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Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Alternate Universe of Common Core Reform


Welcome to the wonderful word of frustrated, intelligent, hardworking education advocates who spend countless hours researching, reading and blogging for no motive except protecting our children, their education, and their self-esteem. Some education reformers can't wrap their brains around the concept that some people work hard because they care, not because they are motivated by the Benjamins.




It is my pleasure to introduce you to Crazy Crawfish, from Louisiana. "His friends know him
as Jason France. He worked in the assessment division of the Louisiana Department of Education until he couldn’t stand it anymore."


It turns out that New Orleans is what folks call Ground Zero for education reform. 
After the horrific destruction of the city by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, our "revered" Secretary of Education said, "the (hurricane was the) best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans." 




Now Mr. Duncan labels people like me, who question his policies, “armchair pundits.”  He states that people like me must live in an alternate universe for having our own perspectives on education. Ones that are very different from what he espouses.

I am not in an armchair, Mr. Duncan, or an alternate universe. I am in the classroom. I am proctoring your tests. I teach my students to question authority respectfully, which is what I do in this blog. It is what Crazy Crawfish does, too. The things he writes about below are headed our way, if we do not spread the word.

At the very least, we must slow down this destructive agenda. 




post-Katrina New Orleans has been Ground Zero for efforts to privatize schools and weaken teacher unions—hallmarks of education reform. After the hurricane, the vast majority of New Orleans public schools were taken over by the states’ Recovery School District—the district that was subsequently headed by John White. Nearly all of the city’s 7,500 public school employees were fired, although a few were later rehired. The post-Katrina shock also saw the advent of a limited voucher program and a massive expansion of charter schools, many of them for-profit. Education Secretary Arne Duncan actually said that Hurricane Katrina was “the best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans,” - See more at: http://www.thenation.com/article/170649/why-do-some-americas-wealthiest-individuals-have-fingers-louisianas-education-system#sthash.S4O0WscB.dpuf
post-Katrina New Orleans has been Ground Zero for efforts to privatize schools and weaken teacher unions—hallmarks of education reform. After the hurricane, the vast majority of New Orleans public schools were taken over by the states’ Recovery School District—the district that was subsequently headed by John White. Nearly all of the city’s 7,500 public school employees were fired, although a few were later rehired. The post-Katrina shock also saw the advent of a limited voucher program and a massive expansion of charter schools, many of them for-profit. Education Secretary Arne Duncan actually said that Hurricane Katrina was “the best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans,” - See more at: http://www.thenation.com/article/170649/why-do-some-americas-wealthiest-individuals-have-fingers-louisianas-education-system#sthash.S4O0WscB.dpuf

As Naomi Klein detailed in The Shock Doctrine, post-Katrina New Orleans has been Ground Zero for efforts to privatize schools and weaken teacher unions—hallmarks of education reform. After the hurricane, the vast majority of New Orleans public schools were taken over by the states’ Recovery School District—the district that was subsequently headed by John White. Nearly all of the city’s 7,500 public school employees were fired, although a few were later rehired. The post-Katrina shock also saw the advent of a limited voucher program and a massive expansion of charter schools, many of them for-profit. Education Secretary Arne Duncan actually said that Hurricane Katrina was “the best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans,” - See more at: http://www.thenation.com/article/170649/why-do-some-americas-wealthiest-individuals-have-fingers-louisianas-education-system#sthash.S4O0WscB.dpuf
post-Katrina New Orleans has been Ground Zero for efforts to privatize schools and weaken teacher unions—hallmarks of education reform. After the hurricane, the vast majority of New Orleans public schools were taken over by the states’ Recovery School District—the district that was subsequently headed by John White. Nearly all of the city’s 7,500 public school employees were fired, although a few were later rehired. The post-Katrina shock also saw the advent of a limited voucher program and a massive expansion of charter schools, many of them for-profit. Education Secretary Arne Duncan actually said that Hurricane Katrina was “the best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans,” - See more at: http://www.thenation.com/article/170649/why-do-some-americas-wealthiest-individuals-have-fingers-louisianas-education-system#sthash.S4O0WscB.dpuf
post-Katrina New Orleans has been Ground Zero for efforts to privatize schools and weaken teacher unions—hallmarks of education reform. After the hurricane, the vast majority of New Orleans public schools were taken over by the states’ Recovery School District—the district that was subsequently headed by John White. Nearly all of the city’s 7,500 public school employees were fired, although a few were later rehired. The post-Katrina shock also saw the advent of a limited voucher program and a massive expansion of charter schools, many of them for-profit. Education Secretary Arne Duncan actually said that Hurricane Katrina was “the best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans,” - See more at: http://www.thenation.com/article/170649/why-do-some-americas-wealthiest-individuals-have-fingers-louisianas-education-system#sthash.S4O0WscB.dpuf
Below Crazy Crawfish "critiques Arne Duncan’s critique of critics who live in 'an alternate universe.'" 


I may not know the secret to fixing every school, but I know what doesn’t
work: 


Arne Duncan.
Also: Closing the schools
Firing all the teachers
Busing all the kids hours away to new schools
Putting 50+ kids in a class
Virtual schools
Common core
Stripping funding from them
Handing then over to profit centric people
TFA
Handing everyone an ipad instead of a good teacher
Continued testing
Vouchers
Forcing all disabled kids to take ACT
Charters with fascist mandatory marches
Narrowing curriculum to exclude arts, history, science
USED (United States Education Department)
Resegregation
Schools that teach creationism
Schools that treat kids like products instead of people
Mass school closings Etc
(Basically anything Arne Duncan does)
By opposing Arne Duncan, if we do nothing else, we are improving schools by delaying
him from destroying them.




This is all non-fiction, folks. Fact check it, read it, and weep. It is coming our way. In fact, much of it has already arrived. I can't wrap my brain around why our leaders want to take these steps backwards in progress. But it is up to us to tell them that we don't like what they are selling. We don't want it, we won't buy it, and we can't be fooled.

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