Thursday, March 31, 2011

The link between Duncan and the Chicago City Colleges Grows

The Save the City Colleges of Chicago blog has reported:

Word is Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel has spoken with Giannoulias about chairmanship of the Chicago City Colleges board and Gov. Quinn has chatted with Giannoulias about heading the Illinois Community College board. (Giannoulias, who was a major supporter of community colleges, is also a close friend and hoop shooting buddy of U.S. Education czar Arne Duncan.) Stay tuned."
If Giannoulias, Duncan's buddy, is appointed Chair of the Board of the CCC, then the direct link between the White House through its Department of Education is cemented. On a weekly basis, the possibility grows of the CCC being turned into Obama's poster child for his student-tracking plan to misguide students into job-training credentials disguised as higher education degrees.


  1. So...what's wrong with more workers being taught to work jobs that Chicago creates by using it's gravity to pull 'em in? The rest I understand is the set-up for that.

  2. Fairbanks, thanks for your question. There is no problem with job-training, it has been done for decades. The problem is with the actual context.
    1. For a long time, industry has trained their workers on the job. And for a long time they have been trying to shift its cost into the government or any other willing partners. That is why they have argued for years for higher education to twist itself and accept these responsibilities at no cost for the corporate world. Hey, the corporations pay little taxes and in many cases like GE or Bank of America, no taxes at all. SO by not owning to their responsibilities to invest in training their workers they want to have their cake and eat too.
    2. The transformation of community colleges like the CCC into job-training centers destroys a historical role they have played in helping working class folks to get a meaningful education at a relatively reasonable cost. The new job-training orientation will mean that the scope of their education will become much narrower, and that many won’t be able to have the flexibility (in personal growth and social advancement) that comes with a broader education and a bachelor’s degree. Flexibility that will be needed when the current jobs on offer morph or disappear and you are left with a tunnel-vision type of education. Flexibility in a richer understanding of the world that you need to understand that the limited pay and working conditions you have in your job as a plan for millions of people is fundamentally unfair.
    3. Finally, it is particularly disgusting that many people will be pulled like cattle by their noses through the conscious tracking of these folks into job-training programs disguised as higher education. Tracking happens when you are placed into a category by the educational system and then you are told that that is your lot on this earth. It will be more sophisticated in this new world of Reinvention, but it won’t be less outrageous and disgusting than when it was done to African American, Latino, female, and poor, working class white children in the 1960s.