I asked readers to report on the destructive reforms imposed in their state. No one has tried to collect this information or to pull it all together into a national picture.
Everyone seems to think that their own state is off on a binge of legislation that is anti-union, anti-teacher, and anti-public education.
From what I observe, this is a national “movement,” and it has two sources: 1) ALEC model legislation, which provides templates for conservative state legislators, on how to destroy unions, dismantle the teaching profession, and eliminate public education; and 2) Race to the Top, which promotes obsessive testing and evaluation as well as privately managed charter schools.
If the hammer blows came only from the right (ALEC), it would be bad enough. But when you add to them the harmful policies of Race to the Top, and the cozy relationship between Arne Duncan and the rightwing governors, it creates a terrible, almost desperate situation, because it means that both parties are allied in a campaign to private public education and to deprofessionalize it.
I got so many responses to my question–what is your state doing in the name of “reform”–that I can’t reproduce them all. But I will report on a few and invite readers to look at the comments following my post “Reformers vs. Democracy” and “Add Your State to My List.”
When you review the dozens of comments, which come from states across the nation–from Maine to Florida to California to Hawaii–it gives a devastating portrait of the effects of the “reforms.”
This is indeed a national movement. It is harmful to children, to teachers, and to education.