I wrote a post about the attacks on teachers, which got some interesting responses.
Reader A wrote:
This has absolutely nothing to do with teacher quality. This has everything to do with:
1. Destroying unions;
2. Destroying public education;
3. Hijacking tax funding for education to for-profit corporations;
4. Control of the public to perpetuate the 1%.
But Bill and Arne won’t say that in public.
Reader B replied:
@mooseinsquirrels: In attacking the problem, it’s important to outline the ultimate motives of those who’d destroy unions, etc. Otherwise, it sounds as if teachers see themselves as the primary victims. My hope is that we can refine our rhetoric in a way that makes plain the stakes for society generally.
Some in the 1% do see a big money pie of which they’d gladly enjoy a slice. But destroying unions and demeaning the profession are primarily steps in the industrialization of education. Students are raw materials, teachers are workers on the assembly line and computers are robots. Efficient manufacture demands standardized tools, techniques and outputs. Unions create friction and therefore must be eliminated.
Degradation, not destruction, is the likely outcome for public education. The system will be partially privatized, but others will profit as contractors with what remains of the public system. Just as KIPP will never accept Diane’s challenge to take over an entire system, the smarter education entrepreneurs will avoid taking over the entire system when they peel off some kids, generate feel-good numbers, and collect a profit.
Ultimately, we must convince parents in all classes that 1) education is best when it draws out the talents and passions of children, and 2) the industrialization of schooling has the effect (and perhaps the design) of squelching them.
@lets_be_reasonable: Your analysis tacitly accepts the industrialization of education metaphor. Teacher quality is measured by product quality which is measured by how much someone will pay for it. I propose we rehumanize the product and reject any value-added metric. It’s sickening.