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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 11:16 AM
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Teachers Aren't the Enemy


Teachers Aren't the Enemy
By Pedro Noguera and Michelle Fine
April 21, 2011

Public school teachers and their unions are under a sustained assault that is still unfolding. In 2010 Michelle Rhee, former Washington, DC, schools chancellor, announced the creation of a multimillion-dollar lobbying organization for the explicit purpose of undermining teachers unions. She has charged that bad teachers are the primary cause of the problems that beset Americas schools. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has asserted that effective teachers need no experience. Romanticizing the young, energetic, passionate (read: cheap) teacher, he has made eliminating seniority preferences in layoffs (aka, last in, first outor LIFO) his pet cause (it has been stymied for the time being by the state legislature).

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has slashed school aid by $1.2 billion while refusing to comply with a court-mandated formula for school funding equity. He has become a right-wing hero by demonizing teachers, lambasting unions, challenging tenure rights and introducing a crude teacher-evaluation process based on student test scores. Christie is also pushing what he calls a final solution$360 million in tax credits for a tuition voucher system that would permit any child in New Jersey go to any school, public or private, and would include state subsidies for some students already attending parochial schools and yeshivas.

The attack has diverse roots, and comes not only from Republicans. Groups like Democrats for Education Reform have dedicated substantial resources to undermining teachers unions. With Race to the Top, the Obama administration has put its weight behind a reform agenda featuring charter schools, which employ mostly nonunion labor, as its centerpiece. A disturbing bipartisan consensus is emerging that favors a market model for public schools that would abandon Americas historic commitment to providing education to all children as a civil right. This model would make opportunities available largely to those motivated and able to leave local schools; treat parents as consumers and children as disposable commodities that can be judged by their test scores; and unravel collective bargaining agreements so that experienced teachers can be replaced with fungible itinerant workers who have little training, less experience and no long-term commitment to the profession.

None of the reforms on the table address the inequality and opportunity gaps that plague our schools. Raging debates over LIFO, seniority, teacher evaluation and test-based school closings do little to improve schools and much to distract from the real challenges. Moreover, because current reforms have been designed to promote school choice and weaken the unions, they have been exacerbating the challenges rather than fixing them.

Read the full article at:

http://www.thenation.com/article/160090/teachers-arent-...



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cliffordu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 11:21 AM
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1. K&R. IT was a single teacher that taught me to read and probably
kept me out of prison for life.

Some here are nonplussed at that, but them's the breaks.
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CelticThunder Donating Member (460 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 11:44 AM
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2. The Providence, RI, teachers sure were to Obama.
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rustydog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 11:54 AM
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3. My Grandmother taught in a one-room schoolhouse in Montana
and my Aunt taught middle school in the 80's.

Our teachers are our futures salvation.
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disillusioned73 Donating Member (963 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 12:05 PM
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4. K&R
:dem:
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mstinamotorcity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 12:06 PM
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5. Since Brown vs. Board of Education
Children have been removed from public education as if it were the plague. the first thing some Caucasian Americans did was remove their children from these schools once it was deemed that ALL children have a right to public education. They have put public education down ever since. Once a system that produced scholars and brilliance in America was no longer any good. And now that they have corrupted the public school system they had to work over the Teachers and their Unions so they can do away with public education and privatize our taxpaying dollars for private businesses. this way we will have a bunch of uneducated people who can contribute to the low-wage work force. so only those who can afford to be educated will be the ones receiving the quality education. And the jobs to enjoy Dubya's idea of what the middle class earns, one to five million dollars.
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Snoutport Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 12:10 PM
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6. kick
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Thav Donating Member (336 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 12:14 PM
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7. The following statement summarizes the anti-teacher movement:
"A disturbing bipartisan consensus is emerging that favors a market model for public schools that would abandon Americas historic commitment to providing education to all children as a civil right. This model would make opportunities available largely to those motivated and able to leave local schools; treat parents as consumers and children as disposable commodities that can be judged by their test scores; and unravel collective bargaining agreements so that experienced teachers can be replaced with fungible itinerant workers who have little training, less experience and no long-term commitment to the profession."

People will argue that "market forces" will create "better selection" for education. That way better schools will be created and parents will have the choice on where to send their children. Except that market forces will also recognize "market value" of these institutions. A school that is very good, will also be very expensive because it will be in high demand. Whereas schools that aren't as good will be priced in a way that is affordable.

This will result in only one thing: More class divisions. The rich will be able to afford the Cadillac schools, where the poor are made to suffer through the lower-standard schools. Teachers will no longer be members and mentors to a community, they will become corporate ladder climbers - hopping from rung to rung as fast as they can.

Charter schools mean children have become profit centers instead of students. It is because of this we have completely destroyed the future for our children.
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