Read the original version of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech (Text One, below). Then read the test-driven-reform, modified version (Text Two, also below).
Ask yourself, “Do I want to be remembered as one who contributed to the twisting of King’s dream (Text One) into the dehumanizing, self-serving, destructive, self-aggrandizing so-called education reformer version (Text Two)?”
If not, what do you plan to do about it? Consider breaking ranks by returning the reform-earmarked cash in your possession and publishing an op-ed on your change of heart.
Text One: What Martin Luther King, Jr., actually said:
I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
Text Two: What Martin Luther King, Jr., did not say (but what corporate reform has twisted into a so-called “civil rights issue”):
I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still envision an education marketing opportunity. It is a strategy deeply rooted in the privatizers’ coffers and philanthropists’ arrogant boredom.
I have a privatizing vision that one day this nation will give up and live out the true meaning of its greed.
I have a traditional public school fiscal reduction goal that one day on the red hills of Georgia federal funding will be conspicuously cut as Georgians decide they cannot afford the price tag of PARCC, and that Georgia public schools will be “chronically underfunded” for over a decade.
I have a networking strategy that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, underregulated, profit-driven charters and insufficiently-trained, Teach for America temporary teachers will threaten the quality of education for Mississippi’s children.
I have a narrow view of educational success that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will be judged by the the content of their test scores.
I have a vision of pervasive standardized test score manipulation today.
I have a public-to-privatized conversion goal that one day right there in Alabama, the public schools can be undermined as its funding is siphoned off to private schools in the name of “school choice.”
I have a risky school turnaround plan ready for national dissemination today.