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

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Jay Hearts Michelle and Testing

Jay Mathew's article in today's WaPo, "Don't Get Too Excited About Jump in D.C. Scores," illustrates just how removed mainstream journalists are from the realities of classroom life and childhood. Jay admits to being "deeply invested" in defending Michelle Rhee and admits to being part of the media apparatus supporting the testing mafia, and then concludes his piece by suggesting teachers simply need to "establish healthy and encouraging relationships with all of their students," which, of course, is much, much more difficult for DC students, teachers, and schools that just lost roughly 400 employees (due, of course, to Jay's favorite broom-sweeper).
If you're all about establishing relationships, Jay, why don't you call for smaller class sizes? Why don't you call for a teacher evaluation system based on student, parent, coworker, and principal evaluations instead of simply merit-pay based on test scores? Instead, Jay will continue supporting the testing mafia and Rhee, both which detract greatly from the whole relationship building he suggests as the way to raise test scores.
Rhee certainly isn't a "smart educator," she's nothing more than a testing lover and extension of the oligarchs hell-bent on merit-pay, charters, and, of course, more testing; see today's other WaPo article about Michelle's disdain for local philanthropy in favor of the Broad/Gates oligarchy (those fired teachers, Dear Broom Sweeper, could have been saved despite your incompetence). Testing, Michelle and Jay, is not education - it's the prime tool used and abused by education reformers, journalists, and politicians like yourselves looking for more time in the media spotlight and a way to sustain the relentless attack on public education, which only plays into the hands of privatizers and Right-wingers with their vile disdain for all things public. We'll see little real improvement when the dialogue about education revolves primarily around testing and anti-union rhetoric.

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