Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Ravitch: "Reformers" want to dismantle public education, teaching profession

In a blog post today, top education blogger Diane Ravitch, a former official in the Department of Education under President George H. W. Bush, offers her year-in-review, including some positive things that have happened in education in 2013.

However, she opens her post with this spot-on assessment of what has been occurring across the United States:

More and more parents and teachers are awakening to the realization that the word “reform” has been hijacked by people who want to dismantle public education and the teaching profession. Those who have boldly named themselves the “reformers” are all too often working on behalf of turning public dollars over to private interests and to strip teachers of any due process, any collective-bargaining rights, any salary increment linked to their experience or their education. These so-called “reformers” reify test scores, making them the be-all and end-all of education and are eager to fire teachers and principals whose students don’t get the test scores that the computer says they should, and equally eager to close public schools with low scores and replace them with privately managed schools that all too often escape the same scrutiny as the public schools they replaced. The “reformers” care not at all about class size, indeed, they say they would prefer larger classes with “better teachers,” even though teachers say they can be better teachers with smaller classes, especially given the diversity of students in most public schools today, some of whom have disabilities, some of whom are learning English.

Our educators and schools now live under a Sword of Damocles fashioned by No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top. Those who cannot produce higher scores are doomed. This is madness. This is a game rigged to harm public schools, which is a fundamental institution of our democracy.

Check out her post to find out the successes people are starting to have fighting against the "reformers."

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