Today, two great video tutorials to understand the truth behind the anti-teacher/anti-public school rhetoric, whether it’s coming from Parents for Choice in Education, their poster child Jeb Bush, or Barack Obama. The attack on public education in Utah and the rest of the United States is not a partisan one. It’s a neoliberal one. Bush’s No Child Left Standing Behind is the godfather of Obama’s Race to the Top. It’s a heads I win, tails you lose sort of thing: heads the privateers win, tails children (society) lose(s).
First, this one from Daniel Willingham, Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia. It’s a very short, engaging explanation of the problem with judging teacher performance through “value added measures” in order to hand out raises/bonuses.
In this second one, Karen Lewis, President of the Chicago Teachers Union explains to Paul Jay of The Real News Network why what U.S. schools are facing in this time of economic crisis is a “perfect storm of disaster”. But she also explains how teachers are being unfairly “painted with the bad teacher brush,” how people have got to get over thinking of schools as “magic castles” disconnected from the reality around them, and finally, how using tests that are designed to measure student achievement as a basis for “high stakes decisions” about teachers/schools is a totally flawed concept. Nine minutes that will help you sort the truth from the hype.