Hanna Skandera Confirmation

Today was the arduous process of testimonials on behalf of or against having Hanna Skandera as the Education Secretary for New Mexico.

In this corner, we have the people who do not want her as the Education Secretary.  Hannah Skandera has  documented conflicts of interests, some of which may have led to illegal or at least unscrupulous activity.  By the letter of the law she is not qualified.  Her approach to education is simplistic, and she communicates a disregard of teaching as a profession.  She does have connections with private companies in education and brings their business in as policy.

In that corner we have the people who do want her to continue in her assumed role for the past two years.   She has brought change.  She represents business, and business likes that.  She has worked hard.  She is in office, and whoever comes after will likely have the same ideas of reform.  “Reform is not having a confirmation hearing today, Hanna Skandera is.”

The last statement, which was accepted by both sides, is misleading.  Reform has different manifestations.  Hanna Skandera is part of the reform movement to privatize education.  She has interests in private companies that, under her domain.  Confirming her does bring that movement more momentum in our state.  The reason corporatization of education is not good is because whoever has the most money, dictates curricula.  Like when Texas decided to cut Thomas Jefferson out of textbooks.  The idea of a free marketplace of ideas fails when the stakes are high, such as with the banks that were “too big to fail”.   Private corporations would have a powerful propaganda machine.  Maybe they would be more responsible than states like Texas?  Unlikely.

One representative went on to talk about how the United States is losing its advantage to China, India, and other up and comers.  The real advantage we have had has been in innovation.  We lose that advantage by adopting the factory style education system that China is trying to get away from.  We should consider what we really want.

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Filed under Accountability and Standards, Education, Governor Martinez, Hanna Skandera

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