"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 2, 2012

Random Quotes

...from How to Demoralize Teachers -- Diane Ravitch
Interesting that teaching is the only profession where job ratings, no matter how inaccurate, are published in the news media. Will we soon see similar evaluations of police officers and firefighters, legislators and reporters? Interesting, too, that no other nation does this to its teachers...If ever we get past this terrible time of teacher-bashing and blame-shifting, Arne Duncan and his ignominious Race to the Top have a lot to answer for. And so will the irresponsible leadership of the New York City public schools, which cares so little for the morale and spirit of those whom they presumably lead.

...from This Absurd Takeover of Our Public Life -- Deborah Meier
I've been so used to trying to persuade powerful people that we can't base good schooling on simple tools of "measurement" that I forgot that they truly don't care.

...from Teachers Face Good Cops or Bad Cops in Push for Evaluations -- Anthony Cody
...the idea that we can fire our way to better schools has a fatal flaw. It assumes there are fresh teachers ready to take the place of those we fire. Given that our high poverty schools already have turnover rates in the neighborhood of 20% a year, and about 50% of beginning teachers wash out in their first five years, the idea that we will improve our schools by firing even more is hard to believe. Where are the high quality teachers going to come from to replace those we fire? School improvement is much more complex than this, and the foundation has to be based on building the profession.

...from A corporate reform coup d’etat in Bridgeport -- Norm Pattis
We could turn the schools over to the Koch brothers or to Donald Trump, we could pave the hallways with gold, we could buy each student a diamond studded Rolex, and it would not change the underlying fact that what causes poor performance in the schools is urban distress. Do you want better performance in school? Then provide adequate housing, employment opportunities, safe streets.

...from Why don’t top private schools adopt corporate-driven reforms? -- Bruce D. Baker, a professor in the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.
Private independent schools pride themselves on offering small class sizes and a diverse array of curricular opportunities, as well as arts, sports and other enrichment – the full package. And, as I’ve shown in my previous research, private independent schools charge tuition and spend on a per pupil basis at levels much higher than traditional public school districts operating in the same labor market. They also pay their headmasters well!...In fact...private independent schools may just be among the least reformy elementary and secondary education options out there.

...from In Case You Misunderstood Their Power for Something Lesser -- James Boutin
If you misunderstood corporate reform's power for something lesser, I bid you good morning. In my view, corporate reform is in the process of wiping the floor with teachers and their unions in district after district, and state after state. They have more money; they have more time; they have more powerful people; and they have better tactics. While the people who work around education on a daily basis attempt to solve the problems in their schools or districts, corporate reform is figuring out what talking points will be most effective in Newsweek and what political plays will most effectively destroy the power of teachers and their unions. Those of us who are doing meaningful work and understand the potentially devastating effects of corporate reform's solutions (BECAUSE WE HAVE REAL EXPERIENCE IN SCHOOLS) are, in a very real way, too exhausted to mount an effective defense after having dealt with real problems all day long.

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