Saturday, July 11, 2015

Seattle Schools Community Forum: Arne Duncan and NCLB; Public Education Needs a Break from Both

Seattle Schools Community Forum: Arne Duncan and NCLB; Public Education Needs a Break from Both:

Arne Duncan and NCLB; Public Education Needs a Break from Both




One of the big complaints about NCLB was that it gave the federal government a much larger role in public education beyond mere oversight and reporting.  It gave them a very big stick to use on districts and states.  (Bringing in RTtT was more the carrot but I'll bet it felt very much like a stick sometimes to states who got those funds.)

This federal Big Brother idea made people on the right AND on the left unhappy. That's quite the trick for one law.

The one usefulness of NCLB was that it forced districts to account for every - single - student.  As they should.  But trying to fit all these students - ELL, Sped, homeless - into the same testing box with everyone else was never going to work.

But what everyone should understand about public education over, say the last 15 years, is very much like the old Billy Crystal routine where he imitated Ricardo Montalban and said, "It's not how you feel, it's how you look and you look mahvelous."

There is an awful lot of PowerPoint and meetings and initiatives and goal-setting and rubric-making and then, it usually goes very, very quiet.  There are long titles after people's names and we call employees "human capital" instead of "human resources" (which is what employees are if you are a humane person and not a corporate person).

Meaning, a lot of fluff and not much else.  My perception, after all these years, is that many people at the top in education want to burnish their resume and will run at the first failure to the next big thing.  Or, if they are like Arne Duncan, the person AT the top, will just ignore the warning signs.

This needs to stop.

I have done several speeches about public education to Dems.  I have told them that local control IS everything.  I don't have a problem with national 
Seattle Schools Community Forum: Arne Duncan and NCLB; Public Education Needs a Break from Both:

Why UOO Opposes ESEA (ECAA) and Supports the Necessity of Revolution - UNITED OPT OUT: The Movement to End Corporate Education Reform

Why UOO Opposes ESEA (ECAA) and Supports the Necessity of Revolution - UNITED OPT OUT: The Movement to End Corporate Education Reform:

Why UOO Opposes ESEA (ECAA) and Supports the Necessity of Revolution




“The revolt against any kind of oppression and injustice (requires the) rejection of any palliatives or halfway measures” (Chris Hedges, Wages of Rebellion, 2015)
The revising, reauthorizing, and writing of ESEA are about POWER, the power to decide policy for those who are seemingly powerless. The legislators revising ESEA who support “less testing” or a “reduction of federal involvement” embrace little more than an appeasement to the bigger testing refusal movement and do little or nothing to challenge the existing power structures. The same corporate-driven entities remain cozily in their position of POWER making damaging, profit-driven decisions about public education.
So long as the POWER structure remains intact, we cannot imagine that any fair, equitable, and truly meaningful state mandated assessment would do anything other than that which it has historically done via NCLB. While ECAA promises to remove the stranglehold of the federal government from state-level decisions and promises to alleviate the “high stakes” attached to teacher and school evaluations, it does not alleviate the corporate ownership over STATE-LEVEL policy makers; nor will it remove or nullify the influence of STATE-LEVEL education leaders equally corrupt as their federal counterparts. Standardized testing of ANY KIND is their primary vehicle to maintain the power structure that currently exists.
All standardized testing is HIGH STAKES. Why else would the profit driven corporate privatizers cling so dearly to its inclusion as the centerpiece of public education? With its emphasis on equal access, high standards, and state accountability in policy and practice; the original intent (of ESEA) was to facilitate an equitable, thriving, and successful public education for all children.  Instead, we have a test based accountability and inequitable system that ranks, sorts, segregates, invalidates, fosters cheating and systemic instability as it provides for corporate exploitation of tax dollars that requests and compromise will not fix. Most advocates for public education know that using standardized testing to influence decisions about school and teacher “quality” and grade retention or promotion violates the original intent because the measurements and methods used by the tests themselves are inaccurate, misleading, and harmful. If standardized tests were a valid and meaningful system of evaluating teachers, children, or schools, the stakes attached to such tests would not be an issue of contention. In fact, IF they were a TRUE measure of that which we value we would not fight them at all. But they are not meaningful nor effective to measure that which matters, so we wonder, why include them in a system of reasonable and meaningful accountability AT ALL?
We – parents, students, educators, and tax payers – have been fighting for the public’s right to REFUSE Why UOO Opposes ESEA (ECAA) and Supports the Necessity of Revolution - UNITED OPT OUT: The Movement to End Corporate Education Reform:

Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 7/11/15


SPECIAL NITE CAP 

CORPORATE ED REFORM



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