As an educator, I have to deal with bullies every year. There's a pattern that I have noticed in every instance. They know who to pick on.
They find the weakest kids, the kids who won't tell, the kids who, most likely, won't fight back.
See the connection?
When I first read Diane Ravitch's post about Tennessee cutting 30% of welfare benefits if their children don't raise test scores. I thought it was a cruel April Fool's joke. I laughed it off, because I thought no way could that possibly happen,no way. I read today that it passed in the House, and I'm thinking, "Who would vote for that?"
A letter was written asking, " If this is about holding parents accountable, why hasn’t this bill been piggy-backed with parental accountability for all income levels? To make any solution about money on all levels is also flawed because people with access to money may try to “buy” results or intimidate those reporting grades. The poor do not have the luxury of “buying” their way out of anything. What your bill proposes is segregating the population into haves and have-nots and then creating different rules for the have-nots. This solves nothing in the way of making positive changes in academic progress.
Yeah, what she said. Bullies always understand the consequences of dealing with people who will not back down. They know the consequences of dealing with people who will fight back.
The closing of schools is happening in low income neighborhoods. Why? That's where you will get the least pushback. That's where you will meet the least amount of resistance. For whatever the reasons, we know this to be true. And so, this is where it happens.
You can put a bully in a suit or a dress, but they're still a bully. "Ed reformers" are bullies. But they're not taking your milk money. They are taking public funds, neighborhood schools, veteran teachers, safe learning environments, the right to learn, the right to teach.
The list is endless, what are we going to do to stop the bullying?
"The Tennessee legislation to cut welfare benefits for families if kids don’t raise their test scores was passed by the committee and now goes to the House Government Operations Committee. It is scheduled for a vote in the State Senate on April 4."
I live, and teach, in Tennessee, and I was appalled when I first read about this bill. Thankfully, the sponsor withdrew it after much public outcry!! I don't live in his district, but unfortunately, many Tennessee legislators have become very anti-education in the past few years. Sure, we've jumped on the Race to The Top, Common Core, and now, Next Generation Science Standards bandwagons, all supposedly good things. I have serious doubts. Most days, instead of feeling like I'm inspiring students to excel - thinking/deciding for themselves after careful examination/contemplation of multiple facets of science (what I teach), I now feel like I'm reading a script and teaching to a d%#* standardized test. I'm nearly burnt-out and this is only my tenth year. The public no longer respects our profession, let alone the kids we teach.ReplyDelete