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

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tennessee's New Era: Stealth Creationism, Crushing Teachers, and Corporatizing Education

Despite over 20 years of control by Business Roundtable education reformers, Tennessee test scores as measured by NAEP continue to hover where they were when Tennessee's corporate value-added crew took charge, which is near near the bottom of the 50 states.  That raw fact, however, has not deterred another generation of knights from the Business Roundtable from eagerly stepping up to claim their time in pretending to protect Tennessee's struggling little edu-kingdom.

I say "pretending" because today Tennessee school policy steering is a national affair of multi-corporate proportions, directed by plutocratic crews from corporations and their corporate foundations, with legislative language supplied by the Koch lawyers at ALEC.  Tennessee, in fact, is Ground Zero for the corporate war on public education that is going on across America, as the Wall Street hedge funders and the edupreneurs seek to turn public schools into major revenue streams, while maintaining an iron-fisted control on curriculum, instruction, and assessment. 

Yesterday The Tennesseean carried a story on the new stealth creationism bill that awaits the signature of corporate kingpin, Governor Haslam, who is now hovering with his lawyers to determine if the state can afford to litigate this ridiculous piece of backwards non-thinking legislation.  After all, the State's lawyers need be girding their loins and clearing their calendars for the lawsuits that are in the making, as thousands of teachers' professional reputations are now being subjected to test scores of children they did not teach on tests that vary wildly from year to year using a method of analysis that the National Research Council has warned against using for high stakes purposes. 

As a clear indicator that Huffman and his TFA cult lawyers have overstepped sanity and decency by recommending publication of these invalid and unreliable scores, they are following the Gates and Sanders advice to keep the teacher ratings out of the newspapers, as an attempt to keep it out of the courts.  I am afraid, boys, that this big nasty genie will not go back into that tiny bottle.



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