One thing reformers don’t like is to hear from teachers or parents or the public. We see the same pattern repeated again and again.
Reform can only be successful when power is consolidated in the hands of the mayor, preferably when the mayor has a puppet board appointed by him and that serves at his pleasure. (See New York City.)
Reform can only be successful when it is rammed through the Legislature with a minimum of public notice and a minimum of public hearings. Fast action means no public deliberation. Reformers say, “We can’t afford to wait,” but what they mean is, “Our collective mind is made up, and we don’t have to waste time listening to those who don’t agree.” (See Louisiana.)
Reform can only be successful if the governor and the state commissioner get to make all the decisions. That way, they can circumvent and ignore public opinion in the districts that they control. (See Connecticut or Idaho or New Jersey or many other states).
Reform can only be successful if the governor controls the state board of education and its members do what he wants. That way, they can ram through the changes that must take place right now, without public deliberation. (See Louisiana and many other states.)
Reformers are so certain they are right that they can’t wait to hear other views.
Reformers don’t like democracy.
Readers: Feel free to add your state to the lists above or to suggest other ways in which reformers take control of the political process and exclude those who disagree with their policies.
P.S. This is how it worked in Idaho:
|As a resident of Idaho, as a student teacher in Idaho and as the parent of a child attending a public school in Idaho, there was a great deal of outrage directed at Luna and his political allies when these “reforms” were first proposed. Remember, according to Mr. Luna everything was hunkydory in the land of Idaho’s educational system during his campaign to remain in office. Within just a few days of being re-elected, Luna was hit with the disturbing realization that teachers needed to lose their collective bargaining rights, every high school student needed a laptop supplied by their district, students needed to generate so many class units in online classes and only those venders on an approved list could supply the on-line requirements…oh, and the fact that those approved venders had supplied a large chunk of Luna’s campaign funds had nothing at all to do with this sudden epiphany and anybody who said otherwise was a “union thug”.Phone calls were made in the tens of thousands, letters to the editor of all the papers were written and published. Rallies were staged and attended. Over flow crowds attended and spoke against these “reforms” at the public hearings. The overwhelming sentiment from the public was negative. We the people spoke up and the state legislature said “so what”…and pushed it through anyway. On a fast track, because apparently the situation was so bad that only immediate action could rein in all the “bad teachers” and indiscriminate over spending in the public schools.Believe me, there was diversity of opinion. Unfortunately, the majority voice of parents and educators were effectively ignored.This is how it worked in South Dakota: