Daily Archives: July 13th, 2011

Public Education ~ Free-for-All

Whether or not to teach cursive is in the news. Some compare it to butter churning lessons and others wonder how in the world students will be able to sign a document. I guess handwriting specialists will have to join the jobs of yesteryear.

The school testing debate rages on and David Sirota takes a good look at it in Salon. Strong evidence supports that we’re being bull-headed about this, and in the process we’re ignoring our own educators and those we’ve educated to specialize in education. If it’s a hole, we need to stop digging. If there’s another reason, we need to know about it. Good article.

Where Finland rejects testing, nurtures teachers, and encourages its best and brightest to become educators, we fetishize testing, portray teachers as evil parasites, and financially encourage top students to become Wall Streeters.

Much less newsworthy it seems, are a star-studded cast of billionaires who have been working diligently to end public education in America altogether.

Our ultimate goal is to shut down public schools and have private schools only, eventually returning responsibility for payment to parents and private charities. ~Teri Adams, Tea Party

That’s not really breaking news to most progressives, but it must have been hard for that many Tea People to keep such a big secret for so long. Thank you, Ms. Adams, for dropping that lame cover “expanding school choice”.

Capitalism in the schools exchanges short-term monetary profits for long-term societal gains. The market ethos ignores the well-documented effects of education on success in later life — 40% of pregnant teenagers are behind two-to-three grade levels, 80% of children in juvenile detention homes read at a fifth-grade level or below, 60% of prison inmates are functionally illiterate, and 90% of those on welfare have difficulty with the written word. With education you either pay now or you pay later. Any philosophy of school reform that destroys the futures of large segments of the population is not worth considering. ~Glenn Elert