Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Education Reform in the Absence of Political Courage: Charleston (SC) Edition | radical eyes for equity

Education Reform in the Absence of Political Courage: Charleston (SC) Edition | radical eyes for equity:

Education Reform in the Absence of Political Courage: Charleston (SC) Edition

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Words matter, and thus, I must apologize by opening here with a mundane but essential clarification of terms.
As I have written over and over, everything involving humans is necessarily political, even and especially teaching and learning. Therefore, no teacher at any level can truly be apolitical, objective. Taking a neutral or objective pose is a political choice, and an endorsement of the status quo.
Key to that claim is recognizing the difference between political and partisan. Partisan politics involves allegiance to and advocacy for organized political parties, notably Republicans and Democrats.
A partisan feels compelled to place party loyalty above ideology or ethics. To be political can be and should be a moral imperative.
We can avoid being partisan, even as that is political. And when many people call for education and educators to avoid being political, what they really are seeking is that education and educators not be partisan—a position that is achievable and one I endorse.
This distinction matters in public education and public education reform because all public institutions in the U.S. are by their tax-supported status at the mercy of partisan politics.
From around 1980, in fact, politicians at the local, state, and national levels have discovered that public education is a powerful and effective political football. The standard politician’s refrain is “Schools are horrible, and I can make them better!”


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