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ERIC Number: EJ932782
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0895-6855
Superhero School Reform Heading Your Way: Now Playing in Newark, NJ
Karp, Stan
Rethinking Schools, v25 n2 p12-17 Win 2010-2011
Watching the rise to fame of Michelle Rhee, the former Washington, D.C., schools chancellor who is one of the heroes of director Davis Guggenheim's "Waiting for 'Superman'," the author was struck by how the targets had changed. Clark's baseball bat was aimed at the young black males who were demonized as a criminal element in the schoolyard. Rhee's weapon was a broom to sweep away all those lousy teachers and their unions. Across the country, "Waiting for 'Superman'" has mobilized celebrity star power and high-profile political support for an education "reform" campaign that is destabilizing even relatively successful schools and districts while generating tremendous upheaval in struggling ones. The now-familiar buzzwords are charter schools, merit pay, choice, and accountability. But the larger goal, to borrow a phrase from the Democrats for Education Reform (DFER), a political lobby financed by hedge fund millionaires that is a chief architect of the campaign, is to "burst the dam" that has historically protected public education and its $600 billion annual expenditures from unchecked commercial exploitation and privatization. In New Jersey, an odd alliance of Oprah Winfrey, Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg, Republican Gov. Chris Christie, and "rock star mayor" Cory Booker has put Newark in the forefront of this effort to impose business model education reform. Newark is a test case for celebrities and big money to "burst the dam" that has protected public education.
Rethinking Schools, Ltd. 1001 East Keefe Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53212. Tel: 414-964-9646; Fax: 414-964-7220; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: District of Columbia; New Jersey
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Assessment of Educational Progress