The Myth of Education “Reform”

My LTE made the Cap Times website, in a slightly edited version. Here is the full letter(with links):

Now that school has resumed, it is time for a summer refresher course. While many people were enjoying their summer vacation, the Governors “budget repair” bill went into effect. Which means that everyone who works in our schools, were forced to take an approximate 12% pay cut and that money to the public education on our great state as slashed to the tune of $1.6 billion dollars. In the Monona Grove School District, that means we will get approximately $1.2 million less in state funds. These drastic cuts directly affect the quality of education our children are getting.

The current majority in the Capitol have decided that the way to “reform” education is to end teachers union and demonize teachers. Recently, right wing radio sqwauker Vicki Mckenna sent her listeners to hand out pacifiers to teachers in New Berlin who wanted to have a say in the work rules of their school. Is this the way to ensure our children are receiving the best education possible?

In reality, while a teacher’s role in the classroom is incredibly important, it pales in comparison to other external factors a child confronts on a daily basis(socio-economic background, parents education level, poverty level, language skills, neighborhood violence, hunger, etc…) . To pretend to “reform” education without addressing these issues assures failure.
The problem is the current “reform” crowd is not interested in improving education, their sole purpose is to privatize it.

Governor Walker has brought the “Shock Doctrine” to our great state and our local classrooms. As an education consultant/reformer stated in a recent NY Times article \"Let\'s hope the fiscal crisis doesn\'t get better too soon. It\'ll slow down reform.\" We are at a point in our history where we need to decide if this is the path we want to follow or not.

If you think we need to stop demonizing teachers and shortchanging our children’s education, then call your local elected representatives and remind them that education is an investment, NOT an expense. As Derek Bok said “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.”

And say “Thank You” to the teachers and staff at your local schools!

Cross Posted at ForwardLookout.


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