Sarah has some valuable insight and experience to offer as a result of her research and limited interaction with the people of New Orleans, but it's quite different to cover a war with binoculars on from relative safety behind the lines. When a soldier is issued a weapon and dropped on the front lines with no opportunity to "find a peaceful resolution" through rational negotiation with an enemy whose mission is to eliminate the problem by rendering it defenseless, he fights back or raises a white flag.
It cannot be dismissed that most of us fighting for real, meaningful education reform are highly qualified, experienced educators while those pushing for corporate style reform have little or no understanding or experience of the learning process, the developmental needs of children in relation to the confluence of the realities of their lives with the possibilities that the imagination holds forth.
There is of course an ideological divide that cannot be dismissed in it's influence on the intensity of the struggle, it's correlation with a solution, or the disastrous outcome if it is not recognized as a barrier to the health (in fact the survival) of a system of public education that equitably provides a foundation for not only the futures of every child but the future of our communities and society as a whole .
Sarah's piece begins by revealing the elephant in the room - disaster capitalism. I haven't read her book yet, but I hope the elephant receives the attention it deserves as she shares her perspective from behind the lines at a distance. I would also suggest that she spend more time studying the history of people power and resistance movements, why they arose and how, why and what kinds of successes they achieved. The power of money doesn't always overcome the power of thousands of citizens "waving signs." Real defeat comes when those signs are replaced with white flags.
Maybe the next time I run for BESE you will be more inclined to endorse me? It didn't take prophets to foresee the destruction of public education at the hands of Jindal and his "reformees." The revelation was offered up by highly qualified educators throughout the state - but YEH - (or YO) they did not listen therefore they suffer!
OMG - He was not blind, yet he could not see!
Eating crow is not quite like eating alligator, but le cuisine de legislature is the "choice" du jour.
To get a glimpse of just why teachers are upset check out tidbit of information regarding Act 54 - teacher evaluation. http://www.geauxteacher.com/2012/06/public…
I think the actual legislation should be required reading before one has the privilege of writing about it in a public forum!!!
Leslie Jacobs was admittedly part of the then criminally corrupt Orleans Parish School system prior to Katrina? - the same failing system that she and other so-called "reformers" harken back to when objections to the current privatization efforts are voiced. You can't have it both ways.
She is a master of statistical manipulation and misinformation and a master "horse trader" or "used car salesman" when it comes to "selling" our taxpayer owned and democratically run public school system.
The media continues to report the mantra of "transformation" verbatim that she and the Cowen Institute put forth without applying the journalistic integrity or public expectation of accuracy or research. Their money and power in concert with the political will and aspirations of our governor are muzzling the voice of highly qualified, experienced educators throughout the state and the nation who have had enough of the rhetoric and vocabulary of reform as defined by corporate intelligentsia who equate children to "human capital" and breaking rules and regulations set for the education community to "innovation."
The media continues to refer to "the Orleans Parish School System" when it applauds its successes, knowing that the OPSS and the Recovery School District are two different animals. The OPSS under the direction of the Orleans Parish School Board has indeed captured a measure of success as one of the highest performing districts in the state. The Recovery School District, however, is still - after six years - the second lowest performing school district in the state. The illusion of miraculous "progress" is exaggerated by converting test score improvement (albeit an invalid measure of learning) from points to percentages thereby instantly giving the lowest scoring schools the appearance of greater improvement over the highest scoring schools with the same "point" improvement (i.e. 10-20 or ten point improvement = 100% whereas 90-100 or ten point improvement = 10% increase).
Let's open up the discussion and hear the solutions offered by highly trained experienced educators if we really want to improve our public education system rather than sell it to the highest bidders (charters) who come and go taking their money with them and leaving our neediest children struggling to adjust again and again.
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