Friday, March 30, 2012

Spread the Word!

The following links will guide readers to some of the best resistance on the 'Net  to the new "reforms" our corporate-sponsored government is pushing.  Print a copy out and place them in the teacher's lounge, work room, or wherever messages are posted. Share them through emails or post links to them on your Facebook account as well.  Keep spreading the word.

If you have a Facebook account,  you could join one or all these groups: 
Children are more than test scores , Testing hurts kids  , or  Dump Duncan.  If you don't have a Facebook account, it might be worth opening one up solely to join these groups.  These groups are growing stronger exponentially through word of mouth, being sought out, and necessity.

The Pattern on the Rug
I find this article the definitive answer to "What's happening in education?"  If you read my article, Culture Change or Paradigm Shift, this is Ravitch's stronger, more universal perspective on where education will head without increasing opposition and change.

This is a must see! Empirical evidence that standardized testing is harmful to creativity, students' ability to problem solve, and why studying to "pass the test" is detrimental to learning.  Same case could be made for why all the incentivized teacher evaluations are creating worsening conditions in schools.  

If you only have 4 minutes, be sure to watch minutes from 1:40 to 4:40, then 9:30 - 10:00.
Sign up here as a statement against the direction government is heading.

Here's an excellent article to copy and put in the teacher's lounge:
Why Kids Hate School “While early formal instruction may appear to show good test results at first, in the long term, in follow-up studies, such children have had no advantage. On the contrary, especially in the case of boys, subjection to early formal instruction increases their tendency to distance themselves from the goals of schools, and to drop out of it, either mentally or physically.” —Lilian G. Katz, Professor Emeritus, U. of Illinois

Wait!  There's more good stuff!  Click the link below to continue the article.
An article in Dissent Magazine by Joanne Barkan explains why the current corporate education reform movement, is not only poisoning an entire generation of children and destroying democracy, but is making lots of greedy people very rich. The irony is that those who hold the power of the purse strings are accountable to no one. However, as thousands of people gather this weekend to Occupy the Department of Education in Washington, DC, it is increasingly clear that the real threat to our national security are the private, for-profit interests who have hijacked meaningful education and the creativity and thinking skills needed to move this country into the future and to find solutions to real problems such as climate change, poverty, inequality and progress in general.

Opt Out of Standardized Testing

Mentioned above are two events I would have never known were going on through a local grapevine: a march to "Occupy the DOE in DC", and the ever continuing Opt Out of Standardized Testing group, encouraging parents to protest harmful testing by keeping their students home during the testing window.

Here are two other bloggers I have found.  Check out Angie Villa's artistic blog here.  It's like eye candy that is nutritious.  Her latest blog, We will treasure what we can't meausre speaks volumes. Be sure to check out her Q&A session with the superintendent, and standardization is creepy  then don't miss Jesse Turner's blog, here. His blog is heady and passionate. His latest article, Race to the Top the New Religion of  Fear is an important message for us all. The American education system has never been better, several important measures show. But you’d never know that from reading overheated media reports about “failing” schools and enthusiastic pieces on unproven “reform” efforts. Fri., March 30, 2012.

The Creativity Crisis For the first time, research shows that American creativity is declining. What went wrong—and how we can fix it.

Quick little 3 minute video. Government and corporations look at schools for "economic outcomes" and are creating schools that are "assembly lines for docile, adequately skilled workers."  We have neighbors!

The day Secretary of Education Arne Duncan agrees to have HIS children taught by recent college graduates with 5 weeks of training is the day I begin to take him seriously as an education policy strategist. Right now, by giving tens of millions of dollars to Teach for America, he is insuring that the nation's poor communities are hiring more and more teachers with "qualifications." that would be laughed at in any suburban school district in the country, including the one Duncan sends his children to. Hypocrisy? You decide.

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