2. Pushing the arts out of a central role in the life and culture of public schools.
3. Demoralizing teachers, especially the most talented and experienced teachers, by subjecting them to evaluations based on junk science
4. Discriminating against special needs and English Language Learner (ELL) students by giving favorable treatment to charter schools which exclude or drive out such students, and forcing such students to take tests that are developmentally inappropriate for them
5. Destabilizing communities by closing schools that have been important community institutions for generations.
6. Undermining the mentoring and relationship building that are at the core of great teaching, especially in poor and working class communities, by raising class size and substituting online learning for direct instruction without thinking through the consequences of such policies on young people who need personal attention and guidance.
7. Creating such unrealistic pressure on schools, and on administrators and teaching staffs, that cheating on tests becomes endemic.
8. Giving billionaire philanthropists, and wealthy companies which provide services to schools such power over education policy smothering the voices of teachers, parents and students.
9. Replacing veteran teachers, often teachers of color, with poorly trained Teach for America Corps members,most of them white, who go through a 5 week training period before being given their own class, and often leave for other professions after their two year teaching commitment is completed.
10. Adding to mental health problems of students by spending so much on testing that school districts have to fire school counselors, and to the physical problems of students by transforming gym and recess and after school programs into test prep removing opportunities for exercise and play.
With A Brooklyn Accent
Sunday 21 January 2013