"The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it. There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves." -- John Adams

"No money shall be drawn from the treasury, for the benefit of any religious or theological institution." -- Indiana Constitution Article 1, Section 6.

"...no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish enlarge, or affect their civil capacities." – Thomas Jefferson

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Daily Show: Diane Ravitch - Teachers vs. Wall Street

Last night Diane Ravitch was a guest on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Some of her points included:
  • Our schools as Test Prep Factories.
  • Finland's successful schools without standardized tests, and with fully unionized teachers.
  • Low poverty schools are succeeding...the high poverty and racially isolated schools are the ones with poor performance. If you're homeless and hungry learning is more difficult.
  • The whole public monologue has been blame the teachers for everything. The focus has been on how to find bad teachers. America is not overrun with bad teachers - it's overrun with children living in poverty.
  • We need to make sure that our children all have adequate health care, food, shelter and access to literacy.

Earlier in the show Stewart had a segment showing the hypocrisy in the media which claimed that teachers are overpaid, while Wall Street companies bailed out by the taxpayers still needed to give their CEOs and Execs bonuses. One of the contrasts was between the $50,000 (plus about $30,000 in benefits) salary of teachers in Wisconsin - which was presented as excessive, and the reasons why the "poor folks" making $250,000 a year should continue to reap the benefits of the Bush tax cuts.

According to what Stewart presented, Governor Walker (R-Wisconsin) is going to cut $800 million over the next two years...from the education budget in the state. Meanwhile he is pushing for more tax breaks for wealthy people.

I can see the result now...
  • Lower taxes have resulted in
  • Drastic cuts in education funding, which will result in
  • Lower test scores, especially from children in poverty, which will result in
  • More public school and teacher bashing which will result in
  • Less support, politically and economically, for public schools which will result in
  • The continued destruction of Public Education in Wisconsin, and by extension (since similar scenarios are being played out all over the country), America.
Here's a link to Ravitch's book...The Death and Life of the Great American School System


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