Who’s bashing US teachers? echoes north? I hope not

via Huffingtonpost.com

http://www.rethinkingschools.org/archive/25_03/25_03_karp.shtml

A solid overview of the recent trendline in US public education. Like the economy, which is still broken because of an ailing political environment that has lost common sense democracy, Education is a very complex system. Public education is always in the press, why? Well because it IS PUBLIC and tax dollars fund it. Also similar to the economy, with Tea Party spin doctors raging against taxes while billionaires reap the rewards and investment houses skim sick inflated profits with continued deregulations of financing; public education is a whipping boy- a distraction so middle class voters and Washington don’t look too hard at Wall Street.

Karp’s article summarizes the myths rather well.

Who’s Bashing Teachers and Public Schools and What Can We Do About It?

” The short answer to this question is that far too many people are bashing teachers and public schools, and we need to give them more homework, because very few of them know what they’re talking about. And a few need some serious detention.

But the longer answer is that the bashing is coming from different places for different reasons. And to respond effectively to the very real attacks that our schools, our profession, and our communities face, it’s important to pay attention to these differences.

The parent who’s angry at the public school system because it’s not successfully educating his/her children is not the same as the billionaire with no education experience who couldn’t survive in a classroom for two days, but who has made privatizing education policy a hobby, and who has the resources to do so because the country’s financial and tax systems are broken.

The educators who start a community-based charter school so they can create a collaborative school culture are not the same as the hedge fund managers who invest in charter schools because they see an opportunity to turn a profit or because they want to privatize one of the last public institutions we have left.” (Stan Karp, rethinkingschools.org)

 

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3 Responses to Who’s bashing US teachers? echoes north? I hope not

  1. Bill Storm says:

    As if the neo-cons don’t enjoy a well-funded union of purpose, right? Sorry to hear the disease is spreading north.

  2. Bill Storm says:

    One attribute of the starving of the American educational system that provides grist for so much bad press covering its teachers is the brawl over the crumbs remaining in the system. Many states, such as California, Texas and Florida (holding 25% of the population) have so drastically underfunded education that teachers are left to fighting with children over resources to support their own families. There is a form of forced cannibalism in practice in those states, so teachers make handy targets for anti-education gentry who want more reasons to justify aggressive efforts to privatize or religi-cize a critical public function.

    Those countries with the wisdom to protect their systems of public education have firm ground for criticizing social policy in the US that provides the context for what is truly a social tragedy, the cashing in the future health of the world’s (currently) most powerful economy for quick personal gain of a few. To inhale the rhetoric from the American extreme-wealth class enjoying the media frenzy around scapegoated teachers not only would be an error, it would lead to false conclusions about a currently-healthy nation’s own educational policy.

    Take care to not join the distrust of educators in vogue south of your border. Like any good magic trick succeeds by diverting your eye away from the truth of the moment while a quick substitution is made, anti-public education forces succeed by controlling the conversation and diverting attention to teachers, away from the greed at its roots. And the more ignorant the population, the easier it becomes to control it. Consider the decision any country makes regarding whom to educate, and when it creates conditions limiting quality education to a privileged class, fear those who do the creating.

    • LiterateOwl says:

      As the pendulum swings right even further, even in Canada, the mistrust of teachers by government and neo-con lobbies is now reaching the average rank and file educator. THe primary rationale is only that public school teachers are in a ‘union’. Whether by political motivation or bureaucratic and financial expediency, autonomy is slipping out of the classroom. Private schools, now with taxpayer funding, is growing largely because of the myths in vogue. I am indeed cautious maybe even too cynical to roll over. THANKS

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