According to the Detroit News headline, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan came to Detroit to encourage education reform in Detroit’s public schools, where he is reported as saying things like Detroit is “ground zero” for education reform. Oh, and this:
“I know the schools are struggling, but they’re getting better, and my job is to make sure it’s better,” he said during a visit to Thirkell Elementary School.
Etc. Etc. Etc.
One slight problem though. In the photo accompanying that story in Tuesday’s Detroit News, who should we see sitting next to Secretary Duncan, joyfully reading stories to suitably enraptured Detroit school children but Gov. Rick Snyder. As you may have heard me say a few times before, Gov. Snyder is the one primarily responsible for stealing democracy from his own constituents when he vetoed their vote last November by forcing us to accept the Emergency Manager law even though a notable majority of us voted to have that law abolished. He simply passed a new law under cover of darkness during December’s lame duck session, one that mirrored the one we voted down, and passed it into law without so much as a public hearing or committee hearing. Snyder is also the one behind the creation of the Educational Achievement Authority, which is essentially a criminal enterprise designed to steal local control from local school districts and hand that power – and money – over to those Snyder feels are more ‘deserving’ of such power. Those like Snyder, for instance.
In short, it is Gov. Rick Snyder who is leading the charge to dismantle public education in the State of Michigan, calling it ‘reform’, and Secretary Duncan is right there with him, giving him the photo op, and effectively giving Snyder the stamp of approval that it’s OK to be a criminal and a thug so long as you are exercising these traits in the service of some randomly-defined higher good. Using this logic, it is good that Master Snyder stole our vote because Master Snyder would only commit thievery if he thought he needed to do so to save us from ourselves. Oh praise be to Master Snyder.
We do love him so…
Keith Owens (AKA Black Liberal Boomer) is a Detroit-based writer who has worked for The Detroit Free Press, Detroit’s alternative newsweekly the Metro Times, the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel, and other newspapers. He was also a nationally syndicated columnist with Universal Press Syndicate for three years beginning in 1993.