"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972
Monday, June 25, 2012
Smear Campaign Against Teachers is Freakish, New Low
Perhaps like an alcoholic or drug addict, our children, teachers, public schools and country will have to hit rock bottom before finding a way to recover from the last 30 years of destructive corporate driven ed reform policies that are gutting our nation's public schools. The dire fiscal circumstances of local and state government is yet providing another crisis to be conveniently used as a reason to dismantle democratically elected school boards and replaced with emergency measures such as private for-profit charter operations, state by state.
Sadly, as long as the American people continue to ignore reality and buy into the well-funded propaganda campaign by politicians and business leaders who have NO ACCOUNTABILITY for the havoc they wrought on the economy, they will continue to use teachers and education as a fig leaf for their colossal failures. The same tired, rotted discourse and myths about failing schools is perpetuated in a corporate-owned media in bed with a corporate-owned Congress.
The conversation about education today is as shallow as the multiple choice tests and common core curriculum being force fed to an entire generation of students. These are the same students who will need the critical thinking skills, imagination, creativity and resourcefulness to survive in a Third World country saddled with debt, massive economic inequality and that boasts 20% of children living in poverty.
However, as long as the profits keep rolling in for companies like Pearson and their shareholders or the wealthy foundations who have bought and paid for both Democrats and Republicans in Congress, pre-kindergarten can be cut in the name of austerity as testing budgets explode under the new common core curriculum standards that will provide a steady stream of profits for years to come.
How much longer will the American people and its elected representatives continue to look the other way in face of the overt subjugation of those who teach our children to high anxiety, stress, and lack of job security so familiar to those in the almighty market-driven private sector where any modicum of humanity is a rare and precious commodity. HT to David Macaray, a playwright with a keen eye for theatre of the absurd and for standing up to the powerful forces out to destroy the one profession with the ability to actually help this nation progress and succeed in the 21st Century.
John Dewey, the great education philosopher who spent much of his career explaining how education and democracy are mutually dependent on one another said, "I believe that education is the fundamental method of social progress and reform."