Thursday, April 25, 2013

Money, Money, Money, Money

Teachers and students all over the country are being demoralized and beaten down by  out of control testing. You know it, I know it, every sane person in the country knows it. So why do elected officials and their appointees in State Education Departments keep increasing the number of tests. Are they all on the take?

I's like to say no, they are misguided idealists, but lets do the math, In a nation still mired in recession, where many people are still unemployed or underemployed and most people's jobs are fragile, the nation's wealthiest people, whose fortunes the recession hasn't touched, are pouring tens of billions of dollars into grants and political contributions to make sure their vision of Education Reform, which is all about testing and privatization, is implemented in every part of the county

The hope of gaining access to these funds has totally distorted what should be an in depth national policy debate about the value of testing. Go to any Department of Education, in any city or state, or most graduate schools of Education, and access to grants attached to testing or Common CORE dominates the political and intellectual landscape. No one dares rock the boat less the money stops flowing, even people who know the policies they are being funded for are destructive or outright corrupt

 This is why teachers, parents and student have precious few allies in high places when challenging Test Driven School Reform. Those in positions of influence who have been entrusted with the fate of the nation's children have been for the most part bought and sold

This means that any change in these policies has to come entirely by mobilizing those most negatively impacted by  them- students, teachers, parents.  And those in power will resist that mobilization, whether actively or passively,
for fear that the spigots pouring out dollars will be shut off.

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