Wednesday, August 22, 2012


from Diane Ravitch’ blog |

August 22, 2012   ::  I have often been struck by the uneven playing field that policymakers and legislators establish for charter schools and public schools. The public schools are increasingly strangled by regulations and by high-stakes testing and punitive evaluations, at the same time that the charter schools are exempt from most of the strangulation. I have heard many times from principals who say that they want to turn their public school into a charter so they can escape the tentacles of regulation that are wrapped tight around their school. And I have wondered whether the purpose of “reform” was to make public schools fail while the deregulated charter schools increase and thrive.

Here is another take on the current corporate reform movement, inspired by an earlier post about stagnant ACT scores:

The more conversations I have about the entire “reform” movement, the more convinced I am that it’s really about disbanding teacher unions so that the majority of education programs will eventually be part of a private industry thus paving the way for the privatizing of all public systems.

The evidence just keeps mounting to show that standardized testing is a flawed way to judge the efficacy of the public schools, and the mere fact that charters and private/parochial schools do not have the same “rigorous” standards as public schools points to the idea that “standards” are not really important at all to the reformers who push for these kinds of alternate schools.

Utilizing standardized tests that the reformers know are flawed is a tactic to devalue the people who teach in public schools so that they can be fired and a private interest can take over.

It’s as if these policy-makers have found a way to rig the game: Create new rules that make for impossible goals and then watch a good system that serves the public fail under these new rules. They have set up the game so that the players will fail no matter what–IF you believe the rules are sound.

It’s pretty evident that the main goal is to disband two of the largest public unions in the country using children as pawns. Once the AFT and the NEA are toppled, so they must think, the rest will follow, and the privatization of public systems in America will ensue.

I would not put it past our policy-makers to be trying to sell the public a bill of goods by pretending they care about the children at all, when in reality, they care about getting rid of union teachers and privatizing education so their buddies can “invest” and continually get rich.

This isn’t about parent choice (unless legal segregation is what they’re after), this isn’t about success, and this isn’t about getting rid of “bad” teachers. It’s about getting rid of unions and privatizing. To me, the evidence points to these intentions no matter how anyone else wants to spin it.

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