There is hope on the horizon, my dears.
For more than ten long, empty, intellectually dry and dishonest years, we’ve lived under the insanity of No Child Left Untested. (Someone told me not to be so negative. Trust me. I’m holding back.) Children, especially poor children, have been subjected to a corporate “reform” mentality of pass/fail by making their quota of test score points on some standardized garbage never designed to gauge anything more delicately complex than a child’s understanding of where the comma goes.
(Ironically, the only ones lately who have been afforded “social promotion” have been the morally corrupt CEOs who were awarded their gold star parachutes whilst bankrupting the global economy, but I digress.) (more…)
Join us (from your nearest connected device) to watch Lily on the Engaging Progressives to in the Fight to Save Public Education panel at Netroots Nation which will spotlight the push to commercialize and privatize public education. How can progressives successfully challenge the powerful forces behind misguided school reform efforts? How can activists use the blogosphere to move public education policies toward a more progressive agenda?
I used to have a bulletin board in my classroom that read: Thou Shalt Not Whine. In my 6th grade, you weren’t allowed to complain about something unless the next words out of your mouth were: And here’s what I’m going to do about it.
I was proud of the passion that some of our most accomplished teachers and support professionals threw into Doing Something about preparing our students for the skills and knowledge they will need to succeed in the 21st Century.
I was proud that we didn’t wait for the federal government to get this right. States (who own the primary responsibility for educating their communities’ children) decided not to whine about the testing insanity that has come to replace standards.
Amazing state partners came together to Do Something about it and create voluntary Common Core State Standards outlining what students should know and be able to do.
The federal government gave us the mindless gimmick called No Child Left Untested. It’s a testing game that has abandoned real standards. The Common Core takes us in a different direction. It’s is a critical first step in an effort to provide every student with a comprehensive, content-rich and complete education that develops the whole, blessed child.
I took a deep, cleansing yoga breath and watched some panel of puny pontificators, who have never stepped in front of a class of 36 hormonally-challenged 7th grade unconscientious objectors to homework, sanctimoniously agree amongst themselves that the only problem with schools these days is: Bad Teachers.
Good Teachers have no problems. So. When there were problems, it must because of: Bad Teachers. I took another yoga breath, threw a pillow at the TV and screamed my best ten potty words. Namaste.
Schools are the current topic of conversation because it’s time to reauthorize the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which provides modest federal education funding for children disadvantaged by poverty, discrimination, disability and language barriers. A Good Thing.
When last reauthorized, it was rebaptized “No Child Left Behind.” Not a Good Thing for many reasons, the least of which is that it mandates what competent researchers have found to be Highly Stupid Tests.