Scapegoats to Advocates
Why have teachers become America’s scapegoats? For the past several years the rhetoric has been rampant with statements of how our education system has faltered, how teachers are ineffective, how paying teachers pensions after years of work are destroying state budgets, how our country is trailing the world because of poor teachers , how teacher’s unions are creating hurdles on our “Race to the Top’, and even though no child will be left behind, we are leaving more than ever behind.
Everyone wants to blame teachers. Teachers are the scapegoats.. really.
I’m not going to go into all the
good GREAT things teachers do and I’m not going to give reasons why we are not the nation’s scapegoats. I’m, quite frankly tired of defending what we do. I think educators should stop defending and start demanding that the real causes of our national funk be addressed.
There aren’t any scapegoats, rather there are those that are and should be held responsible.
- NCLB supporters- created a system of high stakes testing that is destroying our future. This unfunded mandate has destroyed budgets, ignored educational research, caused turmoil regarding curriculum design, destroyed the arts in many schools and have caused millions to be left behind.
- Charter and Voucher Pundits- profits mixing with education policy is a recipe for disaster. The bottom line gets shifted from the child to the shareholder. That’s wrong. Using public school buildings, and in many cases, sharing buildings makes no sense. The data is not there to support charters and vouchers. It’s a scheme.
- Bankers and Investors- They caused the meltdown that have affected state budgets. For many years public pensions were not a burden, only when the market meltdown ( caused by a scandalous few) did pensions become the new target.
- Text book publishers- dumbing down our textbooks to appease the right wingnuts has not helped. When a small committee in Texas dictates what will be in textbooks and the entire country suffers. Publishers have put the bottom line ahead of the truth. Also, these same publishers love high stakes testing because it means more test prep workbooks, more test writing contracts and more revisions to their lousy textbooks.
- Many elected officials- if they were graded on a standardized test many would be rated ROTTEN. Their failure to address poverty, inequality,dwindling resources, infrastructure, funding, healthcare, early education, college tuition skyrocketing, prenatal care, teen pregnancy, crime, drug abuse, housing, etc. has been the major cause to our problems. When you have mayors and governors demanding teacher evaluation and an end to collective bargaining one must ask what about them?
We shall not be America’s scapegoats! Let’s be America’s top advocates.
Demand accountability where it belongs. Demand real evaluations of unfunded mandates and policies. Demand those responsible for our economic meltdown be prosecuted. Demand poverty be wiped out. Demand healthcare for all. Demand affordable housing for those that need it. Demand that our children should have schools that are in good repair. Demand that textbook publishers leave distorted views out of our books. Demand the respect we deserve. Demand we be allowed to do our jobs without distraction. Demand that we have the tools needed to do our jobs. Demand that we are Americans too and we will not be America’s scapegoats.