I've claimed it for years: because the wealthy elite (well educated, by the way,) and business owners/investors are unwilling to pay (more) taxes, we have had to find reasons to cut public funding from well-established government programs. You justify the cuts in education by promoting a need for education reform. In other words, reforming public education is actually a complicated, well-funded and articulate cover for radical tax reform. In this article, the culprits are big business, big media and the Obama Administration. All three are only too happy to help spread the message of reform to a citizenry that doesn't really understand the issues.
This article, from Truthdig, can help us illustrate the ridiculous binary that education reformers use to alienate and abuse teachers. It's teachers vs students, where the teachers are greedy profiteers and the students stand-ins for abused consumers and/or rugged individuals who only need a fair shake to succeed.
Also discussed: value-added teacher evaluation, privatization of public schools, tax breaks for businesses, increased class size. Very concise and detailed analysis. Please share.