The School Reform Credo

school reformers

Mark Naison: We must also unleash the genius of the business world into the system by subcontracting test development and evaluation to corporations with the resources to do these well and have all school employees wages and salaries targeted to performance the way virtually all business do.

Teacher Oral History Project to Document the Destructive Impact of School Reform

mark naison and students

Mark Naison: It is one thing to show, as a Met Life Survey has, that teacher satisfaction has plunged to the lowest level on record, dropping 25 percent since Barack Obama took office, it is another to describe in detail why this has taken place, and what the texture of teachers lives has been since policy makers have started evaluating schools and individual teachers on the basis of student test scores

Why School Boards Love Temporary Teachers

young teacher

Mark Naison: Why any school district would want to bring in teachers who have been trained for five weeks and have no classroom experience to replace teachers with years of training, experience, and mentoring would seem to defy common sense unless one considers the budgetary considerations at stake.

The Making of an “Educational Saboteur”

obama school kids

Mark Naison: In the last five years, I have had to switch gears and devote large amounts of time to protecting my profession and the institutions I have built, against powerful forces seeking to reduce teaching and learning to quantifiable “outcomes.”

How Trying to Get Rid of Bad Teachers Has Demoralized Our Best

teacher and student

Mark Naison: When presidents, or governors, or mayors create educational policy or school reform commissions, they make sure that business leaders and foundation heads have the determining voice, with lifetime educators, especially teachers, often entirely excluded.

Public Schools as Community Centers

Basketball jump - dark silhouettes

Mark Naison: After school and night centers were a fixture of every public school in New York City until they were closed during the NYC fiscal crisis of the 1970’s.

Teachers as Collateral Damage

Mark Naison: Teachers have become “collateral damage” of an effort to transform public education from above, financed and implemented by people who regard teachers with contempt.

Double Whammy: School Reform Amidst Austerity

basketball court

Mark Naison: the most tragic thing about this kind of austerity is that school districts have shown they are far more willing to use increasingly scarce funds on testing and evaluation rather than art, music, sports, gym, and school counselors and librarians.

When Profits Rise but Wages Stagnate

Greed wide

Mark Naison: The last time we had an extended period of profits rising while wages stagnated was the 1920’s – many historians view this as the most significant underlying cause of the Great Depression.

My Vision for Revitalizing Public Education

Mark Naison: I think you begin with creating a child-friendly environment. That means sharply reducing the number of tests, leaving ample room for exercise and play, giving primacy to the arts, and having instructions in subject areas, when possible, incorporate hands-on learning and project based activity.

Diane Ravitch Warnings Ignored

Diane Ravitch

Mark Naison: Ravitch, an Undersecretary of Education in the Bush Administration, and an initial supporter of “No Child Left Behind” warned against many of the policies that are destroying our public education system.