"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

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Daily Show: Diane Ravitch - Teachers vs. Wall Street

Last night Diane Ravitch was a guest on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Some of her points included:
  • Our schools as Test Prep Factories.
  • Finland's successful schools without standardized tests, and with fully unionized teachers.
  • Low poverty schools are succeeding...the high poverty and racially isolated schools are the ones with poor performance. If you're homeless and hungry learning is more difficult.
  • The whole public monologue has been blame the teachers for everything. The focus has been on how to find bad teachers. America is not overrun with bad teachers - it's overrun with children living in poverty.
  • We need to make sure that our children all have adequate health care, food, shelter and access to literacy.

Earlier in the show Stewart had a segment showing the hypocrisy in the media which claimed that teachers are overpaid, while Wall Street companies bailed out by the taxpayers still needed to give their CEOs and Execs bonuses. One of the contrasts was between the $50,000 (plus about $30,000 in benefits) salary of teachers in Wisconsin - which was presented as excessive, and the reasons why the "poor folks" making $250,000 a year should continue to reap the benefits of the Bush tax cuts.

According to what Stewart presented, Governor Walker (R-Wisconsin) is going to cut $800 million over the next two years...from the education budget in the state. Meanwhile he is pushing for more tax breaks for wealthy people.

I can see the result now...
  • Lower taxes have resulted in
  • Drastic cuts in education funding, which will result in
  • Lower test scores, especially from children in poverty, which will result in
  • More public school and teacher bashing which will result in
  • Less support, politically and economically, for public schools which will result in
  • The continued destruction of Public Education in Wisconsin, and by extension (since similar scenarios are being played out all over the country), America.
Here's a link to Ravitch's book...The Death and Life of the Great American School System


1 comment:

Stu said...

UPDATE: From Valerie Strauss, The Answer Sheet:

"As a reminder of Stewart’s influence, it is worth noting that Ravitch’s book shot up from 758 (which is still pretty terrific for an education policy book published last spring) to within the top 50 selling books on Amazon.com this morning. The book chronicles her change in position and why the country’s school reform agenda will harm schools rather than help them."