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

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Why to Fight SB 191, and How to Get Even With the Prostisuits Who Support It

Great primer here by Angela Engel on how to get smart, get angry, and get even against corporate prosti-suits of the Colorado legislature and teacher unions:

Don't just get mad, Get Even - Senate Bill 191 passes colorado legislature

by: Angela Engel

Thu May 13, 2010 at 19:45:19 PM MDT


Corporate Takeover of Public Education
The Formula

Evaluate school according to an unattainable goal (NCLB - 100% proficiency of every student according to a single measure) to ensure the label of "failing schools."

-Standardize all curriculum, nationalizing public education (Gates Foundation is funding the
"Common Core Standards Initiative" - technically this is a federal directive but the distinction between the federal government and corporate America is no longer recognizable). (corestandards.com)

-Cut funding to neighborhood schools so they are forced to grow class sizes; cut music, art, and PE, reduce student services, and eliminate innovative programs.

- Replace professional educators with unqualified, temporary, novices that will work cheaply and rotate every two years (Teach for America and The New Teacher Project).
(rethinkingschools.org/archive/24_03/24_03_TFA.shtml)

- Reconstruct schools under experimental charters lacking sound educational pedagogy and boasting inadequate research outcomes (Google charter school failures) [try charter school corruption, too].

- Tie student and teacher performance to high-stakes tests, creating a monopoly for state test providers. Never require accountability or public oversight for ETS, McGraw Hill, and Pearson while granting them complete authority in judging American schools, students and now teachers. In 2007 McGraw Hill Education reported $403 million in profits.

- Redirect remaining limited resources to growing bureaucracy, data management, and failed policy.


- Maintain the status quo of 25 million American children living in poverty. Continue to deny those books, lead-free environments, nutritious lunches, nurturing school climates, and cut them off from the emerging world of technology. Then fire their teachers and shut down their schools. Or contract with militant charters who will adequately prepare poor kids for military service or prison life ensuring continued profits for the privatized and profitable penal system and defense contractors.

- Undermine local school boards and eliminate publicly controlled schools by centralizing decision-making under the corporate funded federal government (China and the Soviet Republic have provided a working model).

- Create policies that scapegoat teachers and alienate parents further removing them from the decision making table.

- Use standardized tests as a mechanism for class warfare thus creating the illusion of providing "better education" and instead use the data as justification to cram ethnic groups in overcrowded factory model schools until they demonstrate mastery of the skill of shading bubbles.

Angela Engel :: Don't just get mad, Get Even - Senate Bill 191 passes colorado legislature
If you are angry about the Passage of SB191, here are 10 ways you can take action:

- Begin by thanking the courageous leaders who opposed SB191. In a Progress Now survey, 4400 of the 4600 respondents opposed tying teacher compensation and job security to test scores. Let those who opposed the bill know that the public is with them. Here is the link to the Education Committee votes.
(leg.state.co.us/Clics/CLICS2010A/csl.nsf/BillFoldersSenate?openFrameset)

- If you are a member of the American Federation of Teachers, you can withdraw your membership immediately. I can provide you with a contact that can provide standalone insurance policy for the cost of your union dues.

- If you are a parent, exempt your child from state tests. The purpose of your child's education is not to police teachers and provide data sets for government mandates. You will save our schools money in the process and provide your child with a living example of the power of democracy.

- Do not make financial contributions to your political party. Instead identify the candidates, democrat or republican, who maintain children as the priority and protect our neighborhood schools from commercial interests and government representatives attempting to over step the limits of their authority. Contribute directly to candidates who advocated for the needs of children and provide them with the information and support to win the battle for All kids.

- On Facebook, unfriend those legislators who voted yes on SB191. Final votes will be updated shortly. This accomplishes nothing but it feels good.

- Recruit a challenger for Senator Johnston (Adams/Denver). Get behind the good people of the world and oust the Boobs. Children aren't represented in the legislature they depend on parents, teachers, and citizens to advocate on their behalf. If we defer all our responsibility to lobbyists and organizations, then flawed policy is what we'll get.

- Avoid the organizations which are behind SB191 and the national strategy to privatize and capitalize on our neighborhood schools. Identified Proponents of SB10-191
Stand for Children, Colorado Succeeds/BizCares, Metro Organization for People, Colorado Children's Campaign.

- Read the book, Seeds of Tomorrow; Solutions for Improving our Children's Education. Buy one for your legislator; we'll take care of the shipping charges: angelaengel.com

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