Saturday, January 16, 2016

Tragedies in Poor Communities which "School Reform" Strategies Make Worse

In the nation's poor communities, we have an epidemic of homelessness and overcrowding ( New York); gun violence and police abuse (Chicago); collapse of basic infrastructures and public health emergencies ( Flint and Detroit)
In the face of these calamities, test based school reform and the teacher evaluation rubrics and school turnaround strategies that accompany them, all of which DESTABILIZE public schools and create a revolving door teacher force compound the tragedy
What children living in the midst of poverty and turmoil need above all is STABLE public schools; TEACHER MENTORS who nurture and protect them as well as teach them; and schools which are places where community residents can gather safely and organize to improve their situation.
Every major education reform strategy promulgated by the last two administrations has been based on the application of what Naomi Klein calls the SHOCK DOCTRINE- a strategy for destabilizing institutions to make them more easy streamlined and privatized
In education, it has been an unmitigated disaster.
This is a time to change course in high poverty neighborhoods
No more school closings
Stop putting schools in receivership
Drastically reduce testing
Stop scripting and humiliating teachers
Stop charter expansion
Start programs to recruit and retain teachers of color
End alternative certifications programs ( TFA etc) which require less than a 5 year teaching commitment