K-12 Education Reform
K-12 Education Reform, Two Vastly Differing Views
Isn’t the defined objective of education to measurably, effectively, efficiently, affordably, consistently, and relevantly advance student success outcomes for ALL students?
Here is my response to an educator after they posted (1), but before (2) was accessed and shared with them [by the buy, the educator agrees with article (1), but not article (2)]:
Thomas S. McDonald: This article, [(1), below], erroneously assumes that traditional public education is successful in advancing relevant, effective, efficient, consistent, affordable student success outcomes (eecasso) for all students. It also erroneously assumes that traditional public education has stepped up to the plate, has accessed, understood, embraced, appropriately implemented, research driven, best practices, educationally innovative, pedagogy that measurably advances, 21st century, student success outcomes, for all students.The obvious bias represented here, [article (1)], is that any change from the incumbent, mediocre system of public education is bad. The unquestionable data/research, ignored by traditional educators, reflects what needs to be done to advance eecasso. Traditional education is unresponsive to positive change and embraces a flawed, 20th century, system of teaching ( I guess “ignorance is bliss” ). Since advancing eecasso is the mission/vision, defined objective of publicly funded education and since traditional incumbent educators are unwilling/unable to change for the better, other options MUST be pursued (charters, for profit, virtual; some are highly successful, e.g. KIPP, New Tech Network; Some are highly unsuccessful, ITT Technical Institute, Corinthian College). Traditional, public education, has had the opportunity to reinvent themselves to better serve the public and their students, but has chosen not to and continues to resist positive change. Eecasso is the objective of the funding public, students and critical for US economic success. Since traditional education has habitually embraced mediocrity, America has been forced to look at other strategic options, that will measurably improve eecasso. Public educators and public education are not victims. By their habitual resistance to change for the better, they are the direct cause of the alternative options. Put a different way, IF public educators and public education embraced positive change, that measurably advanced eecsso, the public would not be funding charters, for profits, virtual schools. Unfortunately, personal bias (opinions) and misinformation are the high points of traditional educations press coverage. Advancing eecasso, proven research and best practices all take a backseat. There is only one path, since if you take the students away, when students = revenue, nothing is left. That path is to measurably advance relevant eecasso. That is simply the reason that education exists.
The following is an excerpt from the new, expanded edition of The Death and Life of the Great American School System by Diane Ravitch (Basic Books, 2016):
Something unprecedented is happening to American public education. A powerful, well-funded, well-organized movement is seeking to privatize significant numbers of public schools and destroy the teaching profession. This movement is not a conspiracy; it operates in the open. But its goals are masked by deceptive rhetoric. It calls itself a “reform” movement, but its true goal is privatization.
This movement has had strange bedfellows. Some of its funders and promoters on the far right of the political spectrum are motivated by ideological contempt for the public sector; others earnestly believe they are providing better choices for poor children “trapped in failing schools.” Still others believe that elected local school boards are incompetent and should be replaced by private management, or that the private sector is inherently more innovative and effective than the public sector. And some are motivated by greed, while others are motivated by religious conviction. These strange bedfellows have included the US Department of Education (during the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama); major foundations and think tanks, both conservative and centrist; billionaires committed to free-market solutions—and certain they know what is best because they are so rich; entrepreneurs hoping to make money from school privatization or by selling technology to replace teachers; the far-right American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which has drafted model legislation to promote corporate interests and to expand the privatization of almost all government services, including education; and numerous governors and legislators (mostly but not exclusively Republicans) who want schools to operate in a free-market system of school choice.
K-12 Education Reform – Read The Entire Article, Here
(2). “Teachers Unions Stifling Education Reform”
With the increasing popularity of charter schools in California, special-interest opposition to them has grown, primarily among those most threatened by their success: the state’s powerful teachers unions.
With more than 1,200 charter schools in California and with an estimated 580,000 students attending charter schools in the 2015-16 school year, the state boasts more charter schools and charter school students than any other in the country. According to the California Charter Schools Association, approximately 158,000 students are on wait lists hoping to attend such schools.
Clearly, they are popular and there is public demand for them. Perhaps it’s the flexibility and accountability of the schools. Maybe it’s to avoid the poor performance of the typical public school, which protects some under performing teachers with tenure and other rules. Whatever it is that attracts so many parents to charter schools, something about them is upsetting to the state’s teachers unions.
On August 31, the California Teachers Association announced it was launching the “Kids Not Profits” campaign. The stated goal of their efforts is to garner “more accountability and transparency of California charter schools.” But that’s not all. The campaign further aims to expose “the coordinated agenda by a group of billionaires to divert money from California’s neighborhood public schools to privately-managed charter schools.” And that is where the misdirection, deception and political chicanery begin.
K-12 Education Reform – Read the Entire Article, Here
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