Opinion: The End Is Near for American Education

Marion Herbert's picture
Tuesday, October 4, 2011

We are approaching the end of the second year of NBC's Education Nation reports and last week I listened to the virtues of charter schools being extolled, the faults of traditional public schools being magnified, and the efforts that thousands of teachers make every day to connect with children being tossed aside like yesterday's garbage.

In order for Education Nation to exist, there has to be a crisis, and according to all of the experts lined up by NBC last week, including the Rev. Al Sharpton, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Bill Gates, and the rest of the usual suspects, the problems of education are limited to what happens once children enter the schoolhouse doors.

It is an approach that is beneficial to those who promote privatizing schools, those who peddle tests and tests to prepare for tests, and curriculum based on tests to prepare for tests. It is also beneficial to those whose chief goal is to eliminate unions of all kinds, including those representing teachers.

The only people who do not benefit are the children.

I have not watched every program the NBC stations have aired about education last week, but in the ones I have watched, I have seen little contribution from classroom teachers, other than the town hall forum on Sunday. Otherwise, the field has been restricted to union leadership (usually AFT's Randi Weingarten) or to those who have co-opted the word "reform," poisoning schools with their idea of "accountability."

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