"A child's learning is the funtion more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Pickets for Spellings, Miller, and Kennedy

As Susan Ohanian's caption reads: A Picture is Worth 666,483,972,618,001 Pages of Congressional Testimony.

It is time to break some No. 2 pencils and go to Washington. None of the Business Roundtable's agents on Captitol Hill want to hear anything that anyone has to say that does not agree with the bankrupt business model ideology that is driving the reauthorization of NCLB.

The inept and cowardly NEA in the meantime, with a membership of over 3 million souls, continues to work their back room deals in hopes of preserving collective bargaining rights, while children, starting with the most vulnerable, are ground up in a crucible that extrudes data, leaving behind mindless clumps who are clocking in every morning all over America to earn their Scholar Dollars and a bonus for their foremen, who once were caring and humane teachers, but who now hate their children for the failure that they are unable to correct.

Yesterday Hugo Chavez got headlines by declaring that he would insist on regulation of private schools to make make sure their curriculums encourage critical thinking, critical of capitalism, no doubt. The gringo press shouted, SOCIALIST INDOCTRINATION. At least Hugo so far is allowing the distinction between public and private to remain, rather than working to erase the boundaries with corporate-inspired "public" charter schools that become tax havens for those same corporations who are marketing their wares through those same schools.

And at least Hugo (so far) is encouraging some kind of thinking, directed as it may be, rather than the imposition of mind-blotting math and reading curriculums whose main attraction by those who push them is the total passivity that it breeds among the poor and the disenfranchised who become their victims. Reid Lyon and Doug Carnine are much more interested in neuronal switches that control behavior in young children than they are in imagination, understanding, and knowledge.

And none of these issues is of any concern for the dollar-bloated pols in Washington or the corporate media who present the education agendas of the conservative think tanks,
whose remaining good intentions have been washed away by the flood of money that is required to remain in power. Instead, they talk about bonus pay for teachers in neighborhoods ravaged by poverty and public neglect, where you can't find health care, a good job, or even a decent grocery store. Merit pay for our meritocracy, hear, hear!!

Civil disobedience by parents, teachers, and students is the only tactic that will stop this dollar-stuffed juggernaut. It is time to JUST SAY NO THE CONTINUING CHILD ABUSE, PARENT ABUSE, AND TEACHER ABUSE.

The children, the teachers, and parents are not the failures. Their only failure is allowing the continuation of a failed system. It's time for change.

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