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Understanding the Propaganda Campaign Against Public Education |

Understanding the Propaganda Campaign Against Public Education | | information |

This post first appeared on Diane Ravitch’s blog.


A few years ago, when I was blogging at Education Week with Deborah Meier, a reader introduced the term FUD. I had never heard of it. It is a marketing technique used in business and politics to harm your competition. FUD stands for Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. The reader said that those who were trying to create a market-based system to replace public education were using FUD to undermine public confidence in public education. They were selling the false narrative that our public schools are obsolete and failing.


This insight inspired me to write Reign of Error, to show that the “reform” narrative is a fraud. Test scores on NAEP are at their highest point in history for white, black, Hispanic and Asian students. Graduation rates are the highest in history for these groups. The dropout rate is at an historic low point.


Why the FUD campaign against one of our nation’s most treasured democratic institutions? It helps the competition. It makes people so desperate that they will seek out unproven alternatives. It makes the public gullible when they hear phony claims about miracle schools, where everyone graduates and everyone gets high test scores, and everyone goes to a four-year college. No such school exists. The “miracle school” usually has a high suspension rate, a high expulsion rate, a high attrition rate and such schools usually do not replace the kids they somehow got rid of. Some “miracle schools” have never graduated anyone because they have only elementary schools, but that doesn’t stop the claims and boasting.


It turns out that there is actually a scholar studying the phenomenon of the “the cultural production of ignorance.” He hasn’t looked at the attack on public schools, but his work shows how propaganda may be skillfully deployed to confuse and mislead the public. Michael Hiltzik of The Los Angeles Times writes about the work of Robert Proctor of Stanford University:


Click headline to read more--


Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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