Friday, November 30, 2012
What Education Reform Has Really Meant on the Ground
Let's be clear: Education Reform, if we date it from the passage of No Child Left behind, has produced no gains in the US standing in global tests in science, math or reading; no shrinking of the test score gap by race or class inside the US; no reductions in child poverty, no narrowing of income inequality; no diminution is the size of the US prison population-- however it has results in huge profits for testing firms; the reduction of teacher morale to its lowest level in history; and the proliferation of six figure jobs as education consultants and leaders of charter schools, mostly for children of privilege. Looked at clinically, in the name of equity, it has been a giant subsidy to corporations and a jobs program for graduates of the nation's elite colleges. Look at what's going on in your city and your community since reform policies have been imposed. Have students in poor and under served communities being empowered? Are they enjoying school more? Are their families being energized by the new choices they now have? Or have precious portions of the school day-arts, music, sports, gym- being sacrificed as schools are deluged with tests? And special needs and ELL students marginalized and humiliated because they might lower a class or school's test profile? There is a story to be told here, school by school, city by city, state by state Please tell it.