If you read nothing else today, read this post by the blogger who calls himself Crazy Crawfish.
In a blinding flash of insight, he sees the pattern on the rug of the corporate reform movement.
I won’t say anything more.
Just read it.
“What I am seeing is a purposeful plot to destroy public schools, and to profit from the destruction. These folks say they are data conscious and want to rely on “data driven decisions” but if that were true the data already readily available shows that everything they are doing is having the opposite effect of what they are purporting to provide.”
This is an excellent post which exposes the true goals of the “reformers”. The anecdote to this “reform” poison is an informed public. Bloggers and activists like Crazy Crawfish, Dr. Ravitch, etc., and their many readers must work relentlessly to spread the truth. I am so thankful to have found Dr. Ravitch’s indispensable blog.
I took a chance and shared what I have learned about so called “reform” with my very dedicated but very complacent school staff. So many teachers have thanked me and shared information with their friends and families. They knew things were not right regarding education but they couldn’t put their finger on the source of the problem.
We do not know how far our efforts may reach. The general populous is at a tipping point. They are tired of being lied to by the rich and powerful.
Crazy Crawfish, got it right on so many levels! Destruction to public schools aka America’s students, the middle class, establishing a new classism & racism! Mainstream Media has walked [hobbled] into this debacle with their “eyes wide shut”! For shame!
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great article by CC, unfortunately it’s preaching to the choir.
We need to tie information like this from our field to the insidious actions that corporate reformists are waging on the rest of society.
Change will only happen when enough people understand that we’re ALL suffering because of a nefarious attack on our lives for the benefit of somebody’s bottom line
What a wonderful contribution to the discussion. This reminds of the blotch picture that
I show parents so they can see how difficult it is to be their perceptually impaired learning disabled child. Once they connect the dots and see the whole picture, they always see the picture.
The picture here is just as deliberately confused and scattered to the paper, but the
writer has helped to bring it into our minds eye as a horrible over throw of Democracy
for the sake of power and greed by those that can over those that they believe can not.
Watching the snow cover the ground and make beautiful the landscape it reminds me
that the privateers believe their money strewn around each state and at as many pockets as they can fill are believing their deception, like the snow, they are determinded to cover what they see as imperfections and change it to the world that most suits them.
The beauty of this world is not sameness but the amazing differences and the gifts
each offers. An absolute of the greatness of this vast and magnificent country and people.
Thank you Crazy Crawfish.
I have the queasy feeling that one day we will wake up and discover that our republican experiment has ended and the oligarchs will no longer need to cloak their intentions.
My fear as well, Brutus.
The ed reform movement has created an entire army of educational hucksters who use jargon to mask their ignorance and perpetuate their power. These are our “educational leaders” found in superintendent’s offices, think-tanks, and ed reform outfits around the country. Only tough questions can unmask them. Ask them what they mean again and again.
Brutus, we are already there…the time is at hand…
For all of the people who are writing insightful, important articles/blogs/tweets about what’s going on in education – is there a way for us to organize and use this information to post replies to comments we see from uninformed people on articles in local newspapers and magazines? This might be another way for us to take action and help use communication to empower people with the truth. Maybe some of the grassroots organizations could each take a few of the local media outlets and scan the comments on their online education articles/blogs, responding when necessary with information and links. Perhaps it could be organized through the Network for Public Education? Many times when I read public comments about education on local media sites the people posting have no true understanding of what charter takeovers mean to the community, or who is funding new education legislation, etc.
Crazy Crawfish is literally “On the Money.” The only comment I have that is standard now is that if you want to explain how much of a total loser charter schools are you must use two studies that “Crush” charter schools. These two studies are the Stanford Credo Study that shows that only about 17% of charter schools do marginally better than regular public schools. The other one is the latest, Sept. 2012, Federal DOE OIG report on the total lack of accountability of charter schools in Florida, Arizona and California. This report is DOE-OIG/A02L0002. The other factor is what I call the “Correction Factor.” I doubt that any statistics person can refute that to compare two completely different systems you must have a “Correction Factor.” You have to allow for charter schools not having to follow much ed code and local regulation, cherry picking parents and students, not dealing with behavior problems, ESL and special education. If that is taken into account almost no charter schools does better.
Crazy Crawfish speculates that there is some motive beyond just the profit motive that is driving the so-called “reform” movement, but he does not come out and actually say what the big picture is that he sees being slowly formed as he fits the pieces of the puzzle together. What is the “figure in the carpet” (to quote Henry James) which is emerging as we stare at it? Since Crazy Crawfish does not explicitly say what he sees, I will try to do it for him: it is this, that conservatism is successfully taking back American education from progressivism, and that the resulting picture of American education will be a mosaic, made up of thousands of little bits of discrete education providers rather than be the smoothly detailed seamless painting which was public education in its heyday of the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.
And he is also probably right that the dissolution of the comprehensive public schools arises from the aversion of the top 80% of parents to have their kids mixing with the bottom academically disinclined 20%. Crawfish cries out that it is resegregation driven by old time racism and evangelical know-nothingism. I think, by contrast, that old-time racism is dead. Among well brought up children, integration is normal and happy. The non-scientific teachings to which he points, are, in my opinion a stand in for morality. If a parent has to give up a little modern science to get his or her kid into an age cohort that receives instruction in virtue, such a parent will do that, especially if she or he can ALSO get adequate instruction in reading, writing, literature, and math, the two sectors of the CCSS which have so far been rolled out.
Crawfish’s rant is particularly instructive in the piece of the puzzle which could be called science instruction. While humans playing with dinosaurs is painfully anachronistic to educated people he also offers his own version of “true science.” He says: “Students are taught that evolution is impossible (because it seems complicated) that Climate change is either not happening because God would not allow it, or if it is happening it is part of God’s will and plan and not caused by burning rainforests or manufacturing everything in Chinese coal powered factories.” The problem is that Climate change really is junk science. Crawfish, however, assumes it is true and offers as a positive feature that public schools teach that global warming, now renamed Climate change, comes form excess carbon in the atmosphere. Without specifically arguing that topic here, those who hold the opinion that it is socialist indoctrination really aimed at redistributing wealth from the USA to undeveloped countries would naturally want to get their kids out of that intellectually poisonous atmosphere.
There is a good deal bogus about the reform movement, but for Crawfish to rest his case ultimately on global warming, renamed Climate change, is simply to say ‘My science is better than your science,’ when both are crocks. That is totally unpersuasive to the beleaguered parent who just wants his kid in a safe school where the kid will learn to read and learn arithmetic.
There is even another slant in Crawfish’s statement which is a put off. He laments that in these religious or other charter schools: “Schools are teaching slavery was just a misunderstood part of our nation’s history, and not a very bad one. They are being taught that hippies and liberals are Satan Worshipping amoral communists trying subvert all that is great and decent in society.” In spite of the hyperbole and musty smell of the straw man about these purported characterizations of slavery and liberals, I don’t doubt that conservative parents believe something close to them.
Everyone recognizes that the promise of the declaration of independence was not realized in the original constitution, but we also need to remember that an immense war had to be fought to vindicate the political equality of human beings. The true insight is that the nation partially redeemed itself through the Civil War, and is still working very hard to fulfill the promise in the Declaration. No parent would want ignored in his or her child’s school that redemptive impulse in the nation. Crawfish wants to keep riding the wrong of slavery to defend public schools.
Although the term “communist” is usually considered “name calling,” and therefore inappropriate everywhere, there is a grain of truth in it, in that the public school teaching cadre is deeply permeated by marxist, socialist, and Communist Manifesto principles. They hold them from the highest of motives. They want to guarantee that every citizen, indeed every poor person on the globe really does get a fair shot at life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We all what that; our differences are in the means. Communists think that the state can achieve that result, and want to be in power to try to achieve it. Unfortunately, the track record of communism would lead anyone to have a reservation or two about it. Equality is a good thing. Freedom is a good thing. When the public schools, for whatever reason, and often not their fault, failed to deliver equality, some parents, I suppose, want the option to try something else, and the reform movement is pandering to that desire for freedom of choice.
Crawfish’s criticisms of “reform” are all well taken (except his science paragraph), but since he does not offer any proposed solution to the problem of actually delivering equity, in the end his essay only does half the job. Thus with a score of 50% I give Crawfish an “E” on his paper, but I offer him the chance to revise for a better grade. How arrogant of me is that? Hey, I’m getting ready for the CCSS. What do you expect?
I hope you don’t teach science!!!! Climate change is proven real and happening now and we know for a fact that human behavior contributes significantly to it. Your denial doesn’t make it so. One shred of peer reviewed evidence might help your case. What’s that? You have none? OK. Post again when you do.
Yes, Harlan . . . so what’s your point? I don’t really understand what you’re trying to say.
Robert, you can’t take Harlan seriously. He is the kind of guy who would watch as your house burned down and tell you it was your fault or it wasn’t worth much anyway or ask why anyone would choose to live in such a crummy neighborhood. He takes some sort of perverse pleasure in mocking teachers and throwing barbs. Let him be.
Mark from Fl: I agree with you, Roberto Rendo, and dianerav.
For more, link to my reply on this blog to Linda on 3-2-13, under the posting “Why Are Walton Billionaires So Interested in Los Angeles Schools?”
And here, finally, is a thoughtful analysis of Obama’s curious, disappointing educational policy, plus that of other Dems who have inexplicably aided the Rheeformy express’ assault on public schools: http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/03/15/the-progressive-movement-is-a-pr-front-for-rich-democrats/#.UUxr0TcnPp0.facebook
This sums it up right!!!!!! Thanks for sharing this one.
Excellent article that comprehensively sums up everything going on in public education today. The author has nailed it! A MUST READ for anyone who cares about public education and children. Five stars!
Thank you all, very much. I hope to have more pieces that you will find interesting soon. I enjoy you comments, even Harlan’s. They help me sharpen my focus or in the latter case understand where supporters of reform or conservative thought are coming from. I think, Mars. Perhaps Alpha Centauri in Harlan’s case. Thank you for my “E”xcellent grade. :)
It’s good to see some questioning of the horrible market-led developments in the world of education. I’ve been doing my bit to track these developments and to illustrate what they look like ‘on the ground’. I’m based in England. Please look at my blog http://jennycollinsteacher.wordpress.com/ or email me at email@example.com Keep up the good work!
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