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

Friday, October 14, 2011

Ending 99% Control of Schools by the 1%

'Nough's enough.  No Mas.  If the owners of our corporate government have their way, public schools will become just another corporate revenue stream that sucks up the half-trillion dollars that Americans spend every year on education to benefit the Oligarchy.

The Obama/Duncan education policies are simply a steroidal version of the policies from the Bush years, and time has come to end the nightmare of inhumane school environments, imploded curriculums, school privatization attempts, mind-killing high-stakes testing, resegregation efforts, businessmen as school administrators, and teacher de-professionalizing.  Join the 99%.  OCCUPY.

From United Opt Out National

We, administrators of United Opt Out National (www.unitedoptout.com), wish to collaborate with the OccupyWall Street Movement and offer our vision for CORPORATE-FREE PUBLIC SCHOOLS.

We believe that QUALITY PUBLIC EDUCATION is a democratic right for all persons. It is through vibrant and fully funded school communities that all children have the opportunity to develop and grow into happy, successful, free, and active citizens. High stakes testing functions in opposition to QUALITY PUBLIC EDUCATION, as it is used to punish children, to malign educators, and to provide financial gain for testing corporations and their political sponsors.

THEREFORE, WE DEMAND AN END TO THE FOLLOWING: 
ALL high stakes testing and punitive policies that label schools, punish students, and close public community schools
  •       ALL high stakes testing that ties teacher evaluations, pay, and job security to high stakes test results
  •       Corporate interventions in public education and education policy
  •        The use of public education funds to enact school “choice” measures influenced and supported by the corporate agenda
  •       Economically and racially segregated school communities
  •       “Model” legislation that provides special rules to charter schools that are forced upon public schools
  •       Corporate run for-profit charter schools that divert public funds away from public schools
  •       Mandates requiring teachers to use corporate approved, scripted programs that sublimate and negate authentic and meaningful learning experiences imparted by varied and rich curricula
FURTHERMORE, WE DEMAND RESTORATION AND/OR IMPLEMENTATION OF THE FOLLOWING:
  •       Libraries and librarians to all schools and communities
  •       Teaching force educated through accredited college teacher education programs only
  •       School buildings in ALL neighborhoods that meet health codes including clean drinking water, heat and air conditioning
  •       Developmentally appropriate, problem-based, literacy-rich, play-based and student-centered learning, with the return of nap, play, and snack time for kindergarteners
  •       Smaller student-to-teacher ratio (25 or fewer to one)
  •       Wrap around services for schools that offset the effects of poverty and social inequality, including but not limited to:  school staff such as nurses and health providers, social workers, community organizers, family counselors; free quality community daycare and preschool programs, healthy food availability, safe and healthy housing options, community social facilities, and after school programs to enhance learning and provide safe recreational spaces for all students
  •       Fully funded arts and athletics programs
  •       Recess and adequate time allotted for lunch
  •       New national funding formulas that ensures EQUITY in funding to ALL public schools regardless of zip code
  •       Requirement that a significant percentage of textbook or testing company PROFITS go BACK TO public education
  •       Requirement that all DOE positions are filled with qualified and experienced educators
  •       Requirement that Superintendents and school administrators have exceptional, extended teaching and school-based experience

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