"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, August 11, 2011

2011 Medley #7: The War Against Educators

Here are three powerful messages about teaching in the United States. Read these and then answer the questions:
  • Where will the next generation of teachers come from?
  • Who will commit to a de-professionalized career in education?
  • How will the current educational "reform" affect public education in America? 
Firing LIne: The Grand Coalition against teachers
With the zealots’ mix of certainty and fervor, ed reformers have made this a wretched time to be a public school teacher. Indeed, fewer and fewer people are interested in trying. In the last seven years, the number of Californians seeking to become teachers dropped 45 percent (California Watch, December 14, 2010). In 2011, due to declining interest, Yale ended both its undergraduate teacher preparation and certification program and its Urban Teaching Initiative, a tuition-free M.A. program for students committed to teaching in New Haven’s public schools. Teachers all over the country—in affluent districts as well as high-poverty schools—are dispirited. In New York City, 50 percent of all new hires leave after five years in the classroom.
Rewriting the Attack on Teachers by Lawrence O'Donnell, a political analyst on MSNBC.
I spent a few years after college as a Boston Public School teacher, and I loved it but I was never committed to it -- committed to it as a career. I moved on to easier, better paying jobs like this one...Teachers who have committed their lives to the classroom deserve better than our politics has given them...
What Is Wrong With This Picture?
All across the country, education is under attack on numerous fronts. No matter where you look, educators are to blame for the economic woes in many states. This is extremely puzzling to me, as it is well known that this downturn in our economy was a result of misguided, unregulated, or greedy practices of the private sector. Educators then became the scapegoats as a message of "shared sacrifice" swept the country.

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