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The following comes to us from Dov Rosenberg, Instructional Technology Facilitator from Durham, NC.
High stakes tests & charter schools make public schools less effective:
A) High stakes tests do not effectively gauge student ability, are harmful to children, and make public schools less effective.
B) Less than 20% of privately-managed public schools (charter schools) are successful; they also segregate children and minimize the decision-making power of parents & the community, ultimately making public schools less effective.
High-stakes tests do not effectively gauge student ability:
High-stakes tests are harmful to children:
High stakes tests make public schools less effective:
Less than 20% of charter schools are successful:
Charter schools segregate children:
Charter schools minimize the decision-making power of parents & the community:
Charter schools make public schools less effective:
FairTest has authored many helpful fact sheets. Please feel freeto use and share this information so long as FairTest is credited.
“Let them call me rebel, and welcome; I feel no concern from it. For I should suffer the misery of devils were I to make a whore of my soul” ~ Thomas Paine
As a former teacher, principal and superintendent for 37 years – and now a professor of education for the last five – I worry about the passivity of many of my present and former colleagues in the face of an unprecedented attack on educators. Those who know nothing about my profession are involved in identity theft, as they remake teaching in their image, while vast swaths of the educational community remain silent, watching helplessly.
I find myself asking repeatedly: Where is the outrage? Do we not all know that the policy makers from the White House to the state house are setting an education agenda designed to shutter schools as we know them? Do we not hear daily of another state succumbing to the blackmail that is Race to the Top money by creating draconian measures to evaluate teachers? Do we not see the narrowing of the curriculum, the push-out of the arts and the marginalizing of social, emotional and developmental approaches to addressing youngsters’ needs? Are we looking the other way when standardized test score results eclipse the needs of children who have home life, learning and language challenges? Are we unaware that privatizing education is not just a dream that neoliberals had, but now has become a reality? Are we so preoccupied that we fail to see the “reformers” are turning our schools into factories?
How can this be happening?
Then it dawned on me. Educators don’t know how to fight. We nurture, we listen, we’re empathic, we look for the best in people. We do not, however, have the fight instinct. As a result, with the exception of pockets of vocal activists scattered around the country, we are witnessing the extinction of our profession right before our eyes. We know that the soul of our work is being corrupted by those who would corporatize, monetize, and reduce our work to a number, but we don’t know what to do about it. So we remain silent and obedient. Lambs to the slaughter.
I say, “No more!” Our conscience as committed educators cries out for action. We need a call to arms to defend the profession we love. We are in a crisis that calls for a special set of skills to defend our schools, our teachers and, most importantly, our children, from a juggernaut that grows more powerful and dangerous each day. Call it the educator’s version of Stand Your Ground: We are threatened by deadly force and we have a right to fight back in kind.
An Immodest Proposal
I propose that we teach each other how to fight. We organize “fight clubs.” They can be formal or informal, short term or longer. We meet in our schools and in our homes or in any environment where we can talk and share. The goal of the gathering is to develop the best strategies, approaches, and techniques to articulate a message of resistance to fight the hostile takeover of our schools by the politicians, the business community and the media. We take our inspiration from the seminal teachings of Paolo Freire and Henry Giroux. We draw strength from the work of those like Tina Rosenberg, who, in her book, “Join the Club: How Peer Pressure Can Transform the World,” chronicles how peers around the globe, fighting against tremendous odds, have created social revolutions.
I offer these suggestions to get things started in your community’s chapter. Feel free to add, subtract and modify at will.
Lessons for fighting . . .
I submit these suggestions for the consideration of my colleagues who feel helpless in the face of an assault. If we can franchise fight clubs throughout the country we will better position ourselves to protect one another and protect the work we love. We will also be able to hold our heads up high and know that we are fighting for a just cause.
It’s getting crazy out there. We need some common sense from those who are knowledgeable about the issues and courageous enough to take a stand for our teachers and our schools.
Thomas Paine would be proud.