stephanie jones

Archive for September, 2012|Monthly archive page

Teachers and Public Education are Not the Problem – They are the Solution

In democracy, Education Policy, teacher education resources on September 25, 2012 at 10:23 pm

Great piece from PAGE…

By Jim Arnold, Superintendent, Pelham City Schools
Drug abuse education, alcohol abuse education, parenting, character ed, special ed, gender equity, environmental ed, women’s studies, African-American education, school breakfast, school lunch, daily attendance, computer education, multi-cultural ed, ESL (ELL, ESOL), teen pregnancy, Jump Start, Even Start, Head Start, Prime Start, Bright from the Start, Kindergarten, Pre-K, alternative ed, stranger/danger, anti-smoking ed, mandated reporting, CPR training, defibrillator training, anaphylactic shock recognition training, inclusion, internet ed, distance learning, Tech Prep, School to Work, Gifted and Talented, at-risk programs, keyboarding, dropout prevention, gang education, homeless ed, service learning, gun safety, bus safety, bicycle safety, drivers ed, bullying ed, obesity monitoring, BMI (body mass index) monitoring, financial literacy, diabetes monitoring, media literacy, hearing and vision screening, on-line education, CRCT, EOCT, GHSWT, GHSGT phase out, SAT prep, ACT prep, dual enrollment options, post -secondary options, AP, honors, IB, STEM, STEAM, adult ed, career ed, after-school programs, psychological services, RTTT, CCGPS, CCRPI and oh yes – classes……………..shall I go on?

Wonderful ideas all, and each deserving attention – and all have come to be the responsibilities of our schools and teachers.

On top of these (and other duties) we add furlough days, tight budgets, longer school days, larger classes, higher expectations, a political agenda that actively encourages blaming teachers for societal issues, the denigration of public education, market based solutions, teacher evaluations tied to student test scores despite all evidence to the contrary and a continued reliance upon standardized test scores as an accurate depiction of student learning and achievement with no substantive research to support such a position. No wonder teachers are discouraged. No wonder teacher morale is at an all- time low. So in the face of all that and more, is there a silver lining somewhere in that big black thundercloud?

 

Not really.

Add to that burden the daily diatribes blaming teachers for their failure to successfully raise and, almost as anin loco parentis afterthought, educate our country’s children and we begin to see the need for something to replace our outdated, shopworn, hideously corrupt, inefficient and failing system of public education. Hold on just a second…can that be right?

 

Is this a new phenomenon? Has public education deteriorated over the past 30 years or so to its current level, where the Mariana Trench seems a high point by comparison? Not by any stretch of a politician’s fertile imagination. In 1996 E. D. Hirsch called for a return to a traditional approach to public education in “The Schools We Need and Why We Don’t Have Them.”

In 1983, “A Nation at Risk” told us of the apparent failure of our system of public education. The Educational Testing Service discovered in 1976 that college freshmen could correctly answer only half of 40 or so multiple choice questions. In 1969, the chancellor of New York schools, Harvey Scribner, said that for every student schools educated there was another that was “scarred as a result of his school experience.”

 

Admiral Rickover published “American Education, a National Failure” in 1963, and, in 1959. LIFE magazine published “Crisis in Education” that noted the Russians beat us into space with Sputnik because “the standards of education are shockingly low.”

In 1955, “Why Johnny Can’t Read” became a bestseller, and, in 1942 ,the New York Times noted only 6 percent of college freshmen could name the 13 original colonies and 75 percent did not know who was president during the Civil War.

 

The U.S. Navy in 1940 tested new pilots on their mastery of 4th grade math and found that 60 percent of the high school graduates failed. In 1889, the top 3 percent of U.S .high school students went to college, and 84 percent of all American colleges reported remedial courses in core subjects were required for incoming freshmen. The list continues.

You see the harrowing cry “public education is failing” is not new. Sixty years ago, for the majority of the population in the United States, it was true. The reiteration of that cry in temporal terms does not, however, make it so. “To fall short; to be unsuccessful,” says Webster.

 

If 100 percent success is the only acceptable goal, mea culpa. If progress toward that goal is to be a consideration, then perhaps this data from the U.S. Census Bureau casts a new light upon that supposed “failure.”

While there most certainly are individual schools or systems with serious issues, to proclaim the entire system of public education as failing would seem to make as much sense as trading in your car because a tire went flat. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that a significant portion of our Legislature wants us to believe public education is a massive failure because they have something to gain from doing so.

 

I find it more than a little interesting that many of the same group of Georgia legislators who attempt to add significantly to the burden of public school teachers through legislative micromanagement, unfunded mandates and financial underfunding are also among the most vociferous supporters of the Constitutional amendment on charter schools. It would be easier for me to believe their efforts were altruistically based and less motivated by selfish considerations were their children enrolled in public schools.

 

Politicians have never let the truth stand in the way of getting what they want. The Legislature’s insistence on accountability for everyone except themselves would be laughable if the consequences were not so severe for students, teachers and schools working diligently every day to overcome the effects of poverty. They have proposed, through the constitutional amendment, a process that would dismantle the system that offers hope for many in the name of using public money to pay for the education of the privileged few as if public schools and students were only there to allow someone the opportunity to make a gigantic profit. The abandonment of public education will only serve to keep those dependent upon public education as a traditional lifeline as uneducated as possible for as long as possible.

See how well “market based” strategies have worked for schools in Florida. (Here is one exampleHere is a list of many more.)

 

Once again, teachers and public education are not the problem, they are the solution. Sooner or later even legislators must see it’s not about race, it’s about poverty; it’s not about a test score, it’s about student achievement; it’s not about a standardized curriculum, it’s about good teaching; it’s not about the business model, it’s about personalization; it’s not about competition, it’s about cooperation. Vote smart – vote “NO “on Nov. 6.
 

 

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“Thank you Chicago Teachers” from Georgia Educators

In American Dream, democracy, Education Policy, social class, Standing up for Kids on September 23, 2012 at 2:03 pm

This piece is from the Teaching Georgia Writing Collective,  first posted on Maureen Downey’s AJC Get School Blog:

Dear Chicago Teachers,

The Chicago Teachers Union strike will go down as a significant event in history when educators stood up against the destructive powers of privatization and for workers’ job security and a strong middle-class in the United States. We want to thank you for standing up for yourselves, for your students, for public education, and for every teacher who is faced with constant criticism and attacks on their professional dignity. Your courage to stand up, walk out, and demand national attention inspires us and makes us hopeful that your actions will have a positive impact for the working conditions of all teachers, regardless of whether they have union protection or not.

Thank you for challenging the narrow-minded vision of using high-stakes standardized test scores to evaluate student learning, teacher effectiveness, and school rankings.

Thank you for showing America and the world that most teachers do not agree with the heavy-handed policies that have narrowed curriculum and made school a less interesting and enjoyable place for most kids.

Thank you for fighting for the rights of children, youth and families to have access to fully funded public schools that aren’t destroyed by for-profit charters not held to the same level of scrutiny.

Thank you for demanding rights for laid-off teachers.

Thank you for demonstrating to everyone in our country that working conditions for teachers have been deteriorating since before NCLB and won’t be improved by Race to the Top.

Thank you for reminding workers everywhere that they have a right to stand up for injustices in their workplace.

Thank you for teaching your students – and all of us – an important lesson about democracy, labor, and the vision of public education that is handed to us by “reformers” who rarely know anything about real schools and real kids and real teaching. We should all strive to be as courageous as you.

Sincerely,

Teaching Georgia Writing Collective

Enough of the “Teachers are Villains” Narrative

In American Dream, anti-bias teaching, class-sensitive teaching, democracy, discourse, Education Policy, films for teacher education, justice on September 18, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Thanks to L.S. for sharing this on a listserv.

I am going to add some highlighting to the article for those of you reading this during your only bathroom break of the day, or during your leisurely 10-minute lunch time, or as you are rushing to write some notes home to families about how great their kids are.

 

 
Standing up for teachers

By Eugene Robinson, Published: September 17

 

Teachers are heroes, not villains, and it’s time to stop demonizing them.

 

It has become fashionable to blame all of society’s manifold sins and wickedness on “teachers unions,” as if it were possible to separate these supposedly evil organizations from the dedicated public servants who belong to them. News flash: Collective bargaining is not the problem, and taking that right away from teachers will not fix the schools.

 

It is true that teachers in Chicago have dug in their heels against Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s demands for “reform,” some of which are not unreasonable. I’d dig in, too, if I were constantly being lectured by self-righteous crusaders whose knowledge of the inner-city schools crisis comes from a Hollywood movie.

 

The problems that afflict public education go far beyond what George W. Bush memorably called “the soft bigotry of low expectations.” They go beyond whatever measure of institutional sclerosis may be attributed to tenure, beyond the inevitable cases of burnout, beyond the fact that teachers in some jurisdictions actually earn halfway decent salaries.

The fact is that teachers are being saddled with absurdly high expectations. Some studies have shown a correlation between student performance and teacher “effectiveness,” depending how this elusive quality is measured. But there is a whole body of academic literature proving the stronger correlation between student performance and a much more important variable: family income.

 

Yes, I’m talking about poverty. Sorry to be so gauche, but when teachers point out the relationship between income and achievement, they’re not shirking responsibility. They’re just stating an inconvenient truth.
According to figures compiled by the College Board, students from families making more than $200,000 score more than 300 points higher on the SAT, on average, than students from families making less than $20,000 a year. There is, in fact, a clear relationship all the way along the scale: Each increment in higher family income translates into points on the test.

Sean Reardon of Stanford University’s Center for Education Policy Analysis concluded in a recent study that the achievement gap between high-income and low-income students is actually widening. It is unclear why this might be happening; maybe it is due to increased income inequality, maybe the relationship between income and achievement has somehow become stronger, maybe there is some other reason.

 

Whatever the cause, our society’s answer seems to be: Beat up the teachers.

 

The brie-and-chablis “reform” movement would have us believe that most of the teachers in low-income, low-performing schools are incompetent — and, by extension, that most of the teachers in upper-crust schools, where students perform well, are paragons of pedagogical virtue.

 

But some of the most dedicated and talented teachers I’ve ever met were working in “failing” inner-city schools. And yes, in award-winning schools where, as in Lake Wobegon, “all the children are above average,” I’ve met some unimaginative hacks who should never be allowed near a classroom.

 

It is reasonable to hold teachers accountable for their performance. But it is not reasonable — or, in the end, productive — to hold them accountable for factors that lie far beyond their control. It is fair to insist that teachers approach their jobs with the assumption that every single child, rich or poor, can succeed. It is not fair to expect teachers to correct all the imbalances and remedy all the pathologies that result from growing inequality in our society.

 

You didn’t see any of this reality in “Waiting for ‘Superman,’ ” the 2010 documentary that argued we should “solve” the education crisis by establishing more charter schools and, of course, stomping the teachers unions. You won’t see it later this month in “Won’t Back Down,” starring Viola Davis and Maggie Gyllenhaal, which argues for “parent trigger” laws designed to produce yet more charter schools and yet more teacher-bashing.

 

I’ve always considered myself an apostate from liberal orthodoxy on the subject of education. I have no fundamental objection to charter schools, as long as they produce results. I believe in the centrality and primacy of public education, but I believe it’s immoral to tell parents, in effect, “Too bad for your kids, but we’ll fix the schools someday.”
But portraying teachers as villains doesn’t help a single child. Ignoring the reasons for the education gap in this country is no way to close it. And there’s a better way to learn about the crisis than going to the movies. Visit a school instead.

Baby squirrels and other writing distractions

In every day stories on September 16, 2012 at 2:21 pm

I’m supposed to be writing an article and the deadline is looming.

But there are three baby squirrels in my backyard and I can’t keep my eyes off them. I have attempted to persuade myself to see them as menaces, knowing full well that as mature squirrels they will tear up my bird feeder, intimidate the birds I lure into the yard, throw acorn tops down from the trees, and run and jump on my roof way before my alarm clock goes off in the mornings.

But if you could just see the smallest one curled up at the base of the tree trunk where a second stump is attached. Her shining gray hair blending beautifully with the dancing sunlight. I know she is there only because I have watched her every move; someone walking by would never spot her. Her tiny body is dwarfed by the fluffy tail – even if the tail is only one-fourth the size of a mature squirrel’s. And when she finally leaps, it is with the most graceful and silent motion I have witnessed in a long time.

And if you could see her bigger sibling, finding the courage to make her way onto our deck in search of fallen acorns and maybe adventure. She scatters and scampers and makes all kinds of noise when our [little] dog notices her and chases her from one side to another side of the grill. The action stops and she slings herself from the side of the deck down to the grass where she stands so still that her speeding heartbeat is the only evidence of life.

And if you could feel the easy breeze and hear the soft bird songs and listen to the whirrr of cars on the nearby highway and see the gentle movement of the trees against the white-streaked blue of the sky you would know why I’m not writing my article.

I thought I was supposed to be writing that article, but now I think I’m supposed to just be.

Underprivileged children, adopted puppies, and self-satisfied do-gooders

In anti-bias teaching, class-sensitive teaching, Education Policy, satire as critical literacy, teacher education resources on September 15, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Okay, I love The Onion which is satire at its best and “not intended for readers under the age of 18,” but of course I don’t even know how to rate my own blog posts  and sometimes cringe at some of my own content when I receive comments that seem to be from younger adolescents who are searching for answers to their school problems and find my blog helpful. So who am I to judge such slippery notions as age-appropriateness or – even worse in schools – “levels” of reading?

Enough of that, I don’t know how I missed this satirical reporting of young privileged college-educated people sacrificing themselves in service of “underprivileged” children as their volunteer (or, even paid) teachers: My Year of Volunteering as a Teacher

Still not teaching about the strike?

In class-sensitive teaching, democracy, discourse, Education Policy, politics, professional development resources on September 12, 2012 at 11:52 am

Thanks to JT for sending this along…

 

Not teaching about the striking teachers yet? See the real faces behind unions and the fight for public education:

Click here for interviews on-site interviews with teachers.

Common Core for Teacher Education – Go Control Someone Else

In corporations, discourse, professional development resources, teacher education, teacher education resources, Teaching Work on September 11, 2012 at 2:09 pm

The writing has been on the wall for a long time. Policymakers don’t want teachers to think for themselves, to engage students in critical inquiry, to challenge systems of exclusion and privilege, and they definitely don’t want teachers to “wake up” and see how much power they have as a collective force. Controlling teachers in their schools and classrooms is one way to control knowledge, information, and the despicable “outcomes” of our education system. Tying teachers to monotonous tasks, evaluating them based on stupid standardized tests (that are only in place to make publisher friends billions), and keeping them so worried about their individual jobs and livelihood that they can’t possibly have the time or energy to come around a table and share horror stories are all strategies that have been used by politicians and education “CEO”s to ram through their for-profit, pro-corporate agendas.

But the writing I’m talking about is the writing on university walls. The writing that told us we would be held accountable for third graders’ test scores if our graduates taught those third graders, the writing that told us we too would be rated on a Pass-Fall scale based on narrow and submissive standards, the writing that told us that our curriculum would soon be under attack – no more teaching “theory” (God Forbid! Don’t let teachers have access to anything that will make them think more deeply than a state mandated standard!), no more teaching “critical thinking” “multicultural education” “diversity” “social justice” – all that stuff would be perceived as getting in the way of preparing teachers to teach.

And now it’s here. Teacher Education programs are on the track to being regulated by the new Bully on the Block – and of course that bully is anti-union, anti-local control, and as far as I can tell anti-teacher and anti-teacher preparation in universities. Why would an organization about teacher preparation be anti-everything that improves education? Because if they can prove that teacher preparation is “failing” the floodgates for massive for-profit teacher education “charters” will be opened. The same thing happened, and is continuing to happen in K-12. Shift everything from “public” spheres into “private” spheres where more corporations that know nothing about education and pedagogy can slip their greedy little fingers into the cracks and pull them apart to reveal the massive opportunities for money-making.

My response? Go Control Someone Else (maybe your money-grubbing corporate friends), and Keep Your Hands Out of My Mind. You can’t control thought, you can’t control what is taught and learned, you can’t control human beings the way you are trying to. If you keep trying, the efforts will implode, people will wake up and realize that they have been duped and you’ll have a massive problem on your slimy little hands.

The State of Florida has apparently decided that Common Core will be embedded in their entire state’s teacher preparation program. I’m sure there’s push-back from professors and instructors, so I’ll be searching for those to see what’s up. But for the time being I have to mark that state off possible future job opportunities.

Reposted from Susan Ohanian’s website:

FLORIDA COLLEGE SYSTEM TEACHER EDUCATOR PROGRAMS 1ST IN NATION TO IMPLEMENT COMMON CORE TEACHER TRAINING
No comment. What can one say? Florida Teacher Ed people will now train teachers to be sheep.

This is just stunning. Nor surprising but stunning.

I would point out that Chancellor Hanna began his legal career as a law clerk at Bryant Miller Olive in 1982 and served as Managing Shareholder of the firm for 14 years. He is also Chairman of the Chamber of the Tallahassee Area Chamber of Commerce.

But that doesn’t explain why educators feel the need to act like lawyers.

Press Release

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Aug. 2 — The Florida Department of Education issued the following news release:

The Florida College System Teacher Educator Programs are the first in the nation to voluntarily commit to a system-wide implementation of the Common Core State Standards. The new standards will be embedded in the teacher preparation program curriculum throughout the college system so new teachers who enter the classroom will be ready for the more rigorous standards.

“This is an exciting time for Florida — both K-12 and postsecondary — where major reform on both sides is helping students get ready for success,” said Florida College System Chancellor Randy Hanna. “Our system is embracing the new Common Core State Standards and the teachers we are producing will be ready to teach them.”

“The Common Core standards are designed to ensure that all students — not just in Florida but across the nation — are prepared for success in postsecondary education and the workforce,” said Joe Pickens, President of St. Johns River State College and Chair of the Florida College System Council of Presidents. “We’re proud of the fact that Florida is getting out ahead in training our teachers in the standards that ensure students are receiving a high quality education that is consistent from school to school and from state to state.”

The Common Core State Standards have been adopted by 45 states and 3 territories and outline the English/Language Arts and mathematics knowledge and skills for elementary and secondary instruction. The standards are benchmarked to international standards and establish clear, consistent goals for learning in order to prepare students for college and careers. In addition to training new teachers, the Florida College System is uniquely positioned to offer essential Common Core training to current teachers.

“I applaud the Florida College System for taking the bold step of infusing the Common Core State Standards into their educator preparation programs,” said Commissioner of Education Gerard Robinson. “The next generation of educators needs to be ready to teach at an even higher level to effectively prepare their students for career and postsecondary success.”

Faculty members will have the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the Common Core State Standards through lesson demonstrations and implementation planning sessions at specialized training this fall dedicated to higher education faculty. The Florida College System will also make its “Common Core Training Institute” curriculum available to other states interested in following Florida’s lead.

— Florida Department of Education
Press Release
August 02, 2012
http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P3-2728042191.html

Chicago Teachers Strike – Great Opportunity for Teaching Work

In class-sensitive teaching, classism, democracy, discourse, economics and economies, poverty, social class on September 10, 2012 at 2:00 pm

One week after Labor Day, Chicago public school students get a front row seat to lessons in work, labor, unions, and the persistent struggle between workers and employers. The story is everywhere this morning – union teachers in Chicago are striking for the first time in 25 years.

Given the erosion of workers’ rights across the country, even in strongholds like Chicago and New York, it is imperative that workers stand strong and go public about struggles for working conditions and pay that provide respect, dignity, and a decent living. Who better than educators to teach us all a lesson about work?

Some of the big issues for Chicago teachers? 1) Teacher evaluation (working conditions – how we are evaluated matters); 2) Policies that take funding away from existing schools and give it to charter schools that are often for-profit (this is also about working conditions – how workplaces are funded/equipped appropriately or not).

If you decide to open up an inquiry about work, workers, labor, unions, strikes, etc. some questions you might consider:

Why were labor unions formed to begin with, and what were the working conditions that made them necessary?

Labor unions claim to protect the middle-class, in what ways might that be possible?

With global “labor” now available to many multinational corporations, some say that national labor unions aren’t enough. What might global labor unions look like in the future? What kinds of goals would these unions have for our global future in 10, 15, 20 years?

And some really important questions given the rhetoric of teacher strikes “hurting our children” – 

In what ways can unions, and even strikes, protect all of us from being further exploited by employers?

In what ways might unions, and even strikes, protect the “customers” (or clients, or students, or recipients of the services) of the organization or business?

Who benefits from workers unionizing and striking?

Who benefits from  non-union and anti-collective bargaining laws?

Some resources that might be helpful for teachers digging into this with students:

Unionstats.com has a pretty exhaustive database of union membership by state and sector

United States Department of Labor collects data on union membership – compare these stats to Unionstats.com

Interested in basketball? Check out the NBA Players’ Union

Football fan? Check out the NFL Players Association

One of the strongest unions in the country is the United Federation of Teachers in New York City

Service workers have unions and continue to unionize – here’s one example

Trades have their unions too – check out the Plumbers, Steamfitters, and Service Technicians No. 72 in Atlanta of all “Right-to-Work” places!

 

Don’t forget the international contextminers are striking in South Africa where events have been deadly, Spanish miners are striking, and the London Olympics took place among threats of transit strikes and taxi strikes. And the Chinese factory workers who have been said to be willing to work for lower and lower wages under worse working conditions? They started striking last year.

 

 

The Most Important Education of our Time? The Servant Economy and Jeff Faux

In class-sensitive teaching, classism, corporations, economics and economies, politics, poverty, social action, social class on September 9, 2012 at 8:11 pm

I have posted before about the book The Servant Economy by Jeff Faux, but wanted to share this BookTV video with anyone out there who wants to watch it either in conjunction with reading his book or as some strange version of cliffnotes (warning – he doesn’t talk much about the details in the book, so the talk doesn’t “replace” reading in any way, but is interesting nonetheless).

Click here to watch the video

The overwhelming evidence that our country’s jobs are declining and that pay for jobs is stagnant at best and in a sharp downward trend at worst may be the most important education issue of our lifetime. I don’t mean, by the way, that we need “more education” so people can get “better jobs” – I mean, that we need a broad and deep economic education from K-12, into higher education, and in all communities so that we understand the consequences of income inequality and can envision our country’s dark future if we don’t demand something different.

This is not about political parties. Jeff Faux says this well in his talk, and I regularly say this to teaches and principals I work with (though I’m not sure they believe me). Both U.S. political parties have opened the floodgates for global trade, enacted policies bad for U.S. workers, and – this is important – both parties are owned by corporate interests. The last point is one Jeff takes on in his talk – instead of proposing several potential action items, he proposes one: get corporate money out of politics. He suggests that we do this by organizing locally and state-by-state to propose a constitutional amendment that would reform campaign finance.

This is about money. And for some reason, it seems to me, that “money” is left nearly entirely out of curricula at all levels beyond learning to “count” money and occasionally some word problems in mathematics. But money has literally become the engine running our political, social, and economic engines of our country. He (and it is mostly a He) who has money gets to influence the policies governing what our social and political futures will be.

How can we begin the critical conversation about money and influence in elementary, middle, high, and postsecondary school? In community non-profits? In doctor’s office waiting rooms? In unemployment lines? At the park, library, playground and schoolyard?

Let’s at least start talking about it – and if folks will either read or watch videos of some of the most prominent economic voices of our time to educate ourselves about economics and the economic reality we’re living right now, we will at least have some of the language necessary to open up the conversations. And then we can also ask ourselves why most of us have no idea how to think of such things and have such discussions, why social class and any economics education beyond the “basics” of exploitative capitalism are not a part of curricula, and what we’re going to do to change it for our own collective good.

 

Dare we stop cannibalizing one another in the name of education?

In class-sensitive teaching, corporations, democracy, economics and economies, Education Policy, Neoliberalism and Education on September 8, 2012 at 5:46 pm

We’ve heard it a million times over – what can we learn from Finland? Here’s yet another article about lessons from Finland. The online discussion is depressing at best. Most people – even so-called “smart” people – have literally bought into cannibalism competition so much in this country that they can’t see beyond the water in which they swim. While most of the teachers I know and work with are fighting tooth and nail against the negativity of competition in their own classrooms and schools, I still hear educators say things that seem absolutely nonsensical to me – things like “Why should we provide the school supplies for them? That’s not preparing them for the real world at all, no one in the real world will give them anything.”

Really?

In those moments I have to look people in the eye and realize that we are not only speaking completely different languages, we are literally living in different universes and when we look at the same children, our vision and perception couldn’t be more different. Communication across universes hasn’t worked well up to this point, and though I hate it, I have realized that sometimes I need to just walk away and hope that somewhere in the future that person will realize how unethical their stance was in our moment of conversation.

Even if our “real world” is war-torn, filled with hatred, abusive, exclusive, and cannibal-like, is that really how we should create our schools and prepare our children and youth to perpetuate?

Of course not. Any half-way grounded human being knows that. Anyone with even an ounce of empathy or compassion would know that.

But apparently the corporate cannibalism of our country has filled every crevice of our collective consciousness, so much so that many of us see this damaging way of life as the only way.

Dare we stop cannibalizing one another in the name of education? Dare we dream that our youth might envision a more peaceful, collaborative, and equitable future for themselves and all of us? If we dare to dream it, we have to actively speak out – and act out – against the implosive competition that has ravaged our educational system for far too long.

 

 

 

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