Friday, October 24, 2014

A Reality Check for Time Magazine- And A Wake Up Call for America's Teachers

Nearly two years ago, a group of 1,500 principals, including many of the most highly respected school  administrators in the the state, signed and circulated a petition to the Governor of New York protesting policies which were undermining public education and making their jobs more difficult. If you would believe Time Magazine, you would think they were protesting teachers tenure. But their petition NEVER MENTIONED tenure. It protested high stakes testing and teacher evaluations based on student test scores.

That petition never made the national news, much less the cover of Time magazine. But now Time chooses to give huge attention to a campaign by a Silicon Valley entrepreneur to eliminate teacher tenure in the nation's public schools.

What is going on here? Why is a campaign against High Stakes Testing by respected educators not worthy of coverage while a campaign by a billionaire against tenure from someone who has no experience teaching or administering a public school becomes the lead story of the week?
Time's campaign epitomizes everything wrong with the crusade for "School Reform" that has become a national obsession since the passage of No Child Left Behind.

It is financed and driven by business leaders, not educators. It has no support from teachers and school administrators and systematically ignores their voices. It chooses to totally disregard the best education research when it fails to support the application of a business model to classroom teaching and educational administration.

Demonizing teachers, and anointing CEO's and billionaires as saviors of public education, the way Time Magazine does, is not only a sure path to weakening public education, it creates momentum for a campaign to privatize public education a policy from which those attacking public education, especially those in the tech industry, are likely to profit.

The only way to fight back against this is to punish those leading the charge. It is time for a principal and teacher boycott of Time Magazine, and Time for Kids.

The sleeping giant has woken up. And she will NOT go to sleep until the national assault on teachers has come to an end


Jesse Turner said...

When the heck is mainstream media ever going to get it. It's the testing stupid,
Not Teachers,
Not parents,
Not children,
It's the testing,
It's the testing,
It's the testing stupid Time Magazine,
It's Time magazine playing lab dog to billionaires that I will no buy or read,
Wake up mainstream media,
Wake up Time,
You lost us with every kiss thrown at your billionaire Ed reformers buddies,
Jesse The Walking Man

Dilip Barad said...

In education system, the face of the system in 'Teacher'. ‪#‎Teacher‬ is visible to all stakeholders. So, for any failure in system, to target and blame and make teacher responsible is common practice. They are easy scapegoats - sacrifice, bury, burn, let them rot - no one cares for the puppets in 'The Great Puppet Show'.
The real culprits are hidden string holders. Those fingers and hands remain invisible to the stakeholders. The govt. policies, rich and powerful managements, politically connected members of executive bodies / syndicates, political linkages in appointments of Vice-Chancellors / Principals. Even if stakeholders know this, they turn blind eyes towards 'real issues'. Laymen do not have eyes to penetrate so deep in the education system. So . . . blame it on the Teachers!
One cannot deny the truth that this is what happens when privatisation of education system happens. The capitalist owners want 'hire-and-fire' policy for teachers as it is with workers in factories. Schools are not factories. Teachers are not workers who work with machines, they work with human kids!

Terry Preuss said...

It's about time we start looking into why billionaires are investing so much of their money and time into this. Silicon Valley? Gates? What have they to gain? Computer sales, software sales, testing materials, charter school investments. We are robbing education coffers and blindsighting the American public for the gain of the ultra rich! Wake Up America. Who suffers?? The kids!

Shelagh Jackson said...

Stop blaming teachers and blame the inequities of this society for the failures in our public schools!

Ted Dintersmith said...

Thanks for the amazing blog post. On behalf of my business colleagues, I apologize for the non-stop nonsense that gets pushed out. Almost none of them send their kids to public schools. And I challenge them to show us that the private schools they do send their kids to are really quick to fire "bad apple" teachers. They don't. It's just so clear that the real issue is not trusting teachers, and pursuing the myth that standardized testing and accountability measures will lead to better quality. It's just the opposite. I'm funding a feature-length documentary on education that will be out early next year. Stay tuned. You can see a clip at

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