Article by Bob Sirota on Bill Moyer’s Blog Shows How Educationa DEformers are Wrong

This is an excellent guest post by Bob Sirota, published on Bill Moyer’s blog. The title is:

New Data Shows School ‘Reformers’ Are Getting it Wrong

And here is the link:

http://billmoyers.com/2013/06/07/new-data-shows-school-reformers-are-getting-it-wrong/

I strongly recommend reading it, and then figuring out how to act on the information.

The comments are a mixed bag, of course.

An excerpt:

 despite the fact that many “reformers’” policies have spectacularly failed, prompted massive scandals and/or offered no actual proof of success, an elite media that typically amplifies — rather than challenges — power and money loyally casts “reformers’” systematic pillaging of public education as laudable courage (the most recent example of this is Time magazine’s cover cheering on wildly unpopular Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel after he cited budget austerity to justify the largest mass school closing in American history — all while he is also proposing to spend $100 million of taxpayer dollars on a new private sports stadium).

 

In other words, elite media organizations (which, in many cases, have their own vested financial interest in education “reform”) go out of their way to portray the anti-public-education movement as heroic rather than what it really is: just another get-rich-quick scheme shrouded in the veneer of altruism.

That gets to the news that exposes “reformers’” schemes — and all the illusions that surround them. According to a new U.S. Department of Education study, “about one in five public schools was considered high poverty in 2011… up from about one in eight in 2000.” This followed an earlier study from the department finding that “many high-poverty schools receive less than their fair share of state and local funding… leav(ing) students in high-poverty schools with fewer resources than schools attended by their wealthier peers.”

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. What, then, do the critics of the corporate reform agenda propose? Surely they can’t be defending the status quo, content with the current state of schools. No. Without being too unfair to the diversity of views on this, the key consensus is that the most important step we could take to deal with our education problems would be to address poverty in the United States. We don’t have an “education problem.” The notion that we are “a nation at risk” from underachieving public schools is, as David Berliner asserts , errant “nonsense” and a pack of lies.

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  2. David Sirota delivers another beatdown on the so-called “public school reformers.” Sirota shows, t hrough a U.S. Dept. of Education study, that “about one in five public schools was considered high poverty in 2011 … up from about one in eight in 2000.” The entire school-reform movement is meant to not only crush the last unions left in America, but also to enrich a few corporate charter school honchos at the expense of the American taxpayer. Sirota notes that the wealthiest public school districts in America are among the world’s highest-achieving schools. Oh, and most of their teachers are unionized, too. Sirota calls attention to a 2011 study from a Stanford University professor that shows, without a doubt, “family income is now, by far, the biggest determining and predictive factor in a student’s educational achievement.” Of course, Sirota had to drag Stanford into this debate because, otherwise, no one would believe him. But, really, do we need a Stanford study, most likely federally subsidized, to point out the obvious? Hello! The “income-achievement gap” is older than new math. Actually, it’s much older than that. Here’s Sirota’s coup de grace: “Meanwhile, despite the fact that many “reformers’” policies have spectacularly failed , prompted massive scandals and/or offered no actual proof of success , an elite media that typically amplifies — rather than challenges — power and money loyally casts “reformers’” systematic pillaging of public education as laudable courage (the most recent example of this is Time magazine’s cover cheering on wildly unpopular Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel after he cited budget austerity to justify the largest mass school closing in American history — all while he is also proposing to spend $100 million of taxpayer dollars on a new private sports stadium).

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