Sunday, August 21, 2016

A Pompous, Demoralizing Letter for Teachers, Students, and Parents

A Pompous, Demoralizing Letter for Teachers, Students, and Parents:

A Pompous, Demoralizing Letter for Teachers, Students, and Parents

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One of the old education reformers is Chester E. Finn, Jr. of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. He referred to himself as aging–not me. But he is old, and my point with this is that the push to destroy public schools, as we know them, started a long time ago.
Finn just wrote a letter to Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg for all of us to see, like we are the bystanders in their goofball, grand design of schools. Schools will no longer be public–other than they will still receive our tax dollars.
It is hard not to be struck by the arrogance of it all.
If one understands what a democracy is, and how it relates to public schools, they will be puzzled as to why Finn isn’t writing a letter to the American people–you know–the ones who are supposed to be the real owners of their schools.
But instead, he writes to Chan and Zuckerberg. He wants them to think about school reform. He sees them as the owners of America’s schools. They, like Gates and the other wealthy oligarchs, assume they know best how children learn because they made a lot of money and got rich.
That school design is laid out best in Finn’s mention of special education, where he calls IEPs a clumsy version of “personalized learning.” 
Individual Educational Plans really are the key to understanding the wide range ofA Pompous, Demoralizing Letter for Teachers, Students, and Parents: 


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