Mark Naison: It is one thing to subject yourself to prison-like conditions and militarized discipline if the result is escape from poverty and a ticket to the good life. But what if neither of those result from all this sacrifice?
Mark Naison: The punitive, stress-filled environment that No Child Left Behind and Race to the Hop has created is good for no one’s children. But it is especially damaging to children who come to school hungry and fearful because their families are living on the edge.
Mark Naison: President and his chief education adviser, Arne Duncan, believed that a key problem in America’s schools was the low quality of the people working in them, they felt no need to include principals and teachers.
Mark Naison: Over time, people of courage and integrity will turn the tide and begin to restore sanity to educational discourse and develop a powerful alliance of teachers, parents and students, supported first by the Occupy movement, and later by unions, religious organizations and progressive politicians.
Mark Naison: Someday, Test Based Education Reform will go the way of Prohibition. But not before incalculable damage is done to the nations children
John Cromshow: Privatizing education has two goals: 1) increase the number of charter schools; and, 2) weaken the teachers’ union.
Mark Naison: While Occupy Wall Street and its spinoffs around the nation have certainly not developed “leaders” who articulate its goals to the media or negotiate with public officials, it has already registered a formidable list of accomplishments for a movement this young.
Mark Naison: Teacher Activists must put forth a vision of Radical Democracy which envisions an education which empowers students as critical thinkers and agents of historical change, not just as obedient test takers and which envisions schools playing a central role in neighborhoods united and mobilized to get a fair share of the nation’s resources.
David A. Walsh: Sure, Ravitch may “cherry-pick” her facts and sound like the tobacco companies, and Brill may be a defamatory admirer of Joel Klein, bosom buddy to Rupert Murdoch, but at least those are creative attacks.
Randy Shaw: After years of teachers union bashing and corporate-led school “reform” efforts, anti-public school forces are now on the defensive. And the main reason is that the statistical measurements do not support their arguments, and even show a pattern of falsification.
Jessie Daniels: The clever, sinister thing about institutional racism in education is that it operates relentlessly on its own, like a machine, even when people of good will want it to operate differently.
Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer: As long as the N.E.A. as well as organized labor in general remain tied to the corporate-dominated Democratic Party, public education will deteriorate, critical thinking will be undermined, wages will remain low, and the working class will continue to suffer a decline.
Mark Naison: While people are losing their homes, jobs, and medical coverage, new school professionals are flooding communities with programs that have offer little to the people they were allegedly designed to benefit.