In real time, the government is paying people to invent more bubble tests for the untested subjects (art, science, physical education), and we're giving these not just annually, but four, five, six, 10 times a year to see if teachers are keeping up the needed pace, not to mention to determine how some of those teacher will get paid!
March 2011 Archives
Merit pay has been tried again and again since the 1920s. Sometimes scores go up, sometimes they don't, but the programs never seem to make much difference and eventually disappear.
Democracy rests on an agreement that disagreements are inevitable and healthy and that democracy is at its best a way to sort them out with the least harm to the weakest and least of its citizens.
While right-wing governors impose cuts on the public schools and lay off thousands of teachers, the corporate reformers are strangely silent, perhaps because the dramatic reductions in the education budget are accompanied by cuts to corporate/business taxes.
We need something to fight FOR, not just against. The billionaires' reforms take us backward, so what would forward look like?
If Gov. Walker succeeds, there will be no organized voice to oppose his "reform" plans. He can raise the income cap on vouchers, letting everyone leave the public schools if they choose.
I fear we're back, public-policy-wise, to the year I was born, 1931, when most of what we know as the American dream was still to come.
There really is a bipartisan consensus on education reform. It happens to be the Republican agenda of the past 30 years.
When 5-year-old Darryl insisted his rock was a living thing, which is not factually correct, should I have demanded he comply with scientific consensus? Or take a vote? Or could we listen carefully and learn from him how he defines "living" vs. "nonliving", and see where that takes us?
I'm beginning to think we are living in a moment of national insanity. On the one hand, we hear pious exhortations about education reform, endlessly uttered by our leaders in high political office, corporate suites, foundations, and the media. President Obama says we have to "out-educate" the rest of the world to "win the future."