Save America’s Public Education from Free Market, For-Profit, Education, Using Taxpayer Dollars

I urge every reader of “Mary Elizabeth Sings” to read the following outstanding column by Atlanta Journal-Constitution educational journalist, Maureen Downey.  Here is the link and an excerpt from her column follows:

http://getschooled.blog.ajc.com/2015/03/24/opinion-national-experiment-in-school-choice-market-solutions-produces-inequity/

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“The ‘Chilean Miracle’ – like the ‘New Orleans Miracle’ – it seems, is not a miracle of student growth, achievement, equity, and high quality education for all. Rather, it is a miracle that a once protected public good was finally exploited as a competitive private market where profit-seeking corporations could receive a greater and greater share of public tax dollars.

It is also a miracle that such profit-seeking private companies and corporations, including publishing giants that produce educational materials and tests, have managed to keep the target of accountability on teachers and schools and not on their own backs.

Their treasure trove of funding – state and federal tax monies – continues to flow even as their materials, technological innovations, products, services, and tests fail to provide positive results. . . .

The United States still has time to reverse course, to turn away from the scary language of crisis and the seductive language of choice and accountability used in educational reform, and turn toward a fully funded and protected public education for our nation.”

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Here are some additional thoughts from me, which I posted on Ms. Downey’s blog, and Jim Galloway’s blog, today:

“Profit based education.  Free market education.  Limited education, imo.

We, as a society, can do better than those choices in educational delivery provide.

For example, there is more to making sound judgments than analyzing one-dimensional “facts,” of the moment. When we reach for a fuller understanding, we know that there will be more to every person’s story than facts, alone.

Part of this deeper understanding, which transcends harsh judgment of ourselves and of others, springs from realizing that historical and personal forces, to which we are all subjected, but subjected differently, will affect each life differently. Psychological background is part of the reason for these variances as well as biological differences, which many are just coming to understand. (Most homeless people are mentally ill, for example.)  We must try to see these various historical and psychological forces upon the lives of our fellow human beings, as well as upon ourselves, with compassion and insight, which I believe education of the highest order can provide, but, not education of a profit-based nature, which will have a different focus than enlightenment.”

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