Thursday, March 3, 2011
Visit www.newpaige.wordpress.com for a post called Superman's Already Here, on the lies told in "Waiting for Superman," a so-called documentary about failing American schools that was actually funded in large part by the Gates Foundation and supports charter schools and the privatization of American public schools. American schools are not failing; they only look like they are when measured by standardized test scores that correlate to the economic status of student families. Then, schools are judged by their scores on basic skills as opposed to 21st Century Skills (data interpretation, critical thinking, collaboration, communication, adaptability, entrepreneurship, initiative, and more) and penalized if they don't "measure up." That gives federal and state governments the opportunity to cut funding for "under-performing" or "failing" schools when measured by inappropriate data -- as opposed to increasing graduation and college admission rates and falling dropout rates -- in order eventually to close them and hand students and tax dollars over to private education companies. These companies will pay teachers less, using the same tax formula, and thus make millions of dollars in profits on the backs of children, now being less well served. Some of that profit will go to campaigns for the very same far-right legislators who started the cycle. What happens when the bulk of public schools are privatized? What happens when teaching is de-professionalized? Teachers need supports and schools need proper funding. Without both, public schools will fail, and so will the municipalities in which they serve children. As go schools, so go the cities. In the end, all of us will suffer. Our democracy will be undermined. And the top 1% of earners will have won.