Category Archives: Education

Chicago is going to require students to prove that they either have a job, military commitment, college acceptance or etc. in order to graduate high school. Instead of making it a requirement, why can’t they just put more effort into helping students secure their future after graduation?

Massachusetts had the stupidest idea for teachers I’ve seen in a while

I truly disdain these corporate, StudentsLast, Teach for (Corporate)America charter lovers.

If adopted, the consequences of this “performance-based” licensure system would have indeed been dire. First, teacher tenure would be effectively abolished. Forget due process. An educator could have a solid union contract and be doing a pretty good job; if his supervisor decided he wasn’t good enough, he’d lose his license and his job — even if he had Professional Teacher Status, the state’s equivalent of tenure.

Second, teachers’ jobs would be dependent on their supervisors’ goodwill. If they got a “needs improvement” rating, then in order to avoid another such evaluation, for the next four years (until the next license renewal), they would be under great pressure to support every initiative their supervisor proposed, no matter how ill-conceived.

The reason for failing schools is due to CLASS WARFARE, INCOME INEQUALITY and NEOLIBERALISM!

Photo by Chicago Teachers Union Local 1

Andrew Cuomo is worse than a Republican

I’m really sorry to hear Andrew Cuomo come out and support the neoliberal line on education in America.

“Governor Cuomo is wrong on this one,” the W.F.P.’s state director Bill Lipton said in a statement to Capital.

“His proposed policies on public education will weaken, not strengthen our public education system, and they would represent a step away from the principle of high quality public education for all students. High stakes testing and competition are not the answer. Investment in the future is the answer, and that means progressive taxation and adequate resources for our schools.”

Earlier this week Cuomo told the Daily News editorial board that, if he’s re-elected, he intends to “to break what is in essence one of the only remaining public monopolies,” vowing to challenge public school teachers by supporting stricter teacher evaluations and competition from charter schools.

Reed Hastings, Bill Gates and all these other Silicon Valley tech entrepreneurs know nothing about education in this country. They want to turn education into a commodity to be corporatized, hence their love affair with charter schools–the thing that Andrew Cuomo heavily supports. They seek to measure the performance of charter schools using corporate standards that focus on profit and efficiency, which when applied in a classroom setting creates misery as teachers are forced to focus on constant testing instead of students actually learning. Students are made to sit in front of computers for long stretches of time instead of receiving actual instruction from a teacher in the case of Hastings’s Rocketship charter schools.

Think about it: there’s a reason why charter schools remain less prevalent in places like Scarsdale or Edgemont, NY than in low-income areas of New York City. The parents of the well-to-do want good public schools (albeit union free in some cases unfortunatley) not what charter schools have to offer.

As far as Cuomo goes the reason he’s worse than a Republican is because at least with a Republican you know that they’re terrible; being in the Democratic Party gives Cuomo cover to attack liberal and progressive ideals while in office. While he was Attorney General I think Andrew Cuomo did a decent job but when you assume the powers of the executive only then can people see what your true ideology and intentions are.

Photo by New York National Guard

Chomsky on the U.S. public education system

I’d hate to be a kid in the public education system today. Especially if you’re from a low income area. The privatization of education is having a corrosive effect on students today. The obsession on standardized testing and charter schools must be stopped and here’s why.

Here’s Noam Chomsky’s take on our education system.

Chomsky: Well, you may know better than I do. I see the schools only from a distance, but my feeling is, it’s basically correct. I don’t think Duncan and those guys are saying, “Let’s instill capitalist values.” I think what they want to do is instill discipline, obedience and passivity. We’re going to say this is what you have to know to repeat at age 7, at age 10, at age 12. And if you can repeat those things, you go on ahead. If a kid decides “I don’t want to do that. I want to study something else,” you have to stop them.

Photo by jeanbaptisteparis

Mike Rowe makes a good point about college education

Post by CNN.

Mike Rowe is not someone I always agree with but he makes a good point here of talking up the effort to learn a trade. With college tuition remaining unfaffordable to many, plus the fact that many graduates find it difficult to find work these days, learning a trade or a specific technical skill might be a better alternative.

To reiterate the skill you learn doesn’t necessarily have to be construction, manufacturing or mechanically related. It can be computer based like programming, graphic design or information technology.

Photo by USFWS/Southeast

Education alone will not improve social mobility

The problem with just focusing on social mobility is that we assume that everyone will be able to climb the rungs of the societal ladder through the assistance of education. This isn’t the case but even if it were the world would still need people to do the work that keeps it functioning and those jobs are either service or manufacturing based.

One way to fix this problem is to start thinking like this.

Rather than asking individuals to increase their value, we need to transform how we as a society value the work individuals do and how we remunerate the vital contributions of workers, especially those in low-wage jobs, which make our collective lives possible.

This is why fighting for a living wage and universal health care is really important. Getting back to the education viewpoint, we must also realize that the cost of a college education is now unattainable for many, as tuition costs have become entirely unreasonable.

Photo by Steve Rhodes

Why for profit colleges hurt our country

What’s sad is that there are large numbers of minorities going to these for profit entities ending up in debt and with a bad employment outlook.

While the for-profit business model has generally served investors well, it has failed students. Retention rates are abysmal and tuitions sky-high. For-profit colleges can be up to twice as expensive as Ivy League universities, and routinely cost five or six times the price of a community college education. The Medical Assistant program at for-profit Heald College in Fresno, California, costs $22,275. A comparable program at Fresno City College costs $1,650. An associate degree in paralegal studies at Everest College in Ontario, California, costs $41,149, compared to $2,392 for the same degree at Santa Ana College, a mere thirty-minute drive away.

via American Education Is Leaving Our Youth With a Debt Sentence.

Photo by Gage Skidmore

The AFT and the NEA are fed up with Arne Duncan

Both teacher’s unions are locked in a pitched battle with the corporitiziation of education crowd which features Secretary of Education Arne Duncan as its high priest. The main focus of their opposition to Duncan et al. appears to be their fixation on teaching to the test.

NEA President-elect Lily Eskelsen-Garcia is on board, too. She told her convention delegates the week before that “no commercial, mass-produced, industrial-strength standardized factory test should ever be used as the determining factor for any student or adult.” Duncan is an outspoken backer of using test results to rate, hire and fire teachers.

When you think with a corporate mentality testing provides an easy metric. But it doesn’t tell you how well students are really doing, especially if you’re teaching to the test.