My comment on WaPo article: Ending the Ed Wars by Conor Williams

Here we are again with an article that seeks to soothe yet inflames the soul.

The history of the reform movement in America has claimed crises over and over again since the 1950’s as fodder to forward political agenda. Our father’s and grandfather’s quality of education was in crises as well.

Hinge me with “status quo” arguments but fail to acknowledge that educators are undergoing change as is most every industry in the world today. And apparently infinitely quicker than the banking industry. This is a revolutionary time in history and teachers and education are certainly not immune.

Educators understand the crux of this latest edreform argument on teacher quality as another effort to eliminate labor costs under the guise of quality while privatizing an industry. “Philanthrocapitalism” vs Philathropist. Handing out “gifts” of control and profit.

Teaching, learning and education is largely a self policing craft. Those from the business industry can’t understand why teachers are not interested in Racing To The Top of outdated pyramidal models of success.

Our society is increasingly polarized. The discrepancy between rich and poor is at alarming levels. The Race To The Top has already been won by a burgeoning Billionaire class, with little or no hope of advancement by those below.

Are we to believe America’s teaching force has deteriorated at levels as never seen before? Are we to believe that unemployment, poverty, wealth, hunger, homelessness and bleak futures have less impact on a child in America than an 8th grade math teacher?

All teachers know there are some teachers who shouldn’t be teaching and some bankers who shouldn’t be banking. Apparently “bad teachers” are more quickly discovered than bad Madoffs. And if not, shouldn’t we be talking about Principal quality?

Meanwhile, failed policies of NCLB and other reform movements continue, with no talk of accountability on their part. Klein walks away having had eight years to improve scores yet, there’s still a crises. Teachers know talk of quality only matters for their jobs while School Chancellors and Superintendents play at press releases and create policy in which quality doesn’t matter.

And so the cycle continues. To teachers in America, the differing rules for labor and those in laddered positions is made very clear.

There is no middle ground when one side sells red herrings to the masses while privatizing an industry behind closed doors. When they start chartering off the Grand Canyon to BP, I’d hope for a similar passion. And Klein, if you seriously believe it is easier to send someone to their death in America than to fire a bad teacher, I’m not sure education is the first industry you should be looking to reform.


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