Corporate education reformers love to rave about how schools that “beat the odds” are full of teachers with “high expectations”. There are echoes of George W’s “soft bigotry of low expectations” in this mantra implying that in the past, teachers–stifled no doubt by those innovation-hating unions–all had “low expectations” for their students and somehow THAT is why students from low-income backgrounds struggled in school. Regardless of the obstacles of poverty, homelessness, underfunding/lack of resources, large class sizes, mental health problems, special needs, or not yet knowing English, the rationale is that a teacher who just BELIEVES a child can graduate and go to college can make it happen (with a little grit and maybe a longer school day to boot. Oh, and don’t forget to hang up college banners in the hallways and talk about “college and career readiness” all the time.) This refrain is a constant in charter franchises, Teach for America circles, and the EdReform movement as a whole... continues[Read the entire essay @ THE CHALK FACE]
"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972
Monday, February 18, 2013
Katie Osgood: The Lowest Expectation of Them All
Labels: corporal punishment, corporate charter schools, discpline, discrimination, IEP, Katie Osgood, neoliberalism, No Excuses, privatization, special education
Robert D. Skeels is a social liberation writer, attorney, public education advocate, immigrant rights activist, and law professor. He lives, works, writes, and organizes in Los Angeles with his wife and cats. Robert holds a BA in Classical Civilization from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), a JD from Peoples College of Law (PCL), and passed the California Bar Exam on his first attempt. A US Navy Veteran, he is a proud member of Veterans for Peace. A student of Liberation Theology and Paulo Freire's work, Robert volunteers for community and 12 step groups. Robert's articles and essays appear in publications including Jacobin, Truthout, CounterPunch, Dissident Voice, Schools Matter, Daily Censored, Regeneración, K12NN, LA Progressive, and The Los Angeles Daily News. In 2013 Robert ran for the LAUSD School Board against a billionaire funded corporate reform candidate, finishing second in a field of five, with over 5,200 votes.