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This is an issue that needs more attention.
"Never have public schools been as subject to upheaval, assault, and chaos as they are today. Unlike modern corporations, which extol creative disruption, schools need stability, not constant turnover and change. Yet for the past dozen years, ill-advised federal and state policies have rained down on students, teachers, principals, and schools." - Diane Ravitch
The "last dozen years" that Ms Ravitch is referring to are the years of George Bush's "No Child Left Behind" and the Obama/Duncan sequel, "Race to the Top". But as we all know - it really all stated with Ronald Reagan. His National Commission on Excellence in Education put out a report in 1983 called A Nation at Risk: The Imperative For Educational Reform. It formalized the notion, and “catapulted the propaganda” that underlies what is happening today – the propaganda that US public schools are failing. This notion needs to be widely accepted in order to make the “disaster capitalism” remedies proposed seem plausible.
The newest weapon in the war on public education are the Common Core “State” Standards - with their attendant computerized standardized testing, massive data collection requirements and their ranking, evaluation and punishment regimes.
The above article by Diane Ravitch, Everything You Need to Know About Common Core, is a wonderful background piece. I would love to see Diane Ravitch as a guest on the show. Dr. Ravitch is a respected education historian, author, and a former Assistant Secretary of Education during the GW Bush administration. Another great guest would be Mark Naison, a professor of African-American studies and history at Fordham University and a cofounder of the Badass Teachers Association – teachers who are part of the fight to save public schools and the profession of teaching.