Books are Enough

The Power of Free, Self-Selected Reading

Sold Out by AFT, NEA, NCTE, and IRA

Teachers are waging battles against fake reformers, an ill-informed media, politicians, think tanks, testing companies and assorted privateers. On top of all of this stress, the organizations listed in the title of this piece are also lining up against professional educators and public education. It is hard to believe but it is true.

Instead of being able to focus on students, and helping kids survive, we have professional organizations stabbing us in the back and smiling all the way. Each group I named is backing a mandated common core curriculum with massive testing attached. Some claim there is need to have a seat at the table and some say we need standards. Well, all of our states have standards and we should be setting the table, not begging for a seat. There is no need to continue to divert billions to common core, its testing, and all the materials that go with it. Pearson and other testing/publishing companies are licking their chops.

Our professional organizations have given politicians and non-educators the cover needed to claim “we are all in this together.” Teachers must speak up and let the world know that our organizations no longer speak for us on this matter. There is no need for common core since we never had a standards problem. As you know from previous posts, we have a poverty problem. Out international test scores mirror poverty with our low poverty schools and kids at the top of the world. Where is the crisis requiring common core? It does not exist.

There is one group I failed to mention in my title – the USDOE. Arne Duncan is not a teacher and lacks the capacity to think like one.  Duncan- with the approval of the President- has diverted billions to a RTTT program that requires using test scores to evaluate teachers. I have yet to hear DOE defend public education with the proper vigor required. How dare they attach strings to money for kids. How dare they claim reform is state led. DOE offers waivers from NCLB that simply provide a different label on the poison.

Arne Duncan wants compliant teachers- or proctors. DOE sat by as due process rights were taken and RTTT funds were simply fed to Pearson and other testing companies. Duncan wants to test more that NCLB ever envisioned. All of this money is being diverted from classrooms and students. Mr. Duncan, if you expect me to cook I need to be able to buy the ingredients. We must make a stand now and fight for our schools.

The lessons of appeasement are well know but often ignored.

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