professornana (professornana) wrote,

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Dystopic vision

Myopia is one thing, but education suffers more from dystopia in terms of vision of late. Here is a posting from Diane Ravitch about Texas and education:

Look at the steps she talks about from SHOCK DOCTRINE by Noami Klein.My comments follow the statement of the steps.

Step One: impose ridiculous standards and assessments on every school. NCLB, CCSS, and our own state standards have accomplished this already. Add to this the fact that ELAR standards were written without input from literacy organizations who begged to be included.

Step Two: create cut points on the assessments to guarantee high rates of failure. How many parents understand how the passing score for STAAR is determined? Do they really think it is a set pecentage?

Step Three: implement draconian accountability systems. And change the standards and forms and reporting schemes often. Changes keep anyone from getting too comfortable, right?

Step Four: use the accountability system to undermine the credibility and trust that almost everyone gave to public schools. increase the difficulty of reaching goals annually. At the outset of testing, especially as we moved into NCLB, many of us warned that scores would drop and that eventually even high-performing schools could not meet AYP. With CCSS and RttT, the same thing is occurring. Scores are plummeting thus making the case that schools are awful.

Step Five: de-professionalize educators with alternative certification, merit pay, evaluations tied to test scores, scripted curriculum, attacks on professional organizations, phony research that tries to make the case that credentials and experience don’t matter, etc. Our state forced colleges of education to cut the number of required hours to complete the degree quite a few years ago. Now, they are talking about poorly prepared teachers. How do we battle this sort of attack?

Step Six: start privatization with public funded charters with a promise that they will be laboratories of innovation. Many of us fell for that falsehood. Apply pressure each legislative session to implement more and more of them. Despite the research that shows charter schools are not more effective, we continue to call for more of them.

Step Seven: use Madison Avenue messaging to name bills to further trick people into acceptance, if not support, of every conceivable voucher scheme. This is also known as the business model for schools. Never mind that kids are not products.

Step Eight: totally destroy public education with so-called universal vouchers. See this web site: Great propaganda about how vouchers will save education.

Step Nine: start eliminating the vouchers and charters, little by little. I would add, slowly begin closing schools, ending school years early, etc.

Step Ten: totally eliminate the costs of education from local, state, and national budgets, thereby providing another huge transfer of wealth through huge tax cuts to the already-billionaire class.

In effect, train an underclass to do the jobs for the wealthy.

Scary? It is here already. Dystopia, anyone?
Tags: business, dismantling, education, reform
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