Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The war on education as public good (By Wendy Lecker) - Wait What?

The war on education as public good (By Wendy Lecker) - Wait What?:

The war on education as public good (By Wendy Lecker)

Image result for big education ape Wendy Lecker

In a recent commentary piece in the Stamford Advocates, Education advocate and columnist Wendy Lecker provided an important analysis of the unwarranted and dangerous attack on public education that is taking place in the United States.  Wendy Lecker writes;
Political theorist Benjamin Barber, who died April 24, wrote about the importance of education as a public good. “Education not only speaks to the public, it is the means by which a public is forged.”
As he noted, education transforms individuals into responsible community members, first in their classrooms and ultimately in our democracy. Local school districts are also the basic units of democratic government.
Michigan professor Marina Whitman recently noted that the essence of a public good is that it is non-excludable; i.e. all can partake, and non-rivalrous; i.e. giving one person the good does not diminish its availability to another.
Some school reforms strengthen education as a public good; such as school finance reform, which seeks to ensure that all children have adequate educational resources.
Unfortunately, the reforms pushed in the Bush, Obama and Trump administrations attack education as a public good. For example, choice — charters and vouchers — is a favorite policy of all three administrations. Choice operates on the excludable premise of “saving a few.”
In operation, choice makes education rivalrous. As a New York appellate court observed, diverting funds from public schools to charters ‘benefit a select few at the expense of the ‘common schools, wherein all the children of this State may be educated.’”
The experience in America’s major cities reveals choice’s damaging results. At a recent NAACP hearing, New Orleans residents spoke of an all-charter system rife with fraud and mismanagement. The schools are highly segregated with poor children and children of color relegated to schools with limited resources, inexperienced teachers and long commutes.
Michigan’s policy of unfettered charter expansion, together with a money-follows-the-child school funding system decimated Detroit’s public schools, along with other poor districts, and has left schools across that state intensely segregated.
Chicago’s choice policies disenfranchised mostly communities of color, shuttering neighborhood schools to open charters with a history of excluding ELL students and students with disabilities and with expulsions at 10 times the rate of Chicago’s public schools.
Recent research from Roosevelt University reveals that Chicago’s policies toward charters are a major factor causing the fiscal crisis in Chicago’s public schools. Chicago’s mayor Rahm Emmanuel claimed to close neighborhood schools, in predominately poor and African-American The war on education as public good (By Wendy Lecker) - Wait What?:

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