We are no longer the middle and we are not the bottom, but rather a new class of worker bees: America’s teachers who have been beaten into a twenty-mule team pulling the reformer’s idea of “right choices” for students to better compete on the global stage.
Most of us attempt to be free of the reins of the Education Reformer’s agenda and continue to serve in the ways that we always have by providing a safe haven for learning. Students come to each classroom in various stages of learning and as a teacher, we learn and adapt to each of their needs while encouraging them to love reading, writing, books, discovery and to think for themselves. We look to instill the desire of a better life for them through a gift called “life-long learning”. The public schools in our nation have been under attack because we have fallen behind in our global ranking in education. But rather than point to the decline in funding for over a decade, it’s easier to point at a few “bad teachers”.
In Higher Ed, the public colleges are taking a huge beating from the political rhetoric that seeks to privatize education at that level. There is no consideration of the truth at the for-profit schools who have only the interest of the corporate shareholders and the school’s administration at the forefront. In that model students and teachers are dead last with the student walking away with more debt than they can possibly pay back in 10 years regardless of the hyped-up promising future delivered to them by the recruiters at these dens of inequity.
There are certainly the long-winded “Reformers” with a LOT OF MONEY to play their pop tune to the masses: They rally around “the bad teacher” problem. How about we start with bad politicians who do LITTLE for the majority of Americans and pander solely to the big money lobbyists whom they “dial for dollars” all day on our dime? What do you think about your representative or senator sitting on a headset for at least 1/3 of their time in office (usually more) practicing their winning strategy of talking to rich people: Check out Winning Campaigns here. They are pushing the “bad teacher” drama because it plays well. It certainly is better to downplay the reputation of one of the hardest jobs in America so that money class can perform their power grab on education and the funding contained therein.
A big part of winning those political campaigns is listening to and repeating the strategic development of rhetoric to spread throughout the nation as they are paid to do by the education “reformers” that public schools and teachers are bad. They use the Michele Rhee, Orwellian Newspeak: Students First, and enlist the Common Core Standards as the way to “…strengthen the U.S’. global competitive advantage by rigorously educating the next generation.” It sounds like a great idea and looking at the aforementioned links, the language sure reads well, too, on the hyperbolic web pages of the neo-liberal reformers who intend to “save education.”
Now, go ahead and follow the money. This is where the middle class in our current downward spiral needs to keep our eyes focused. Following the money takes us to interesting places and to exactly where our denouement begins. In the previous link (in case you missed it) you would read this: “President Obama’s 2009 law, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, funded $4.35 billion to the competitive program Race To The Top [which spells No Child Left Behind backwards–my edit]. This program offered monetary incentives (which for all intents and purposes can be referred to as a bribe) to implement educational reform.” Let me put this link in again in its entirety: http://townhall.com/tipsheet/sarahjeanseman/2014/09/02/the-case-against-common-core-n1885963
Now read a report that rebukes the Central Feature of “Race To The Top“.
Phew. This is a lot of studying and reading links, Dana. What’s with this blog? Let me just remind you: you can do this type of studying. Our children, however, are not learning how to deduce in a cognitive manner. They are learning how to prepare for and take a test. Life does not deliver in this manner and you know that if you’re reading this.
A quote from that report I just lead you to in the previous link: “For five years, the Obama administration has been warned by scholars and researchers that its demand for value-added assessment is having harmful effects on teachers and students, on the morale of teachers, on the recruitment of new teachers and on the quality of education, which has been reduced to nothing more than standardized testing. Secretary Duncan has brushed aside all objections and pushed full steam ahead with his disastrous policies, like Captain Ahab in pursuit of the great white whale, heedless to all warnings.”
What do I mean by cognitive deduction? Here is something to chew on from Cell Press (Labs and Links): “According to the mental-model theory of deductive reasoning, reasoners use the meanings of assertions together with general knowledge to construct mental models of the possibilities compatible with the premises.” You don’t learn this when you study hard to pass a test of certain standardized questions. What these “education reformers” are preparing our children for is a life of a corporate zombie who only knows how to answer what they have been told is on the test. They can’t hop around from link to link as I’ve asked you to in this particular post and make a deduction about what I write here. There is, and will be if we don’t stop this, a future set of Americans who cannot think for themselves. “The Stepford Students”, coming to a theater near you.
Guess who thinks this would be a great idea?
Bingo! Follow the money!