Sunday, August 17, 2014

Education is NOT--Repeat, NOT--A Business

Public schools cannot be run on business models. Every single "argument" made by the "reformers" is faulty and a lie to boot. The only things motivating them is stealing the public purse for profit and destroying everything that stands in the way to reach that goal. In short, they are slaves to the neoliberal cult.

Never mind kids are not widgets and NEED the human interaction that teachers provide. It isn't just subject level mastery that students need--they also need to know how to work with other people. Forcing K-12 students into crappy little online "schools" with teacher aides supervising them will turn our nation into a bunch of ignorant sociopaths. Kind of like the "reformers" themselves.

This piece reiterates everything I have been saying for years and years:

This approach might sound plausible in a think tank, but in practice it has been a flop. Firing teachers, rather than giving them the coaching they need, undermines morale. In some cases it may well discourage undergraduates from pursuing careers in teaching, and with a looming teacher shortage as baby boomers retire, that’s a recipe for disaster. Merit pay invites rivalries among teachers, when what’s needed is collaboration. Closing schools treats everyone there as guilty of causing low test scores, ignoring the difficult lives of the children in these schools — “no excuses,” say the reformers, as if poverty were an excuse.

Charter schools have been promoted as improving education by creating competition. But charter students do about the same, over all, as their public school counterparts, and the worst charters, like the online K-12 schools that have proliferated in several states, don’t deserve to be called schools. Vouchers are also supposed to increase competition by giving parents direct say over the schools their children attend, but the students haven’t benefited. For the past generation, Milwaukee has run a voucher experiment, with much-debated outcomes that to me show no real academic improvement.

The problem is the people promoting the neoliberal line own the politicians. This despite the fact their half-assed and half-baked ideas are failures.

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