Of course, he was right...and they have done it again. The latest issue of Time Magazine features the Chancellor of the DC Public Schools on the cover and contains a diatribe against 1) American education, 2) American schools and 3) American teachers. It seems that all that's wrong with public schools today is bad teachers. Our schools are failing...students not learning...teachers' unions sabatoging the future of our children...and the rest of the world is passing us by.
The 'business focus' of Time Magazine has come through loud and clear. They have joined the ranks of the "Business Roundtable," Bill Gates, and the Chamber of Commerce in their level of public school bashing.
"The U.S. spends more per pupil on elementary and high school education than most developed nations. Yet it is behind most of them in the math and science abilities of its children. Young Americans today are less likely than their parents were to finish high school. This is an issue that is warping the nation's economy and security, and the causes are not as mysterious as they seem. The biggest problem with U.S. public schools is ineffective teaching, according to decades of research. And Washington, which spends more money per pupil than the vast majority of large districts, is the problem writ extreme, a laboratory that failure made."
This is pretty clear is it not? It's the teachers' faults...period. Unfortunately they are missing the point.
It turns out that we're not so bad after all...it all depends on how you look at "the decades of research."
The truth is when compared to our white middle class and wealthier students, the rest of the world does not have that much of an edge.
If you read the research by Erling E. Boe and Sujie Shin from the University of Pennsylvania (published in Kappan, October 2005) you'll see that white American students are doing pretty well compared to the average scores from the G5 nations. It is only when you add in the test scores of America's poor, both brown and black, that you get the sorts of results that the anti-public school crowd can use to perpetuate their myth of failing schools in the United States.
The fact is that the 'problem' with the public schools in the US is the same problem that has been affecting the rest of the nation economically and socially for the last 8 years...the growth of poverty. Poverty in the US was not eliminated, but at least reduced during the Clinton years, but in the last 8 years the number of children living in poverty in the US has skyrocketed.
The rich are getting richer...and their children are getting a pretty good education. The poor are getting poorer thanks to Bush, Cheney, Rove & Co. The bottom line is poverty, and urban schools are neglected. Time Magazine is still too blinded by their corporate connections to see the truth.
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