Thursday, August 2, 2012

This is why parents need to stand up for Public Education: Profits first, education last.

The true reformers, those who are defending our public education system, have warned about Corporate America using our schools for profit at the expense of our children.  We see this in the  high-stakes standardized testing and the Common Core standards invading our classrooms.  Our children's schools are being robbed by businesses whose sole mission is to make money off of so-called education reform.  The testing culture, Common Core standards, student and teacher data tracking systems are draining scarce monetary resources from our children's schools.  Districts all over the United States have had major budget shortfalls, leading to cuts in teachers, programs, and the arts.  Our children's education and futures are being harmed in the name of reform.  The Gates Foundation, Michelle Rhee(and her StudentsFirst astroturf group), Democrats for Education Reform, and major corporations such as Pearson and McGraw-Hill are some of the major players in this looting of our children's education.

Very important read: How Corporations are openly planning to profit from our schools.

We as parents need to step up and say NO.  The opt out movement is a way to stop the corporate model of education reform.  These so-called reformers are dismantling our public schools.  The corporate reformers spread the false mantra that our schools are broken and have used the media to pound this false message home.  When comparing apples to apples, our public schools do as well or better as other leading countries around the world.  The countries that the United States' education system are compared to have smaller, homogeneous populations with much smaller amounts of childhood poverty. When the media and corporate reformers point out failing schools, look at where those schools are located: in areas of poverty.  The fact that the United States has the highest rate of childhood poverty in the industrialized world is the real problem for education. 

Corporate Reformers are using the fact that schools in impoverished areas have low test scores as a means to blow up the public schools and create a privatized education system.  This is already occurring in some states that allow for-profit charters and online schools using public tax dollars.

What can we do as parents?  Boycott high-stakes testing.  Ask our children's teachers and schools to judge our children using a variety of assessment techniques.  We as parents need to monitor our children's work to see if they are getting creative and interesting styles of learning instead of the drill and skill workbooks and sheets.  The only way to stop the corporate take-over of our schools is for parents to take the lead.  Are you in?