What is behind the attacks? « standingupforeducators

17 Jun

Over the past month I sat back to try and evaluate where our country was going, especially with public education. The picture is not a pretty one. Two comments stuck out in my head more than most. One was Republican Candidate for President, Mitt Romney, blatantly telling the world we needed less firemen, police, and teachers. His justification for this statement is the Republican victory in the Wisconsin recall election. Then Rush Limbaugh furthers the partisan attack by claiming that firemen, policemen, and teachers contribute nothing to the economy. These two comments seem to be the norm from the political right, but why is there such disdain for the public sector? Also, how can a rational person honestly claim that firemen, policemen, and teachers contribute nothing to society?Do these people not buy goods from stores? Do they not stop theft and keep the general public safe? Do they not run into danger to save the lives of people they have never met? Do these people not pay taxes…in many cases more than those waging the attacks? Maybe the problem is that you cannot always quantify the amount these people contribute to society, much less the economy. This brings me to teachers and how we measure what they contribute to the economy. It has often been said that teachers are the profession that make all others possible. If teachers are such a vital part of society, why are they under attack across this country? Evaluation procedures across this country are changing to include student test scores. On the surface this seems fair considering teachers should have taught the students the material on the test. Only after digging deeper into the situation does this practice seem grossly unfair to teachers. A doctor prescribes medicine to a patient, but cannot make them take it. Would you judge the doctor’s effectiveness based on whether the patient took the medicine and got better, or whether the doctor prescribed the right medicine? Most people want to be evaluated on their performance, not the performance of others. The problem with this rational thought is there are companies making enormous amounts money creating these tests and they are supporting political candidates that advance the increased testing of students. Politicians are being bought to advance an agenda by people that want to privatize education. My question as I write this is: If the goal is to privatize education and make money from schools and testing, where will this leave students of the future? Every day of testing is one less day of learning.

via What is behind the attacks? « standingupforeducators.


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