The U.S. has closed its eyes to our high level of child poverty for too long, choosing to blame the victims — the poor — and schools for economic and academic stagnation. High poverty is an embarrassment to us as a nation. Why aren’t we ashamed of it…
[Southern Education Foundation] Vice President Steve Suitts wrote: “No longer can we consider the problems and needs of low income students simply a matter of fairness… Their success or failure in the public schools will determine the entire body of human capital and educational potential that the nation will possess in the future. Without improving the educational support that the nation provides its low income students – students with the largest needs and usually with the least support — the trends of the last decade will be prologue for a nation not at risk, but a nation in decline…”
James Boutin is a national board certified teacher of language arts and social studies…and has been a strong voice for children. Here he reminds us that there’s more to life than Math and Reading.
In low-income communities, schools should serve as centers for civic dialogue, healing, and humanity. While learning the basics like math and language should certainly constitute some of what goes on in schools, our primary effort should not be to stress everyone out trying to bring underprivileged students’ math and language skills up to par with their counterparts in affluent communities. Because, the truth is, those skills are not the only skills in life that matter. And so they shouldn’t be the only skills that determine whether you receive a high school diploma. [emphasis added]
CTU, A VOICE FOR THE NATION’S TEACHERS
In 2012 the Chicago Teachers Union published The Schools Chicago’s Students Deserve, a study which argued in favor of proven educational reforms to improve the education of Chicago’s children. Needless to say, it was ignored by the Mayor and school board.
This year, the Union has issued a report…more like a wish list…connecting health, housing, jobs, segregation and funding to education.
It’s the quote below which caught my attention. It could easily have read, “”Do your job, legislators, executives and policy makers, so we [teachers] can do ours.”
Teachers are so worried about their livelihoods that they have trouble speaking out. Retribution from administrators or state bureaucrats is a real possibility, but things won’t change until we get loud.
“I will refuse to administer a test that reduces my students to a single metric. … Teachers, students and parents find themselves in a position of whether or not to push back or leave.” — Jia Lee, NY Special Education Teacher
The attack on public education, public school teachers, and public school teachers unions continues unabated. As the U.S. Congress debates changes to NCLB, the Governor, Legislature and State Board of Education in Indiana are working hard to marginalize the Indiana State Teachers Union, and by doing so they are marginalizing the profession of teaching. [That’s not all the damage they’re doing to public schools and public school children, but that’s what relates to the quote below. Read some of the Statehouse Notes from the Indiana Coalition for Public Education.]
“I think that in this country, we have taken too much for granted about teachers,” he said. “I think there are people who believe that if you just know your subject … that you can stand up in front of a classroom and teach it. We know that simply isn’t true.”
School “choice” is a scam. Parents shouldn’t have to “choose” a good school for their children to attend any more than they should need to “choose” clean water, clean air or safe food for their families. — Mitchell Robinson
Maurice Sendak understands that reading is more than the words…
Once more Stephen Krashen debunks the basis for education “reform.”
The movement for national standards and tests is based on these claims:
(1) Our educational system is broken, as revealed by US students’ scores on international tests;
(2) We must improve education to improve the economy;
(3) The way to improve education is to have national standards and national tests that enforce the standards.
Each of these claims is false.
More than a test…
The title of this article is a wonderful quote.
What If Education Was Measured By More Than A Test? by Janaye Ingram is the Acting National Executive Director of National Action Network (NAN)
The narrow pursuit of test results has sidelined education issues of enduring importance such as poverty, equity in school funding, school segregation, health and physical education, science, the arts, access to early childhood education, class size, and curriculum development. We have witnessed the erosion of teachers’ professional autonomy, a narrowing of curriculum, and classrooms saturated with “test score-raising” instructional practices that betray our understandings of child development and our commitment to educating for artistry and critical thinking. And so now we are faced with “a crisis of pedagogy”–teaching in a system that no longer resembles the democratic ideals or tolerates the critical thinking and critical decision-making that we hope to impart on the students we teach.