Monday, April 6, 2015

The Tragedies that Have Befallen Public Education in the Last 20 Years

1. The closing of thousands of public schools in US urban areas, destabilizing communities and make them rife for gentrification and real estate speculation

2. The ethnic and racial cleansing of US teaching force through school closings and cost cutting "reforms," leading to sharp declines in percentages of teachers of color, particularly African American teachers.

3. The Bi-Partisan acceptance of universal testing from K-12 as vehicle to make US schools globally competitive, promote equity, and make students "College and Career Ready."

4. The development and implementation of statistical models of teacher evaluation- i.e. VAM and APPR- which are little more than junk science and totally undermine the only valid purpose of testing, which is to help individual students improve their skills

5. The highly secretive, and elite financed development of a set of National Standards- the Common Core- which are imposed on the nation's schools without experimentation, without debate, and in an atmosphere of coercion and intimidation, destroying local control of public schools in theory and practice

6. The Bi-Partisan promotion of Charter Schools as a substitute for public schools, leading to the creation of thousands of unregulated schools which receive public funding and become centers of fiscal corruption, authoritarian management, abusive labor practices, and civil rights violations affecting students and parents.

7. The systematic undermining of the arts, libraries, schools counseling, and experiments in community control of schools and culturally appropriate pedagogy.