"The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it. There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves." -- John Adams

"No money shall be drawn from the treasury, for the benefit of any religious or theological institution." -- Indiana Constitution Article 1, Section 6.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilisation, it expects what never was and never will be...nor can they be safe with them without information. Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe." – Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, February 26, 2009

...but I'm not the only one...

Guess what the education bloggers are talking about? Right...the President's comments on Charter Schools, Incentives for Teachers (Merit pay?), and all the things that make Arne Duncan happy. Maybe the new version of No Child Left Behind won't be as punitive as it has been under the Bush administration...and that's good...if it turns out that way. Still, Margaret Spelling (Bush's Secretary of Education) is a big fan of Arne Duncan (which in itself is enough to make me sick), and with good reason. He spews the same pro-charter, pro-testing, pro-standards, pro-business roundtable, anti-child-centered-education drivel that has brought public education in the US to the brink of disaster.

This is definitely not change we can believe in.

Time to tell him what we think...Email the President at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/

If you're interested here are some good articles among those critical of the President's speech from Tuesday night...in my order of importance...Click on the title to read the whole thing...or just read the blurb I cut.

by Diane Ravitch
February 24, 2009
Is Arne Duncan Really Margaret Spellings in Drag?
"...Everything I have seen and learned since Duncan came to office has supported Secretary Spellings' admiring comments about Secretary Duncan. It turns out that Duncan, like the Bush administration, adores testing, charter schools, merit pay, and entrepreneurs. Part of the stimulus money, he told Sam Dillon of The New York Times, will be used so that states can develop data systems, which will enable them to tie individual student test scores to individual teachers, greasing the way for merit pay. Another part of the stimulus plan will support charters and entrepreneurs..."

by Jim Horn
February 24, 2009
Roosevelt Economics, Reagan Education Policy
"...The President reminded us tonight that we are going to offer hundreds of billions more to bail out the banks AGAIN, but if the overpaid and lazy teachers expect a raise, they are going to have to prove they can wring out higher test scores for a couple of thousand dollars a year. And as the President reminds us, "from the turmoil of the Industrial Revolution came a system of public high schools that prepared our citizens for a new age," we are now ready to sacrifice that system for a ragged collection of cheap corporate charter schools without public governance..."

by Gerald Bracey
February 25, 2009
On Education, Obama Blows it
"I have not the expertise to address the merits of President Obama's speech to Congress on the issues of the economy. I do claim some expertise on education. He blew it.

"He accepted the same garbage that the propagandists, fear mongers such as Lou Gerstner, Bill Gates, Roy Romer, Bob Wise, Craig Barrett and many others--God help us, Arne Duncan?--have been spewing for years..."

by Norm Scott
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Did Obama Fail His Ed Test?
"So what exactly did Obama say in his speech tonight about reforming education? You see, it's not just about getting resources for schools but about, you know, reform. Like incentives for teachers - you know - merit pay. And charters. And early childhood ed. Well. 1 out of 3 ain't zero.

"But as you drill down it gets worse. Shame on you if you don't graduate from not only high school, but college. Does he know that an overwhelming number of jobs over the next decade - if there are any – will not require a college education? I mean, he is telling us his stimulus plan will stimulate infrastructure jobs - mostly vocational-like skills that do not come from a college education. Then in the next breath he makes it look like you are a failure and unpatriotic if you don't go to college. If anything, he should have talked about NOT going to college and learning how to do the kinds of work with your hands that is so missing in this society..."

by Terry
February 25, 2009
Obama, Charter Schools, and the Pearl
"Nancy Pelosi was a veritable jack(ie)-in-the-box during Barack Obama's speech last night to a joint session of Congress, leaping to her feet to lead an ovation anytime Obama said something inspiring. There was one notable exception, however. When Obama raised the issue of charter schools--
'We'll invest ... in innovative programs that are already helping schools meet high standards and close achievement gaps. And we will expand our commitment to charter schools.'
"--Pelosi remained seated. In fact, the mention of charter schools was perhaps the weakest applause line of the evening..."

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1 comment:

Meg said...

My stomach still hurts. I'm going to email Obama...