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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Charter Schools, Standardized Testing, and Conservative Ideology Under the Spotlight

Greeley Colorado District 6 has been championing expanding Charter Schools, as has, to be fair, the Obama Administration. For me Charter Schools are usually (not always) a political bone to throw to the predominantly wealthier classes to segregate their kids from those "not like us". Greeley's District 6 "dramatized" cuts are falling predominantly on the minority and poorer schools in Northern Colorado.

Let's face it the poor just don't vote or are easily misled to vote against their own interests. Greeley's School Board isn't the first to be swayed politically, whether consciously or unconsciously, and won't be the last.

But this article caught my eye this morning. A leopard changing spots? A product of conservative "balance the checkbook and ignore long term consequences" policy think tanks is learning from long term outcomes? If true it is a bright spot in a long dark tunnel. There is a reasonable place for both short and long term perspectives.

I don't think I was the only child who heard their grandmother experienced voice reflect, "Moderation in all things, Baby-doll."

Okay, maybe not the "Baby-doll" part. That's mine.

Yet we stake out our polar positions and hold on for dear life it seems even when we realize the crowd has passed us by and isolation and rot is creeping in. Here Dr. Ratvich, a 'leading' educational policy maker steps out of her mold. Politically well timed to be sure but there is obvious progress being made and that is just terrific from my viewpoint.

Schools belong to their communities. Public goods, like education, fail in the free market ideals of America and should not be thrown into the private sector like chump change. They are simply too important to be left to corporate America and the "you-get-what-you-can-pay-for" feudal ethos.

It is a great article. I encourage those on both sides of the Charter School article to read it. It will take a long time before the middle-classes let go of their indoctrination on testing and privatizing schools but it is a start. I've haven't posted general articles for a while but this one is really a bright spot to see coming forward.

"These and other experiences left her increasingly disaffected from the choice and accountability movements. Charter schools, she concluded, were proving to be no better on average than regular schools, but in many cities were bleeding resources from the public system. Testing had become not just a way to measure student learning, but an end in itself.

From the New York Times online.

"...“The new thinking saw the public school system as obsolete, because it is controlled by the government,” she writes. “I argued that certain managerial and structural changes — that is, choice, charters, merit pay and accountability — would help to reform our schools.”

In January 2001, Dr. Ravitch was at the White House to hear President George W. Bushoutline his vision for No Child Left Behind, which Congress approved with bipartisan majorities and which became law in 2002.

“It sounded terrific,” she recalled in the interview.

There were signs soon after, however, that her views were changing. She had endorsed mayoral control of New York City schools before Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg obtained it in 2002, but by 2004 she had emerged as a fierce critic. Some said she was nursing a grudge because close friends had lost jobs in the mayor’s shake-up of the schools’ bureaucracy.

In 2005, she said, a study she undertook of Pakistan’s weak and inequitable education system, dominated by private and religious institutions, convinced her that protecting the United States’ public schools was important to democracy.

She remembers another date, Nov. 30, 2006, when at a Washington conference she heard a dozen experts conclude that the No Child law was not raising student achievement.

These and other experiences left her increasingly disaffected from the choice and accountability movements. Charter schools, she concluded, were proving to be no better on average than regular schools, but in many cities were bleeding resources from the public system. Testing had become not just a way to measure student learning, but an end in itself."

Comments :

3 comments to “Charter Schools, Standardized Testing, and Conservative Ideology Under the Spotlight”

mowdy5gs said...
on 

Speaking of the wealthy and I will I have to say do the unhonarble dress wearing Frick, Otto the nome and [Greg]Brady really deserve a raise Mr. Mayor? Having to Close schools down to consolidate and under paying teachers, all these useless cops and , Greeley has the second worst unemployment rate in the state, and people please look at this yourselves but every road in town is dented with creators, buisness is leaving everyday and you Mr. Mayor assume the gaul to vouche for a raise for these three buffoons? 150,000 dollars, 149,000 and the lowly judge all poor and what not makes only 90,000. Poor them. They have effectivly run this city into the ground so how do they deserve a raise, and I understand they wont get it but to feel as if they deserve one? Really? Hmmm, I wonder how teachers feel about that? How do you the average citizen feel about that? Well, aside from folks getting probation, anger management class and community service for a traffic ticket aside its truly a disgrace. These three republican douchebags deserve to be fired. Lets take a look why.
Does anyone know of any city workers getting raises or who deserve one in this climate of dred? Its mind blowing to know that republican line walkers are able to live with themselves making as much as they do when Greeley is frankly the $hit hole it is. Why dont you ask your people, the people of Greeley what they think you deserve? Seriously why not? Do any of you even live here? The biggest tell is the population of Latinos and others in Greeley yet look at the three who run Greeley. Nice huh? I thought I'd put that out there next time readers are thinking about just how much these three knuckleheads "deserve" a raise. Think about how well your doing, your property is doing, your childs or childrens education is doing, how well you are off in a city that declines by the day how well? 6 figures well? These guys are. 6 figures of Yours and Mine as it stands and yet the Mayor believes they deserve oh so much more. It is funny but it is also the example of how you the lingering middle class have taken it up the @$$ and the poor are just raped period. Good luck with that Chachi, Youll need it. Way to shine the bosses butt before you kneel to kiss it Norton, now tell us its sweet.

mowdy5gs said...
on 

To the elderly, I know you didnt get an increase in your Social security this year because apparently according to the government No cost of living increase exists this year. huh? Nice to know why the elderly struggle to recover from their retirements being desimated that these three more then educators and people of true consequnce "deserve" a raise. More then you apparently. Apparently Failure pays and it pays well. Let us now all pray, and let us all aspire to mediocroty.

mowdy5gs said...
on 

So Jane, can you look around now today and see what I spoke of on the trib so long ago? Spirits and ghouls come to mind in a ghost town, fitting no?
RECAP: Coruption BAD. Republicans BAD. Current city leaders, EVIL corupt and BAD. Selfserving BAD. Greeley, "Great In The Ground".

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