Public Schools, Private Gains

In a Civitas article appearing today, Mr. Hood notes the value added to education by, and the reasons some schools are successful as:

..a shared vision, a dynamic leader, rigorous curriculum, community support

None of which can be measured by test scores.

As to policy makers, he says:

... they should then largely get out of the way and let districts, schools, and educators make their own choices about operational matters. It’s best to think about school reform as a process of discovery and replication, not one of social engineering and bureaucratic compliance.

About two-thirds of peer-reviewed studies find a statistically significant link between the degree of school autonomy and student outcomes.

Teachers have been asking policy makers to let them alone to teach for a long time. "Bureaucratic compliance!" What does he think test scores are?

Every time NCGA micromanages education they step between teachers and students. And, of late, the NCGA micromanaging has been inspired by ALEC-proposed legislation. ALEC claims that they alone know the appropriate silver bullets that will 'fix' education. Ask the teachers themselves? Pffftt! The corporate world that financially supports the American Legislative Exchange Council looks at tax dollars for education not as an investment in the future for our state and our country, but as a source of income for another corporation. They looked, saw a big pile of potential profits, and leapt at it. The push to 'grade' teachers by their student's test scores sets up an opportunity for a business to create and administer tests--and get paid for it. That would seem to be a "simple and fictional' solution to a 'complex and deeply rooted' situation. The wholly rational concept of setting standards by grade level that would be adhered to by all the states morphed into corporate-back Common Core, with corporations poised to make a killing from selling new teaching materials (and more tests) to schools. Vouchers? Blatantly intended to send tax dollars, with absolutely no accountability, to private businesses. Charter schools with for-profit management companies also turn our tax dollars into an end of year bonus for an out of state CEO. Non-profit charter schools undermine teacher quality, teacher certification, teacher unions and associations.

Conservative policy makers have been pushing their own agenda. Mr. Hood has just admitted that some of what goes into successful education outcomes simply cannot be measured by the tests he and others support. The only werewolves in education are the corporate raiders who seek to plunder the public purse for their own, private gain. You can find Mr. Hood here.




Makes me retch

Common Core

Autonomy is great. So is a universal body of knowledge that every high school graduate should be exposed to.

I think we can support both autonomy in operational matters AND Common Core standards.


The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR