Florida was the incubator for what passes as school reform today. Jeb Bush, through his foundations, pushed school vouchers, charter schools, rigid testing and the word school choice, which is code for segregation.
The type of reading we demand students do on reading tests is a type of reading that isn't done anywhere except on reading tests. Well, and of course now, also, in all the classrooms that are trying to get students ready for these inauthentic reading tests.
Every bit of education reform is an excuse to continue the unconscionable neglect of our children. As Pogo wisely noted, "We have met the enemy and he is us." We did this to our children and our schools.
Ironically, when advocates of this system of "profit education" talk about the growing poverty that exists in schools and the need to be able to provide for the well being of the total child, poverty is obfuscated by an insistent claim that it is an excuse, not a cause of poor performance.
Standards are great. We need to have benchmarks for students to promote educational success. But standards work even better when educators are able to gauge the needs of students and determine the best measures to assess their performance.
I want teachers and unions to work with the Gates Foundation on a moratorium, as they engage with states and the federal government to mitigate the extreme damage done by high-stakes testing. But, Duncan became one notch too brazen when he endorsed Vergara.
This November, Americans will choose governors in 36 states, elect the entire U.S. House of Representatives and one-third of the U.S. Senate, select a great majority of their state legislators, and decide who will represent them in hundreds of local elections.
The idea that the richest man in America can purchase and -- working closely with the U.S. Department of Education -- impose new and untested academic standards on the nation's public schools is a national scandal. A Congressional investigation is warranted.
Let's be clear here. Our kids take the journey through school only once; the poorest among them, in particular, need us to get serious about their education while they are on that journey, not years later.
Standardized testing. Two words. Five syllables. Every single teenager is aware of its infamous reputation. Whether it be the SAT, ACT, OAA (in Ohio) or another assortment of random capitalized letters, these tests are dreadful.
Higher education leaders and organizations from across the nation have formed a coalition called Higher Ed for Higher Standards, and have done so believing that we should no longer be content to watch this this issue from the sidelines, much less from above in the ivory tower.