David Sirota

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School reforms: just another get-rich-quick scheme shrouded in the veneer of altruism

Thanks to my trusty sidekick, Ms L, I chanced to read a rather excellent explanation for the reforms hitting New Zealand and how they were rolled out and promoted in the USA.  The start of the article is quoted below, and the whole thing can be read at  New data shows school “reformers” are full of it.

It explains the whole sorry reform saga so very well, and the links out of the piece are excellent.

If you read nothing else this month about the GERM (Global Education Reform Movement), read this.

And share it.


And talk to your colleagues and to parents about it, too…

Here goes:

In the great American debate over education, the education and technology corporations, bankrolled politicians and activist-profiteers who collectively comprise the so-called “reform” movement base their arguments on one central premise: that America should expect public schools to produce world-class academic achievement regardless of the negative forces bearing down on a school’s particular students.

In recent days, though, the faults in that premise are being exposed by unavoidable reality.

Before getting to the big news, let’s review the dominant fairy tale: As embodied by New York City’s major education announcement this weekend, the “reform” fantasy pretends that a lack of teacher “accountability” is the major education problem and somehow wholly writes family economics out of the story (amazingly, this fantasy persists even in a place like the Big Apple where economic inequality is particularly crushing).

That key — and deliberate — omission serves myriad political interests.

For education, technology and charter school companies and the Wall Streeters who back them, it lets them cite troubled public schools to argue that the current public education system is flawed, and to then argue that education can be improved if taxpayer money is funneled away from the public school system’s priorities (hiring teachers, training teachers, reducing class size, etc.) and into the private sector (replacing teachers with computers, replacing public schools with privately run charter schools, etc.).

Likewise, for conservative politicians and activistprofiteers disproportionately bankrolled by these and other monied interests, the “reform” argument gives them a way to both talk about fixing education and to bash organized labor, all without having to mention an economic status quo that monied interests benefit from and thus do not want changed.

In order to be forewarned, we must be aware of the reform history worldwide.

Sticking our wee Kiwi heads in the sand is not going to stem the tide.

Forewarned, is forearmed.

Read the rest of the article here (please please please): New data shows school “reformers” are full of it,

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