"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

Monday, March 1, 2010

Fire the principals and the teachers...

Jim Horn, one of the Schools Matter bloggers, is bitter. His writing is angry and insulting. But, he's correct.

In his latest post, America's Broken Promise Alliance, or No Chamber of Commerce Left Behind he talks about accountability. President Obama went to the U. S. Chamber of Commerce and announced a new accountability plan.

[begin paraphrasing]

The accountability is not for the corporations who ruined the economy. It's not for the Wall Street types who made millions from American workers and homeowners. Congress and/or the White House don't have to be accountable for insurance companies and drug manufacturers who take advantage of sick Americans with little oversight.

No, the accountability the President is peddling has bipartisan support. He, Arne Duncan, and their friends Bill Gates, Eli Broad, and other "reformers" want to fire principals and teachers in the poorest schools in the nation. They need to be fired because they have not solved the poverty problem that Washington and Wall Street continue to ignore.

[/end paraphrasing]

With the highest instance of childhood poverty in the industrialized world, our politicians don't want to accept responsibility so they don't "see" the correlation between poverty and education. If they did, then they would have to admit to their constituents that "we're not really #1" something that the average voter doesn't want to hear.

Stephen Krashen wrote:
Students from high-income families attending well-funded schools outscore all or nearly all other countries on tests of math and science. Only our children in high-poverty schools score below the international average. Children living in poverty do poorly because of factors unrelated to school (e.g. diet, pollution, little access to books). Our national scores are unimpressive because the US has the highest percentage of children living in poverty of all industrialized countries (25%, compared to Denmark's 3%).
Public Education might just end up as the latest in a long line of casualties of poverty in the US.

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