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Saturday, January 23, 2016

NAACP Supports PUBLIC schools, NOT Charter Schools!

With so many profit-minded corporate education reformers & hedge funders touting that their ideas are the civil rights issues of our times, it is great news that America's oldest and largest civil rights organization says "No thanks" to charter schools.



 The NAACP has made the following resolution on charter schools:

In a process established by the NAACP Constitution, this resolution was adopted by the delegates to the 101st Annual Convention in Kansas City, Missouri, during the legislative session in July, 2010. It was subsequently ratified by the NAACP National Board of Directors at its meeting on October 15, 2010. This resolution is now the policy of the Association, and is “binding on the Board of Directors, the Executive Committee, the Officers, and all units.”

WHEREAS, charter schools are public schools which were originally designed to explore new approaches to educate students; and

WHEREAS, in some cases, charter schools have become a school model that is used to segregate students; and

WHEREAS, charter schools have too seldom informed the education community regarding innovative instructional strategies that accelerate academic achievement in the general population of students; and

WHEREAS, the Center for Research in Educational Outcomes (CREDO) which examined charter school data in fifteen (15) states and the District of Columbia confirmed that only 17% of the charter school students in the study outperformed their peers, while 46% performed no better and 37% performed worse; and

WHEREAS, charter schools operate more autonomously than traditional public schools in the use of funds, adherence to state laws and school policies, selection and removal of students, and the selection and removal of staff, thus creating separate and unequal conditions for success; and

WHEREAS, charter schools draw funding away from already underfunded traditional public schools; and

WHEREAS, the NAACP recognizes that at best, quality charter schools serve only a small percentage of children of color and disadvantaged students for whom the NAACP advocates relative to said population left behind in failing schools; and

WHEREAS, the NAACP recognizes the urgent need to provide quality education for all children, not only those fortunate enough to win lotteries to attend existing quality charter schools; and

WHEREAS, the NAACP is committed to finding broad based, effective solutions for immediate implementation to improve the quality of public education for all children.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP will strongly advocate for immediate, overarching improvements to the existing public education system; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP rejects the emphasis on charter schools as the vanguard approach for the education of children, instead of focusing attention, funding, and policy advocacy on improving existing, low performing public schools and will work through local, state and federal legislative processes to ensure that all public schools are provided the necessary funding, support and autonomy necessary to educate all students; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP will urge all of its Units to work to support public schools throughout the nation to educate all children to their highest potential.

Roslyn M. Brock Leon Russell Benjamin Todd Jealous
Chairman Chairman President & CEO
National Board of Directors Committee on Resolutions
Please pass this on.

Also, read this first hand account of what it was like to be the dean of a "No Excuses" charter school in New Orleans. The author titles his post, “Colonizing the Black Natives.” Just shameful.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Needed: The Return of Common Sense



"As a result (of the push for college and career "readiness"), this process (of learning) tilted away from the more traditional aims of self-actualization, appreciation, and happiness. It is in the ability to check off a box of measurable outcomes, assurance of accountability in education across the levels, evidence that monies supporting public education are well-spent creating people ready to contribute and perpetuate the status quo."


We must demand that our schools keep the high bar of developing a love of learning, creativity, and critical thinking, rather than what the state and federal politicians push for in MEASURABLE OUTCOMES.



“School readiness, a state we so avidly seek, has created a chain (in all senses of the word) between our youngest students and the labor force, reinforcing the idea of children as commodities.”

The real purpose of this push for "readiness" is about getting corporate hands on our tax dollars:

"Curriculum, standards, teacher education programs, interventions, parent education, assessment, state-funded 4-year-old programs, and privatization are just the beginning of policies and practices created and implemented all in the name of readiness…kindergarten readiness is plagued with a list of academic skills like identifying rhyming words and the alphabet. Companies like LeapFrog offer lists of readiness skills to educate the public as well as products to achieve this readiness. A Kindergarten Readiness App is available for download to your iPhone or iPad, ensuring development of early literacy and math skills."

"The authors note that employers say that high school and college graduates are not well prepared for the jobs that are available but when asked about the skills they want, they speak of creativity, critical thinking skills, problem-solving, and other “soft” skills that are currently out of vogue."

Parents must trust our common sense and instincts. We must make our voices heard.


Saturday, January 16, 2016

Read this to understand why all of our schools are under attack



This blog post explains how the book below can easily apply to Capitalism vs Public Education.





"IT’S ALL CONNECTED: The corporate interests that are driving privatization and global control of health services, access to food and water, and management of other public institutions (i.e. prisons) are the same corporations using the same playbook, to dismantle public education.  And this issue is GLOBAL."


"The existing structure is, as Klein illustrates (p. 48), hierarchical (top down) whether by government or by corporations (since the ladder owns the former), and highly “individualistic” (think, CBE as the new model for individualized learning at one’s own pace and interests, AKA computer-based learning).  The same ideological interests in big coal and oil support the ALEC agenda to eliminate public education. Think-tanks and corporate sponsored researchers work diligently to influence public education policy with questionable data. Charter “success” = jumbo shrimp. Or think of this analogy: Monsanto is to food production what Pearson is to education “innovation.” Both claim to have a solution to our 21st century problems (food scarcity/21st century learning for all children) when if fact, while they reap profits from privatizing a public good (food production/education) they exacerbate existing human inequalities. Any solution that does not have at it core a focus on equity and rights for the people is no solution at all."



“The process of taking on the corporate-state power nexus that underpins the extractive economy is leading a great many people to face up to the underlying democratic crisis that has allowed multinationals to be the authors of the laws under which they operate …. What is a democracy if it doesn’t encompass the capacity to decide, collectively, to protect something that no one can live without” (Naomi Klein, p. 361)
 
 
"The fossil fuels are like the standardized testing. It’s over. 
But they hang on, claiming to be necessary when in fact they’re not."
 
 
 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Yes, the Emperor has no clothes..

The media is finally catching up to the bloggers! Read this article in Salon to see what I mean.

What a headline:

"We’re onto the phony education reformers: Charter school charlatans and faux reformers take it on the chin. "


Bill Gates, Michelle Rhee, Arne Duncan (Credit: AP/Ted S. Warren/Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Andrew Harnik)


"After years of attacks on teachers and public education, Americans are catching up to the real story in our schools."

I bet deep down you have known this all along.

We are finally seeing the media report that the Emperor has no clothes. 

And it is about time.


"'How is this?' said the Emperor to himself. 'I can see nothing! This is indeed a terrible affair! Am I a simpleton, or am I unfit to be an Emperor? That would be the worst thing that could happen--Oh! the cloth is charming,' said he, aloud. 'It has my complete approbation.' And he smiled most graciously, and looked closely at the empty looms; for on no account would he say that he could not see what two of the officers of his court had praised so much."

 

"But the Emperor has nothing at all on!" said a little child.

"Listen to the voice of innocence!" exclaimed his father; and what the child had said was whispered from one to another.

"But he has nothing at all on!" at last cried out all the people.