Know the clues...

I subscribe to an anti-public education foundation's email updates. You should, too. It makes it mighty easy to see where the "latest and greatest" ideas that are popping up in many public schools come from... and why we should reject them.

Sign up here to follow the Nellie May Foundation and see for yourself.

Clue #1 that this is anti-public school: Sounds wholesome and caring

"The Nellie May Foundation is for anyone looking to put students at the center of education."

Clue #2: Pushes the term, "College & Career Ready."

Clue #3: Describes personalized learning as partly or completely computer-based (Such as blended learning).

Clue #4: Encourages a data driven classroom.

Clue #5: Promotes one good idea, along with several corporate reform ideas.

Can you tell which idea is the good one...?
Ask yourself, "Which ideas would elite private schools implement?"

A. Throw out grades
B. Competency-based education
C. Authentic Assessment

Authentic assessments are local, teacher designed research projects that students perform to demonstrate their knowledge in various learning styles.

Clue #6:  They promote sleek and beautifully produced videos and use attention grabbing questions, like this one: “Need a crash course in student centered learning?” Or this one: “It’s 2015. So why is our education system still functioning like it is 1915?” The PR copywriters often put an opinion out there like it is fact. I know that my children’s teachers and many others do not teach like it is 1915.

They often steal language that was developed by teachers, like when they use the term, student centered.

 Watch this propaganda video to see how these marketing experts try to persuade us that public schools are old fashioned and that computer programs and online learning personalize education (as opposed to teachers). Key clue warning phrases are, "Students work at their own pace," and "Learning happens anytime, anywhere."

The video makes a claim that all four principles it mentions MUST work together for learning to happen. It states, "This is not an a la carte approach." (Read: this is a standardized approach.)

All of teaching is an a la carte approach. Experienced teachers know when to utilize different strategies. These sleek propaganda videos and articles are marketing tools funded by people who will profit from our tax dollars. 

The more you know, the more you see the pattern. Please communicate with your school administrators and school board members when you see the clues. We must speak up and stop the infiltration of corporate reform ideas in our schools. Remember, if America's best private schools aren't implementing these ideas, neither should America's best public schools.

 It can be tough to know who to trust these days... know the clues.


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