about that later) sent out a blast email today to everyone on the UCAN list, inviting them to a $20 a plate ($1000 a table) luncheon at the Marriott on August 24, where Jeb Bush will kill two birds with one stone, rousing the Utah faithful for his 2012 presidential bid, and fulminating on his embarrassing “education reform” record in Florida.
As one Florida teacher put it:
Jeb Bush has dreamed his whole political life of plunging a dagger in the heart of public education. His fond hopes were probably best confessed in his second inaugural address as Florida’s governor in 2003. Bush told the rapt crowd gathered to hail him, “There will be no greater tribute to our maturity as a society than if we can make these buildings around us empty of workers; as silent monuments to the time when government played a larger role than it deserved or could adequately fill.” Bush could already see it in his mind’s eye. Yes, school buildings empty of teachers, monuments to an abandoned American crusade for universal public education.
Which puts him squarely in the PCE/UAPCS camp. Stay tuned.