|The Best Weapon Against Corporate Ed Reform is Refusal|
In a move akin to the cigarette industry demanding inquiries into lung cancer, our First Reformer President Obama is now feigning concern and outrage over the amount of high stakes testing he and his reformer pals have inflicted on American children. Like Andrew Cuomo here in New York Obama is not digging the way his education mandates are blowing up in his face leaving him covered in globs of putrid ed reform splatter. And again if I haven't made the case well enough by now please note the large "D" after the names of both Obama and Cuomo and do not be fooled by people like AFT President for Life Weingarten who'd love to tell you it's ALEC and the GOP alone who are attacking teachers and making school into a singularly regrettable exercise in test prep and edudrudgery. Our great "friends" the Dumbocrats -- who pander and suck up in the waning weeks before election day then turn the guns on us as soon as they get into office -- need to be held accountable for the chaos and destruction they've rained down on public education in America. They don't need to be endorsed or handed hundreds of thousands in Vote COPE funds, they need to be held at arm's length and left hanging until they prove they can be trusted to stop stabbing us in the back.
It strikes me that Obama's cynical call to cap standardized testing can be viewed as something of a State of the Ed Reform Union statement when the larger context of Corporate Ed Reform's national failures are brought into view.
- Up in Chicago, another Obama crony Mayor Rahmbo Emanuel's hand picked CEO of Chicago Public Schools Barbara Byrd Bennett is off to make little ones out of big ones for 7 years after pleading guilty to enriching herself with kickbacks instead of working to improve Chicago Schools for the kids and parents being shortchanged by her.
- In Seattle a Teacher's strike has been settled. In a slap in the face for reformers, test scores are being removed as part of teacher evaluations while Recess is being guaranteed to kids who were losing it to accomodate the testing beast.
- In New Mexico, another victim of ed reform's baleful influence, PARCC scores were reported last week with terms like "dismal" and "very low." Anyone seeing a pattern here friends?
- Here in Buffalo our own Board of Ed can't seem to follow directions in implementating the recommendations of Dr. Orfield and the Office of Civil Rights. Carl Paladino's thoughtful suggestion is "shove it let em sue us."
- Down in Hillsborough County Florida, the former stomping grounds of NYSED Commissioner MaryEllen Elia, the district is unraveling the disastrous results of an unholy coupling with Bill Gates which appears to have put them in a lowball estimate of $20 million in debt with very little to crow about in the improvement department.
- In Jersey, Zuckerberg's Facebook millions were supposed to make the schools shine and light the way for the rest of the country. Instead they led to massive layoffs, school closings and Chris Christie grinding his tusks about bad teachers.
- Meanwhile, back in New York State the 3 Horse's Asses of the Edpocalypse Lil John King, Old Bob Bennett and Dragon Empress Tisch are no more. Kinger was flushed by Cuomo to D.C. in exchange for some old Palm Pilots and a case of HP toner. Bennett was stuck on an ice floe by Carl Heastie and Co. replaced by spring chicken Catherine Collins and Tischy is getting the hell outta town before the next round of Test Refusals can be hung around her neck.
A few years ago someone (Andrew Cuomo) thought this Trifecta of Fail could be sent around the state like some Headless Horse's Ass of Ed Reform to bully and cow the citizenry into silence. Instead they got their asses handed to them before Bennett could even catch a decent nap. The petulant and imperious King tried to cancel the entire charade but was told by his bosses to grow a set and get back out there. Now they wouldn't dare show their faces in public let alone try to shut parents up about Common Core and Testing in a free for all forum.
I guess the question I'm wondering about lately is if the whole ed reform movement is such a great idea and it's here to save the children from their lazy greedy overpaid teachers, then why is it failing every single place it's gained traction? Sure seems to me like the ed reform mojo should have caught fire somewhere by now to put teachers unions and their members to shame and show us how it's done. Still waiting...