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

Friday, January 03, 2014

Real Life Consequences of Corporate Education Deform

There's no shortage of education blogs and information about how utterly worthless and destructive current education policy is for the United States. There are mounds of factual, scientific evidence based on thousands of academic studies on the destructive education policies that continue to dumb down the nation's next generation. There are enough books and documents to fill the Capitol rotunda ten times over, but nothing has changed.

As public school districts scramble to prepare for and implement Common Core,  more high stakes standardized testing. and canned, scripted curriculum emanating from corporate, for-profit bottom feeders in charge of education policy, there are real life consequences.

At this point, so much damage has been done, it's almost impossible to see how this will be reversed anytime soon. The beginning of a new year is a time of hope and reflection, but unfortunately, after reading this latest research finding on reproductive rights, reality bites.

The consequences of an ignorant population who have no concept of history, the Constitution, social studies, and hard fought battles for basic human rights, are rearing their ugly heads in a myriad of ways in legislatures across the country. The decimation of history and social studies in schools, resulting from what isn't tested isn't taught, means Americans have no clue about who or what they are voting for, if they even bother to vote at all.

So, here we are, in 2014, after Roe v. Wade has been settled law and most civilized, Western democracies are moving forward on women and children's issues. We are stuck in the good ole U.S.A. wringing our hands over PISA scores and fighting for a livable minimum wage while people continue to suffer and our basic rights are taken away, one at a time.

Let's see what is happening in states as the clock is turned back on reproductive freedom -- just one consequence of many, resulting from sheer apathy and ignorance when it comes to government and public policy.  Just another consequence of blind stupidity in a country where Congress is too impotent and lame to pass sane gun control legislation.  Even after the brutal slaying of 20 first graders and six educators were gunned down in the bucolic suburb of Newtown, CT two years ago, we still put up with a Congress devoid of the moral courage to close gun show loopholes and ban assault weapons. That pretty much says it all. If gun legislation can't get passed, what chance does sane education legislation have?

For the majority of Americans, it's on to the next football game, or inane news story about Miley Cyrus and Black Friday shopping sprees. Anyone who thinks this onslaught by anti-intellectual fascist fanatics who occupy statehouses across the country, and who fantasize about the good old days -- you know, when white men ruled, isn't going to end badly, is living in a dream world.  

The new abortion restrictions are just another by-product those who prefer a mindless population focused on test and punishments, all the while benefiting profiteers at the expense of children. They have what they have always wished for, a backwards, mindless society that can easily be manipulated by fear and desperation. Then, when the majority of eligible voters have no clue what is going on in their state legislatures, it's easy to zero in on the most vulnerable -- women and children. 

Teachers who try to discuss politics or current events in public schools are seen as subversive, crossing the line and insubordinate. Most are fired or asked to leave. These are the consequences of teaching to the test, following the script and avoiding  anything "political" or engaging in political or controversial discussions or topics with students.

Here's a dose of reality and a glimpse into the new normal when it comes to reproductive choice and freedom from the Guttmacher Institute's latest study, Laws Protecting Reproductive Health and Rights, 2013 State Policy Review.

There's nothing like a good graphic chart to illustrate the success of three decades of high stakes standardized testing. Does anyone really care? Let's see. What do Americans still care about?

It's almost time for Super Bowl 2014! Can't wait to see the commercials this year. Perhaps there will be one for Western Governors University or some other for-profit on-line diploma mill, where you can become a teacher or a nurse for only $5,600 and in just six months. No teachers or professors necessary. 

What was all that talk about high standards, high quality teachers and no excuses while blaming teachers for the United States falling behind in global competition?

I think it's something about No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top and National Core Curriculum Standards.

Sounds good.

Abortion is legal? Huh? When did that happen?

Pass the chips, please.

1 comment:

  1. Having first hand knowledge of history being ignored in the schools and one small fix, I quoted your blog in mine. Educatoin should never be a race, but a lifelong exploration....http://saraholbrook.blogspot.com/2014/01/i-used-to-be-but-now-i-am-repurposed.html