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do something

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Who ruined the education system? We did.

history is being written now

Your choice – actively work to change the direction of these reforms or accept that you are as much to blame as the reformers.

This from HuffingtonPost:

As I watch the education “debate” … I wonder if we have simply lost our minds.

In the cacophony of reform chatter — online programs, charter schools … testing, more testing, accountability … value-added assessments, blaming teachers … blaming unions, blaming parents — one can barely hear the children crying out: “Pay attention to us!”

None of the things on the partial list above will have the slightest effect on the so-called achievement gap or the supposed decline in [our] international education rankings. Every bit of education reform — every think tank remedy proposed by wet-behind-the-ears MBAs, every piece of legislation, every one of these things — is an excuse to continue the unconscionable neglect of our children.

As Pogo wisely noted, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” We did this to our children and our schools.

We did this by choosing to see schools as instructional factories, beginning in the early 20th century.

We did this by swallowing the obscene notion that schools and colleges are businesses and children are consumers.

We did this by believing in the infallibility of free enterprise, by pretending [our country] is a meritocracy, and by ignoring the pernicious effects of unrelenting racism.

We did this by believing that children are widgets and economy of scale is both possible and desirable.

We did this by acting as though reality and the digital representation of reality are the same thing.

We did this by demeaning the teaching profession.

We did this by allowing poverty and despair to shatter families.

We did this by blaming these families for the poverty and despair we inflicted on them.

We did this by allowing school buildings to deteriorate, by removing the most enlivening parts of the school day, by feeding our children junk food.

We did this by failing to properly fund schools…

We did this by handcuffing teachers with idiotic policies, constant test preparation and professional insecurity.

[The] children need our attention, not Pearson’s lousy tests or charter schools’ colorful banners and cute little uniforms that make kids look like management trainees.

[Our] teachers need our support, our admiration, and the freedom to teach and love children.

The truth is that our children need our attention, not political platitudes and more TED talks.

Read the rest of the article here.

Teachers and parents, you want to be heard? What can you do?

Judging by the huge response to the questions Why are Kiwi teachers not up in arms?, it’s clear that many people want to do something. Want to be heard. And rightly so.  It seems that many feel helpless and are not sure what they can do.  But never underestimate the power of even one more voice.

This is what YOU can do:

don't panic organiseSHARE STUFF

Talk to others, share articles, blog posts (like this), memes, and so on.  Share on your own blog pages, on Facebook, on Twitter, in groups and forums.  Most people will scoot past, for sure, but there is always the chance one or two people will start to pay attention.  Every voice counts.

All action is valuable – do your bit.

JOIN THE KIWI BATS (BADASS TEACHERS ASSOCIATION)

If you think the education reforms hitting the Kiwi public school system are not in the best interest of students, come and join us, whether you are a teacher or not, in a union or not, whatever your political persuasion, and make your voice heard.  We all need to speak together, and we will make sure our collective voices are heard in simple but effective ways.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/KiwiBATS/

MAKE SURE THE UNIONS ARE ACTING FOR YOU

If you are in the primary sector, make sure you go to your Paid Union Meetings (PUMS) that take place between 24th March and 4th April.  A full list of when and where they are is here.   Attend, find out what is going on, ask questions, make your own views heard, and discuss the issues with others.  The unions can only speak for you if you let them know what you want of them.

BE HEARD IN YOUR COMMUNITY

Write to your local MPs, newspapers and school Boards of Trustees (BOTs) and make your voice heard.  A list of MP and newspaper addresses to get you started can be found right here.

Parents, you in particular in are in a good position to make a difference – you have a lot of sway – your voices count, and count a lot.

RUN FOR OFFICE

Hey, go for gold.  Just imagine what you could do if you were on a board or in the Beehive.

keep calm and organise

Do you want charter schools in NZ?

If you DO want charter schools, then put your feet up, grab a cuppa and see what’s on TV – your work is done.

If you DON’T want them, you need to make a submission.  It can take as little as one minute.

Do it here – a very simple one from NZEI.

Or if you want to do your own but with some ideas,  you can use a template.  Mine is here, and PPTA have one here (scroll down a tiny bit to find it).   Once you have copy and pasted your template, rejigged it to suit you, and saved it, just CLICK HERE, choose the Education Bill one, fill in and submit.

It’s that easy.

Have a voice.

Stand up for our kids and say NO.

Then TELL YOUR FRIENDS to do the same.

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Further reading and information on NZ charter schools:

Charter schools and unqualified teachers.

ACT & National’s pact to bring in charter schools.

Opposition to charter schools.

NZ should learn from US charter schools – expert.

Finnish Lesson – NO charter schools.

Charters expand despite lack of evidence for their success.

Untrained and unqualified teachers – charter schools.

Charter schools look great from down here (head in the sand).

One Person Can’t Change Much, Can They?

SOSNZ logoNever underestimate what you can do – especially if you are a teacher.

I’m not changing the world on a grand scale – but I know I’m making a difference and that every little helps.

You don’t have to be Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi or Malcolm X to do something.

Why Did You Start The Blog?

My little something is to use my love of social media to share the many things I read about education.  I thought a few others might like to read them too.  Turns out I was wrong… it wasn’t just a few that wanted to read them, but thousands.  Huh!  Go figure.

The first ever post was this one … “Nice Easy Solutions“.  Not a bad start, if I say so myself 😉

Ten Thousand Hits and Counting

Here are some whimsical facts about the blog, to celebrate our ten thousandth hit – yahoo!

  • Started in May 2012
  • Got a thrilling 35 hits in its first month!
  • By mid October, it had got 10,000 hits!!
  • Readers are mostly from NZ, but also from UK, USA, Australia, Japan, Canada, Singapore, India and about 50 other countries, including 8 hits from Finland, and one hit each from as far afield as Oman, Jordan, Egypt, Mexico and Bangladesh.
  • Most hits in one day was 574 on the day the Christchurch closures/mergers/relocations were announced.
  • Traffic comes mostly from Facebook, Search engines and Twitter but from about 60 sources in total.
  • Most intriguing search term that lead to us ‘How to write apology letter to teacher’
  • Most comments have been by Barbara – thanks 🙂

Top Five Posts So Far ( Oct 22, 2012)

So, what will you do to make even more of a difference?   Click on the ‘Act Now’ tab at the top, and make a start.

Because, if I can do it, anyone can!

~Dianne

PS thank you to all the readers so far – you make it all so much more fun than just rambling on to myself… 😉

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