Destroy the good to reform the weak? What can communities that have good schools do to stop the destruction of their schools and the weakening of their societies? Is the movement to reform education driven by educators working for children, or forces determined to destroy the American Dream and establish a new type of feudalism?
What if your community has created great schools and is constantly improving them? What if your state is controlled by the extreme right? Should you allow your school district to be starved and damaged until it is broken into many partial schools that do not provide comprehensive education for all or a comprehensive curricula?
Together, superintendents, school boards, teachers, parents, and teacher’s associations can organize and counter the legislators who work against their communities. That means supporting candidates who want to preserve our schools. That means putting more pressure on elected representatives than those who have bought them. As these elected representatives live in the communities fighting to preserve their schools, many will change course. Organized and united school districts must put pressure on the legislature to change funding models designed to destroy public schools. They must demand that non-educators – political opportunists and ideologues – do not control the State Department of Education.
We can improve our schools and make them better. We have the best schools in the world – they are comprehensive in population and curricula. We are doing what needs to be done and getting better at it all the time. Failing schools in core city areas are a reflection of a failed political-economic system, not bad teachers.
ALEC: Privatize K-12 education. Destroy teacher (worker) representation. Discredit teachers, teacher education, and experience. Corporatize education for profit. Buy legislators and get them to introduce corporate-favorable laws. Control elections by massive funding of their candidates, essentially creating a one party system they control.
KOCH BROTHERS (evolving from the John Birch society): Destroy public education. Destroy worker representation. Privatize prisons. Privatize education. Give corporations access to government by subverting the will of those who elect the representatives. Support ALEC and other extreme organizations. Use massive amounts of money to manipulate government.
EXTREME RIGHT WING: Starve public schools and replace them with for-profit schools and schools that are not accountable to the citizens through elected boards. Discredit teachers and educational research. Do away with tenure, certification requirements, and retirement funds. Give access to tax dollars citizens pay for education to corporations, for profit and political inculcation. Create a competitive model that disrupts cooperation and as a result, education. Apply factory assembly-line processes to education. Use tests to assure product conformity. Access tax dollars to support religious schools.
It is time to stand up for kids and America. It is time to get the word out that what is being done by a few to our education system is unacceptable. School boards, administrators, teachers, and parents must educate the public and change the direction of America, state-by-state and community-by-community. We must do this because we believe that an educated people can throw off those who want power, control, and free access to the taxes we pay for the education of our children. We must counter those who believe their power will increase as an educated populous decreases.