The Myth of Failing Public Education

With all the DeVos talk, I am seeing a lot of people weighing in on the current state of education in this country. And something that severely disappointed me was seeing a former educator insist that public education is failing (indicated by other nations outperforming us) and maybe it is time to try something different.

Ok, let’s get some things perfectly straight.

Standardized tests ARE NOT an indication of whether someone will be successful, they only measure very narrow things which almost always gets lost when people use the scores to compare broad things – like how good a teacher is (who did not take the test), how good a school is (schools can’t take tests), or even *gasp!* whether someone is a good student or not. As outlined in an ASCD article by noted education expert James Popham, standardized tests only measure very specific knowledge, framed in a very specific way, at one specific time in one specific person’s life.

The U.S. is OUTperforming the rest of world in the PISA test (that is the test that nearly everyone uses to say our education system is failing) ONCE YOU CONTROL FOR KIDS WHO ARE POOR. (Read the analysis HERE)Click here to Read More

Student’s Impassioned Speech Against Betsy DeVos

Detroit Student on DeVos Nomination

Detroit student Dannah Wilson's emotional response to Betsy DeVos. To support Dannah and Detroit families fighting for quality education please visit 482forward.org

Posted by AFT – American Federation of Teachers on Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Why Public Education?

There was a time when education throughout the world was primarily a privilege of the wealthy. Fortunately, our founding fathers recognized that the survival of our democracy depended upon an educated citizenry. Perhaps Thomas Jefferson (1820) put it best:

“I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society, but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.”

There are many advantages to universal public schools, both economic and social, as Dr. Dana Mitra, Professor of Education at Pennsylvania State University lists in her report Pennsylvania’s Best Investment: The Social and Economic Benefits of Public Education:

Continue reading “Why Public Education?”

On Being A Citizen

Anyone who has parented a toddler has learned the hard way that you can’t reason with a child of that age. So you devise strategies (some good, some not so much) to get the child to do what you want them to do with the least amount of yelling and screaming from both of you. These include 1) Offering limited, either/or choices: you can wear this dress or this one); 2) Bribery: if you take your bath, you can watch TV; 3) Frightening the child with dire consequences: you’ll get sick if you don’t wear your coat; 4) Comparing the child with someone who complies: your brother ate all his peas, why can’t you? and 5) when all else fails, you force the kid to do what you want and endure the screaming and crying, knowing that eventually the child will exhaust herself and fall asleep.

Sadly, this is how our government relates to us these days. Click here to Read More