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Mogulseeker
07-16-2011, 06:37 PM
Argument against merit pay?

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=14086928

Mogulseeker
07-16-2011, 06:39 PM
That report is a little shady, BTW... NCLB is more complicated than just rewarding high test scores.

tsiguy96
07-16-2011, 06:43 PM
how anyone can justify no child left behind? do you really blame these schools for doing this, when they need money in order to operate at full steam?

neo-con republican way, the rich get richer. the best schools get more money to become better, the schools that cant afford good teachers and education materials do poorly on these tests, and thus get less money to continue the downward trend. whoever thought this idea was anywhere near acceptable?

Mogulseeker
07-16-2011, 07:28 PM
Like I said... NLCB is based on how much a school improves its test scores, not their quantitative test scores.

That One Guy
07-16-2011, 07:39 PM
I say a failing child should be left behind. Put the onus on the parents to ensure their kids succeed. Don't burden the school system with parenting.

broncocalijohn
07-16-2011, 07:59 PM
As a husband of a teacher, you don't know how hard to have these kids be held back. When I help grade their papers, I am shocked how these kids think when putting down an answer. When I ask my wife about it, many times it is their family life. Ironic it is the teachers were the one cheating. Is mcdaniels somehow involved with this?

Jay3
07-16-2011, 08:43 PM
how anyone can justify no child left behind? do you really blame these schools for doing this, when they need money in order to operate at full steam?

Yes, I do blame them.

Mogulseeker
07-16-2011, 08:47 PM
That Superintendent should get 15 years in prison.

tsiguy96
07-16-2011, 09:09 PM
Yes, I do blame them.

i was being purposely dense about it, obviously they shouldnt be cheating or resorting to this to get the test scores up (i too think a lot of this starts at home, not at the schools). but at the end of the day, if them cheating is what it takes in order for them to get govt funding to improve their program and allow them to teach at the level they need, you can kinda understand why they did it.

Mogulseeker
07-16-2011, 09:14 PM
Well, there is this thing called integrity... people on taxpayer-funded salary are supposed to have it.

extralife
07-16-2011, 09:23 PM
the only way to fix mandatory public education is to end it

Dr. Broncenstein
07-16-2011, 09:31 PM
Atlanta be axing to much of these children. How this be any different than affirmative action?

epicSocialism4tw
07-16-2011, 09:36 PM
As a husband of a teacher, you don't know how hard to have these kids be held back. When I help grade their papers, I am shocked how these kids think when putting down an answer. When I ask my wife about it, many times it is their family life. Ironic it is the teachers were the one cheating. Is mcdaniels somehow involved with this?

Hey, but the family-first mentality is just no fun and too oppressive for kids who just want to do drugs and have unprotected sex instead of doing their homework.

That One Guy
07-16-2011, 09:38 PM
i was being purposely dense about it, obviously they shouldnt be cheating or resorting to this to get the test scores up (i too think a lot of this starts at home, not at the schools). but at the end of the day, if them cheating is what it takes in order for them to get govt funding to improve their program and allow them to teach at the level they need, you can kinda understand why they did it.

I understand the position but cheating by them just begets more cheating as people try to keep up.

They should be fighting the system not exploiting it for their personal benefits.

Dr. Broncenstein
07-16-2011, 09:43 PM
The government sponsored abandonment of fatherhood is working exactly as it was designed.

tsiguy96
07-16-2011, 09:44 PM
I understand the position but cheating by them just begets more cheating as people try to keep up.

They should be fighting the system not exploiting it for their personal benefits.

i agree 100%, but at the end of the day, will fighting the system work, or be even partially effective, especially when so many people are complacent when it comes to terrible programs like NCLB. other places essentially teach directly off these standardized tests, all kids are learning how to do is memorize facts that the test will ask. no one is actually learning to use their mind for any logical or critical reasons.

epicSocialism4tw
07-16-2011, 09:51 PM
The government sponsored abandonment of fatherhood is working exactly as it was designed.

Housing vouchers and food stamps are all they need. Dads are just dumb sexist pigs.

extralife
07-16-2011, 10:39 PM
so is this thread about education about to turn into yet another Rich White Men are Victimized diatribe?

Mogulseeker
07-16-2011, 10:44 PM
so is this thread about education about to turn into yet another Rich White Men are Victimized diatribe?

What do you propose?

OBF1
07-16-2011, 10:46 PM
how anyone can justify no child left behind? do you really blame these schools for doing this, when they need money in order to operate at full steam?

neo-con republican way, the rich get richer. the best schools get more money to become better, the schools that cant afford good teachers and education materials do poorly on these tests, and thus get less money to continue the downward trend. whoever thought this idea was anywhere near acceptable?


I have worked in a large number of schools around the Los Angeles are over the past number of years... I am being honest, Alot of the schools in the real bad areas. On the whole, alot of these kids could not give a rats ass about doing well in school, it is just a place to hook up with friends and sling dope.

broncocalijohn
07-16-2011, 10:47 PM
Hey, but the family-first mentality is just no fun and too oppressive for kids who just want to do drugs and have unprotected sex instead of doing their homework.

God I hope not. She teaches 3rd grade. I will say IMO opinion that many schools have done this for the 2 grades (in elementary schools) that get the testing. I am shocked that when schools are WAAAAAY above from the year before that there is not a inspection on those tests.

tsiguy96
07-16-2011, 10:49 PM
I have worked in a large number of schools around the Los Angeles are over the past number of years... I am being honest, Alot of the schools in the real bad areas. On the whole, alot of these kids could not give a rats ass about doing well in school, it is just a place to hook up with friends and sling dope.

it all starts with internal motivation, and if they arent motivated to do well no one can make them. these types of schools should not be leaching money from those schools who can effectively use the money, absolutely. just has to be a better way to identify schools than those based on standardized test scores.

broncocalijohn
07-16-2011, 10:59 PM
TSI you are correct that money and better scores don't necessarily go hand and hand. If there is no motivation at home, then the kids will play or do whatever interest them more than learning. They don't see the big picture at a young age. Ive seen where 3 kids are cared for by their Grandpa while single Mom is working throughout the day and night. Grandpa is sick of 3 brats and doesn't have them do anything. Mom is not around during the week to keep up on them. Weekend comes around and she isn't doing her job as a Mother and make sure they are doing something school related (or even call the teacher to see how things are going). You have illegal aliens that could not give a rat's ass about being a good student. THere are kids that love school regardless of what happens at home but the teacher cannot be responsible for 24 to 30 kids on what happens at home and why they don't do their homework (or why parents are not correcting their child's 3rd grade homework assignment).

Jay3
07-17-2011, 05:12 AM
i was being purposely dense about it, obviously they shouldnt be cheating or resorting to this to get the test scores up (i too think a lot of this starts at home, not at the schools). but at the end of the day, if them cheating is what it takes in order for them to get govt funding to improve their program and allow them to teach at the level they need, you can kinda understand why they did it.

They did it for their individual financial benefit, not to improve education.

tsiguy96
07-17-2011, 06:28 AM
They did it for their individual financial benefit, not to improve education.

in which case, firing and public stoning is in order
^5

broncos-rock
07-17-2011, 11:25 AM
On a positive note if you just graduated and need a job move to Atlanta.

ICON
07-17-2011, 11:34 AM
On a positive note if you just graduated and need a job move to Atlanta.!Booya!

kappys
07-17-2011, 03:56 PM
TSI you are correct that money and better scores don't necessarily go hand and hand. If there is no motivation at home, then the kids will play or do whatever interest them more than learning. They don't see the big picture at a young age. Ive seen where 3 kids are cared for by their Grandpa while single Mom is working throughout the day and night. Grandpa is sick of 3 brats and doesn't have them do anything. Mom is not around during the week to keep up on them. Weekend comes around and she isn't doing her job as a Mother and make sure they are doing something school related (or even call the teacher to see how things are going). You have illegal aliens that could not give a rat's ass about being a good student. THere are kids that love school regardless of what happens at home but the teacher cannot be responsible for 24 to 30 kids on what happens at home and why they don't do their homework (or why parents are not correcting their child's 3rd grade homework assignment).

Regardless of the situation - if kids aren't encouraged at home there is little a teacher can do for them. My parent's made damn sure I put the work in, I took summer classes at community college, during high school, etc. In those days CC was quite cheap though.

For what its worth its the family mentality not just the structure that matters. My Dad's father died when he was 2 and he lived in a home with him mom, older brother, and grandfather who raised him. My dad has a Master's degree and his older brother a PHD in engineering.

epicSocialism4tw
07-17-2011, 04:17 PM
Regardless of the situation - if kids aren't encouraged at home there is little a teacher can do for them. My parent's made damn sure I put the work in, I took summer classes at community college, during high school, etc. In those days CC was quite cheap though.

For what its worth its the family mentality not just the structure that matters. My Dad's father died when he was 2 and he lived in a home with him mom, older brother, and grandfather who raised him. My dad has a Master's degree and his older brother a PHD in engineering.

Just think of how great you guys all could have been if you would have been given protected class treatment.

You could be as great as Sheila Jackson-Lee.

Jay3
07-17-2011, 06:36 PM
I think we need to find ways to teach that don't depend on the parents or putting in hard work. Computer games or something. A lot of kids don't care, and don't work hard at all, and aren't very smart to boot.

I have it on good information that one half of all kids are below average.

But let's not waste 12 years -- trick them into learning. Use exercises involving money and famous people. Stop kidding ourselves that every child is a future Rhodes Scholar.

But, the HUGE flipside -- don't assume that everybody is the same. Be comfortable with different outcomes, including social outcomes. Open the door of opportunity to everybody, but don't worry so much if everybody doesn't walk through it.

Get the capitalist economy cranking again -- the common man can have a decent standard of living without having to become a doctor. He already has one of the best standard of livings of all time here in America. Get the economy going.

ol#7
07-18-2011, 07:21 AM
No we need a european style system where we weed out those who will persue academics and those who will get training in a skill. It incentivises those who want to persue a degree type field to study their asses off and gives a real skill set to those who dont that they can at least use to feed and provide for themselves. This idea that we have that everyone should go to college is a huge waste and has only worked to dumb down college as well.

That One Guy
07-18-2011, 07:35 AM
No we need a european style system where we weed out those who will persue academics and those who will get training in a skill. It incentivises those who want to persue a degree type field to study their asses off and gives a real skill set to those who dont that they can at least use to feed and provide for themselves. This idea that we have that everyone should go to college is a huge waste and has only worked to dumb down college as well.

The problem is that in my time in Europe, I didn't see anything comparable to our welfare population. I'm gonna generalize here but you had neither a ghetto nor trailer park population. Those with no desire to do anything are the problem with the current system and would do the same with any other setup.

Go back to maintaining a standard and not passing those who don't meet the standard. Once you get the garbage weeded out, then the merits of a tech/college oriented lower education should definitely be considered.

Garcia Bronco
07-18-2011, 08:01 AM
i was being purposely dense about it, obviously they shouldnt be cheating or resorting to this to get the test scores up (i too think a lot of this starts at home, not at the schools). but at the end of the day, if them cheating is what it takes in order for them to get govt funding to improve their program and allow them to teach at the level they need, you can kinda understand why they did it.

As if..they were only concerned with their own skin. They aren't concerned about money for the schools.

Garcia Bronco
07-18-2011, 08:02 AM
No we need a european style system where we weed out those who will persue academics and those who will get training in a skill. It incentivises those who want to persue a degree type field to study their asses off and gives a real skill set to those who dont that they can at least use to feed and provide for themselves. This idea that we have that everyone should go to college is a huge waste and has only worked to dumb down college as well.

This..it's very effective in Germany.

tsiguy96
07-18-2011, 08:40 AM
The problem is that in my time in Europe, I didn't see anything comparable to our welfare population. I'm gonna generalize here but you had neither a ghetto nor trailer park population. Those with no desire to do anything are the problem with the current system and would do the same with any other setup.

Go back to maintaining a standard and not passing those who don't meet the standard. Once you get the garbage weeded out, then the merits of a tech/college oriented lower education should definitely be considered.

thats a huge issue, and you being down here in florida probably see it as much or more than anyone else on this forum. there is no standard of education, there is a system that gets progressively easier to push people through because everyone HAS to get through by any means necessary.

That One Guy
07-18-2011, 08:51 AM
thats a huge issue, and you being down here in florida probably see it as much or more than anyone else on this forum. there is no standard of education, there is a system that gets progressively easier to push people through because everyone HAS to get through by any means necessary.

Absolutely. I didn't realize things could be quite as bad as they were until we looked into the schools. In most places, NCLB means trying to motivate the kids to get up and study a bit. Down here, it leaves you having to account for all the usual things plus immigrants who might not have gone to school elsewhere (or schooling being inadequate) as well as the language barrier they might've brought with them.

My wife is a recruiter and I would say more than half of the kids that come in score in the bottom 15% when it comes to the ASVAB(Military placement testing). You have to score at least in the 33rd percentile to be allowed to join. I've talked to many people who absolutely blame the NCLB policies for what happened. They cater to the bottom rather than maintaining any sort of standard of education.

Spider
07-18-2011, 09:16 AM
I say a failing child should be left behind. Put the onus on the parents to ensure their kids succeed. Don't burden the school system with parenting.

One of my Kids has a learning block , you would be suprised , how far the concept of her actually succeeding with her peers got her ......She graduated high school .....It took a lot of fighting withthe schools from me and her mom ,but it happened

Spider
07-18-2011, 09:24 AM
LOL Parents ..........How many homes now have to Parents ? or 1 stay at home parent ?
I am divorced , only 4 Kids I have to worry bout (as far as an education) I am still very involved in their lives , but it is hard , parenting is a very time consuming hobby ;D

Garcia Bronco
07-18-2011, 09:47 AM
When I was in grade school other teachers, the principle, adminisatration, and 3rd party auditors evaluated teachers. While public schools are generally ****holes to begin with...this was an effective way to make sure teachers were performing. Tying their comsensation to dip**** kids is a bad idea. It enables lowest common denominator thinking.

Tombstone RJ
07-18-2011, 10:41 AM
it all starts with internal motivation, and if they arent motivated to do well no one can make them. these types of schools should not be leaching money from those schools who can effectively use the money, absolutely. just has to be a better way to identify schools than those based on standardized test scores.

It all starts with the parents... wanna see a loser kid who is unmotivated and a chronic problem, look no farther than the kid's home. The schools are for education, not babysitting.

bad schools = bad parents

the teachers and staff can only do so much. They certainly can't dicipline the child or they will get sued by the parent(s). It's a big crap sandwich and the parents are the one's serving up the crapola to the general public...

That One Guy
07-18-2011, 10:45 AM
It all starts with the parents... wanna see a loser kid who is unmotivated and a chronic problem, look no farther than the kid's home. The schools are for education, not babysitting.

bad schools = bad parents

the teachers and staff can only do so much. They certainly can't dicipline the child or they will get sued by the parent(s). It's a big crap sandwich and the parents are the one's serving up the crapola to the general public...

Maybe it's time to reevaluate mandatory schooling?

Currently, school IS just free babysitting. Maybe charge a fee for schooling rather than hit the local property owners and offer scholarships to those performing well?

Tombstone RJ
07-18-2011, 10:50 AM
No we need a european style system where we weed out those who will persue academics and those who will get training in a skill. It incentivises those who want to persue a degree type field to study their asses off and gives a real skill set to those who dont that they can at least use to feed and provide for themselves. This idea that we have that everyone should go to college is a huge waste and has only worked to dumb down college as well.

that will never work in American 'cause the librals will call it racist. When the white kids and Asian kids are earning their degrees while many of the other kids are being shuffled into the janitor closest for training, yah, the librals will freak... it's racist!! Dumb down everyone!!!

El Minion
07-18-2011, 04:04 PM
First get politics out of school curriculum (e.g. no sex ed classes, teach intelligent design nonsense etc.) and follow Finland's lead. And before everyone spots off about how Finland is homogeneous and small country not comparable to US, read the article to disabuse yourselves.

How Finland became an educational leader (http://www.salon.com/life/education/index.html?story=/news/david_sirota/2011/07/18/tony_wagner_finland)

Harvard professor Tony Wagner explains how the nation achieved extraordinary successes by de-emphasizing testing

By David Sirota (http://www.salon.com/author/david_sirota/index.html)

http://www.salon.com/news/david_sirota/2011/07/18/tony_wagner_finland/md_horiz.jpg
Still from "The Finland Phenomenon: Inside the World's Most Surprising School System"

How has one industrialized country created one of the world's most successful education systems in a way that is completely hostile to testing? That's the question asked -- and answered -- in a new documentary called "The Finland Phenomenon: Inside the World's Most Surprising School System." (http://www.2mminutes.com/products/pc/viewPrd.asp?idProduct=22) Examining the nation with one of the most comparatively successful education systems on the planet, the film contradicts the test-obsessed, teacher-demonizing orthodoxy of education "reform" that now dominates America's political debate.

On my KKZN-AM760 radio show (http://sirota.am760.net%22/), I talked to Harvard researcher Tony Wagner, who narrates the film and who is the author of the 2008 book (http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Global-Achievement-Gap/Tony-Wagner/e/9780786731749?afsrc=1&lkid=J30387533&pubid=K238614&byo=1) "The Global Achievement Gap: Why Even Our Best Schools Don't Teach the New Survival Skills Our Children Need -- And What We Can Do About It." The interview became the basis for my recent newspaper column on the subject. Because that column generated so much feed, I wanted to publish this abridged transcript of our larger discussion. You can podcast the full interview here (http://www.am760.net/cc-common/podcast/single_page.html?more_page=&podcast=davidsirota&selected_podcast=Friday%25206-24%2520Hour%25201.mp3).

What has Finland has achieved, and what's the history behind its improved education system?

In the early 1970s, Finland had an underperforming education system and a pretty poor agrarian economy based on one product -- trees, and they were chopping them down at a rapid rate that wasn't going to get them very far. So they knew they had to completely revamp their education system in order to create a true knowledge-based economy.

So they began in the 1970s by completely transforming the preparation and selection of future teachers. That was a very important fundamental reform because it enabled them to have a much higher level of professionalism among teachers. Every teacher got a masters degree, and every teacher got the very same high quality level of preparation.

So what has happened since is that teaching has become the most highly esteemed profession. Not the highest paid, but the most highly esteemed. Only one out of every 10 people who apply to become teachers will ultimately make it to the classroom. The consequence has been that Finland's performance on international assessments, called PISA, have consistently outranked every other western country, and really there are only a handful of eastern countries that are educating with the same results.

So, Finland basically focuses on teachers and not on domestic testing. Those PISA tests that you cite are international assessments.

That's absolutely right. There is no domestic testing except a very quiet auditing program to test demographic samples of kids; not for accountability, not for public consumption, and not for comparison across schools. The fascinating thing is that because they have created such a high level of professionalism, they can trust their teachers. Their motto is "Trust Through Professionalism." The difference between the highest performing school in Finland and the lowest performing school in Finland is less than four percent, and that's without any testing at all.

This is the antithesis of what we're hearing about in the United States in terms of so-called education "reform." When you hear the debate in the United States over education, the idea is that we need to demonize teachers and that the real way to fix our education system is to simply test the hell out of kids. Why do you think there is such a difference between the attitudes of our two countries?

First of all I want to point out that Finland is rated among the highest in the world in innovation, entrepreneurship and creativity. It's not your grandfather's socialist country in any sense of the word.

But beyond that, what I find so striking is that the reforms in [the U.S.] have been driven and led by businesses for the last quarter century. It was David Kearns at Xerox and Lou Gerstner at IBM calling for a national summit on education and they didn't invite any educators. They invited CEOs and governors and senators and congressmen.

Now, I understand and respect business needs for better skills, and I understand a certain mistrust of the education system based on the fact that it's the only profession where you're guaranteed a job for life. But what's different in Finland is that there has been a bipartisan consensus over 30 years about the importance of education and the importance of high-quality teaching as the real solution. It's been a partnership between businesses, policy makers and educators, and that's what we need in this country but don't have.

What would you say to folks who say you can't compare the United States educational system to Finland's educational system because Finland has a homogenous population and the US is a much more diverse population?

First, Finland is more diverse than people realize. 15 percent of the population speaks second languages. There are 45 languages spoken in Helsinki schools today. Point two for a point of comparison, and there are obviously huge differences, but it's not Finland as a country compared to US as a country. Finland has the size and population of about 33 of our states. So let's compare Finland to Minnesota -- very similar demographics, right? But not at all similar results in terms of international comparisons. So while it's true that there are differences, there's a lot we can learn from the Finnish story.

What about the role of economics? New York University professor Diane Ravitch often says that the education system in this country cannot alone solve poverty, and in many cases it will inherently reflect poverty. Finland is a much less economically unequal society. How much does that lack of poverty explain Finland's success as opposed to our own?

There are two answers to that. First of all, yes, race and class matter. You want to know what a test score in a district is, you find out how poor people are. There's no question that race and class, and the economic disparity in this country goes a very long way to understanding our achievement gap.

But having said that, I've been in some of this country's best schools in some of the wealthiest districts, and even some private schools, and I've seen stunningly mediocre teaching there with teachers teaching to the test. And the tests are primarily factual recall, memorization tests where students may pass, but will learn none of the skills that are necessary in the global knowledge economy.

This is what Finland has done that's different -- they've defined what is excellent teaching, not just reasonable teaching, and they have a standard for that. Second, they've defined what is most important to learn, and it's not a memorization-based curriculum, but a thinking-based curriculum. So even in our wealthiest districts we're not approaching that global standard of success and excellence.

If we could somehow wave a wand and implement Finland's education system right now here in America, what do you think the results would look like? Would they be so much better, keeping in mind those economic disparities and that economic inequality?

It's going to take generations and I do believe we're going to have to address these economic disparities. But I've been in schools with high poverty, KIPP schools, which like schools in Finland, have defined what is excellence in teaching and learning. I think you can see from the results that KIPP schools get, how graduates of KIPP schools go to college and succeed in college at higher rates than white, middle class kids. That's because of excellent teaching. So yes, race and class matter. We have to address those issues, and we cannot use that as an excuse for low achievement.

How did Finland manage to elevate the role of teacher in the eyes of the population to something that is not just an honorable profession, but a revered profession, whereas in the United States, teachers are so regularly denigrated?

They really think about teachers as scientists and the classrooms are their laboratories. So, as I mentioned -- every teacher has to have a masters degree, and it's a content degree where they're not just taking silly courses on education theory and history. They're taking content courses that enable them to bring a higher level of intellectual preparation into the classroom. That's the first point.

The second point is that they've defined professionalism as working more collaboratively. They give their teachers time in the school day and in the school week to work with each other, to continuously improve their curriculum and their lessons. We have a 19th century level of professionalism here, or worse, it's medieval. A teacher works alone all day, everyday, and isolation is the enemy of improvement and innovation, which is something the Finns figured out a long time ago. Get the teachers out of their isolated circumstances and give them time to work together.

Jay3
07-18-2011, 06:30 PM
That's a great read about Finland. Thanks for that.

El Minion
06-03-2013, 07:21 PM
New data shows school “reformers” are full of it (http://www.salon.com/2013/06/03/instead_of_a_war_on_teachers_how_about_one_on_pove rty/)

Poor schools underperform largely because of economic forces, not because teachers have it too easy

By David Sirota (http://www.salon.com/writer/david_sirota/)

In the great American debate over education, the education and technology corporations, bankrolled politicians and activist-profiteers who collectively comprise the so-called “reform” movement base their arguments on one central premise: that America should expect public schools to produce world-class academic achievement regardless of the negative forces bearing down on a school’s particular students. In recent days, though, the faults in that premise are being exposed by unavoidable reality.

Before getting to the big news, let’s review the dominant fairy tale: As embodied by New York City’s major education announcement (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/02/nyregion/new-evaluation-system-for-new-york-teachers.html?_r=0) this weekend, the “reform” fantasy pretends that a lack of teacher “accountability” is the major education problem and somehow wholly writes family economics out of the story (amazingly, this fantasy persists even in a place like the Big Apple where economic inequality is particularly crushing (http://strongforall.org/new-yorks-worst-in-the-nation-income-inequality-getting-even-worse/)). That key — and deliberate — omission serves myriad political interests.

For education, technology and charter school companies and the Wall Streeters who back them (http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/06/nj_hedge_fund_leaders_create_g.html), it lets them cite troubled public schools to argue that the current public education system is flawed, and to then argue that education can be improved if taxpayer money is funneled away from the public school system’s priorities (hiring teachers, training teachers, reducing class size, etc.) and into the private sector (replacing teachers with computers (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/04/technology/idaho-teachers-fight-a-reliance-on-computers.html?pagewanted=all), replacing public schools with privately run charter schools, etc.). Likewise, for conservative politicians (http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/rahm-emanuel-meets-with-gop-and-mitt-romney-donors/Content?oid=6801482) and activist (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/01/31/michelle-rhee-uses-studentsfirst-to-sell-memoir/)-profiteers (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/guess-what-michelle-rhee-charged-a-school-to-speak/2011/10/24/gIQAen6GJM_blog.html) disproportionately bankrolled by these and other monied interests, the “reform” argument gives them a way to both talk about fixing education and to bash organized labor, all without having to mention an economic status quo that monied interests benefit from and thus do not want changed.

Meanwhile, despite the fact that many “reformers’” policies have spectacularly failed (https://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/01/31-9), prompted massive scandals (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/13/michelle-rhee-cheating-investigation_n_3072568.html) and/or offered no actual proof of success (http://www.creators.com/opinion/david-sirota/when-it-comes-to-education-technology-trust-but-verify.html), an elite media that typically amplifies — rather than challenges — power and money loyally casts “reformers’” systematic pillaging of public education as laudable courage (http://swampland.time.com/2013/05/30/rahm-emanuels-plan-to-turn-around-chicago/) (the most recent example of this is Time magazine’s cover (http://www.time.com/time/covers/0,16641,20081208,00.html) cheering on wildly unpopular (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/09/rahm-emanuel-approval-rat_0_n_3247489.html) Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel after he cited budget austerity to justify the largest mass school closing in American history (http://www.democracynow.org/2013/5/28/chicago_to_shutter_50_public_schools) — all while he is also proposing to spend $100 million of taxpayer dollars (http://www.thenation.com/blog/174478/rahm-emanuels-zombie-pigs-vs-chicagos-angry-birds) on a new private sports stadium).

In other words, elite media organizations (which, in many cases, have their own (http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/06/us-usa-education-technology-idUSBRE9250NL20130306) vested financial interest (http://www.salon.com/2013/06/03/instead_of_a_war_on_teachers_how_about_one_on_pove rty/%3Ca%20href=) in education “reform”) go out of their way to portray the anti-public-education movement as heroic rather than what it really is: just another get-rich-quick scheme (http://www.salon.com/2011/09/12/reformmoney/) shrouded in the veneer of altruism.

That gets to the news that exposes “reformers’” schemes — and all the illusions that surround them. According to a new U.S. Department of Education study (http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2013/2013037.pdf), “about one in five public schools was considered high poverty in 2011 … up from about to one in eight in 2000.” This followed an earlier study (http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2011/12/us_education_money_remains_the.html) from the department finding that “many high-poverty schools receive less than their fair share of state and local funding … leav(ing) students in high-poverty schools with fewer resources than schools attended by their wealthier peers.”

Those data sets powerfully raise the question that “reformers” are so desperate to avoid: Are we really expected to believe that it’s just a coincidence that the public education and poverty crises are happening at the same time? Put another way: Are we really expected to believe that everything other than poverty is what’s causing problems in failing public schools?

Because of who comprises it and how it is financed, the education “reform” movement has a clear self-interest in continuing to say yes, we should believe such fact-free pabulum. And you can bet that movement will keep saying “yes” — and that the corporate media will continue to cheer them as heroes for saying “yes” — as long as public education money keeps being diverted into corporate coffers.

But we’ve now reached the point where the economics-omitting “reform” propaganda has jumped the shark, going from deceptively alluring to embarrassingly transparent. That’s because the latest Department of Education study isn’t being released in a vacuum; it caps off an overwhelming wave of evidence showing that our education crisis has far less to do with public schools or bad teachers than it does with the taboo subject of crushing poverty.

In 2011, for instance, Stanford University’s Sean Reardon released a comprehensive study documenting the new “income achievement gap.” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/21/income-achievement-gap-al_n_1105783.html) The report proved that family income is now, by far, the biggest determining and predictive factor in a student’s educational achievement.

A few months later, Joanne Barkan published a groundbreaking magazine report (http://www.dissentmagazine.org/online_articles/firing-linethe-grand-coalition-against-teachers) surveying decades worth of social science research. Her conclusions, again, came back to non-school factors like family economics and poverty:

Out-of-school factors—family characteristics such as income and parents’ education, neighborhood environment, health care, housing stability, and so on—count for twice as much as all in-school factors. In 1966, a groundbreaking government study—the “Coleman Report”—first identified a “one-third in-school factors, two-thirds family characteristics” ratio to explain variations in student achievement. Since then researchers have endlessly tried to refine or refute the findings. Education scholar Richard Rothstein described their results: “No analyst has been able to attribute less than two-thirds of the variation in achievement among schools to the family characteristics of their students.”


Then, just a few months ago, Reardon chimed in again to contextualize all of this. In a follow-up New York Times (http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/27/no-rich-child-left-behind/) article, he noted that it is no coincidence that these out-of-school factors — and in particular economic conditions — have created the “income achievement gap” at the very moment economic inequality and poverty have exploded in America.

Taken together with the new Department of Education numbers, we see that for all the elite media’s slobbering profiles (http://swampland.time.com/2013/05/30/rahm-emanuels-plan-to-turn-around-chicago/?iid=ent-main-mostpop2) of public school bashers (http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Education/2013/0529/Chicago-simmers-over-school-closings.-Is-that-bad-for-Mayor-Emanuel-video) like Mayors Rahm Emanuel and Michael Bloomberg, for all of the media’s hagiographic worship of scandal-plagued (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/13/michelle-rhee-cheating-investigation_n_3072568.html) activist-profiteers like Michelle Rhee, and for all the “reform” movement’s claims that the traditional public school system and teachers unions are to blame for America’s education problems, poverty and economic inequality are the root of the problem.

One way to appreciate this reality in stark relief is to just remember that, as Barkan shows (http://www.dissentmagazine.org/article/got-dough-how-billionaires-rule-our-schools), for all the claims that the traditional public school system is flawed, America’s wealthiest traditional public schools happen to be among the world’s highest-achieving schools. Most of those high-performing wealthy public schools also happen to be unionized. If, as “reformers” suggest, the public school system or the presence of organized labor was really the key factor in harming American education, then those wealthy schools would be in serious crisis — and wouldn’t be at the top of the international charts. Instead, the fact that they aren’t in crisis and are so high-achieving suggests neither the system itself nor unions are the big factor causing high-poverty schools to lag behind. It suggests that the “high poverty” part is the problem.

That, of course, shouldn’t be a controversial notion; it is so painfully obvious it’s amazing anyone would even try to deny it. But that gets back to motive: The “reform” movement (and its loyal media outlets) cast a discussion of poverty as taboo because poverty and inequality are byproducts of the same economic policies that serve that movement’s funders.

To understand this pernicious bait and switch that writes economics out of the education story, simply think through the motives.

Think first about how the dominant policy paradigms in America — tax cuts for the rich, deregulation and budget cuts to social services — exacerbate inequality and poverty, but also benefit the major corporations that fund the “reform” movement. Then think about how it isn’t a coincidence that the “reform” movement’s goal is to divert the education policy conversation away from anything having to do with poverty and economic inequality.

You can tell that’s not a coincidence because unlike other issues, the topics of poverty and economic inequality will inevitably prompt a conversation about changing the underlying economic policies (regressive taxes, deregulation, etc.) that create crushing poverty and inequality. For corporations served by the existing economic paradigm and for the politicians and activists those corporations underwrite, such a conversation is simply unacceptable because changing the policies that create poverty and inequality potentially threatens their existing financial power and privilege. Thus, those corporations, politicians and activists in the “reform” movement do whatever they can — bash teachers, scream strong-but-meaningless words like “accountability,” criticize public school structures, etc. — to shift the education conversation away from poverty and inequality.

Reality, though, is finally catching up with the “reform” movement’s propaganda. With poverty and inequality intensifying (http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-09-12/record-u-dot-s-dot-poverty-rate-holds-as-inequality-grows), a conversation about the real problem is finally starting to happen. And the more education “reformers” try to distract from it, the more they will expose the fact that they aren’t driven by concern for kids but by the ugliest kind of greed — the kind that feigns concerns for kids in order to pad the corporate bottom line.

rugbythug
06-03-2013, 08:21 PM
Lol. This article complains of propaganda.

errand
06-03-2013, 08:22 PM
so is this thread about education about to turn into yet another Rich White Men are Victimized diatribe?

No, it is about to turn into another "It's the rich white guy's fault" diatribe evidently....

errand
06-03-2013, 08:30 PM
I'm so sick of hearing how the public schools need more $$$ "for the children".....we spend more than most do on public education and what do we get? a bunch of numbnutz who can't find America on a map, but know how to hate her.

they get enough of our money......the reason the teachers don't actually get a lot of the monies is because their union and administrations and bureaucracy get the lion's share of it.

UberBroncoMan
06-03-2013, 09:05 PM
The education in this country is quite sad tbh. We don't really celebrate intelligence anymore. Kids don't really grow up wanting to be Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Life at home definitely has something to do with this issue though. Especially in the lower class areas which are filled with single parenting.

R8R H8R
06-03-2013, 11:36 PM
I got an idea...let's throw more money at it. That always works!

Dr. Broncenstein
06-03-2013, 11:38 PM
Has nothing to do with the government sponsored destruction of the nuclear family, and everything to do with lead based gasoline.

Kaylore
06-03-2013, 11:46 PM
I got an idea...let's throw more money at it. That always works!

Or at least take the money away from the rich kids.