It seems as though our nations has an epic crisis on our hands. Suddenly our teachers have been declared ineffective and it appears a new education system is the only thing that can save our nation from a future of drop outs. Corporate leaders are rushing to save our schools from the demons of public education.
The cry of the nation seems to be that new initiatives will save us. Testing will screen out those lousy teachers and schools, and our nation will embark on a new direction.
The Mission Statement of the Common Core initiative states:
The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy.”
Education Secretary, Arne Duncan has stated
“Everyone I talk to really shares my sense of urgency that we have to do better for our children. We’re fighting for our country here.”
Even President Obama has said,
“This is a problem we can’t afford to accept or ignore… “The stakes are too high – for our children, for our economy, for our country. It’s time for all of us to come together – parents and students, principals and teachers, business leaders and elected officials – to end America’s dropout crisis.”
How can we sit back? Something needs to be done. It’s our new national emergency! Can’t you sense the urgency?
Hold on! Not so fast!
Let’s take a look at the real data. (Click on the charts to enlarge)
First take a look at our nations drop out rates. They have steadily declined over the last 30 years.
We’ve been told the Common Core initiative will make our students college ready. Take a look at the college enrollment rates since 1959, We are at an historical high. National emergency??
Those who are proclaiming that the sky is falling should also take a look at this data.
College enrollment steadily rising since 2005!
How are our students doing once they enroll in college? The naysayers seemed concerned with this as well. So, take a look at this. Notice the number of degrees earned has dramatically risen.
and this.. Doctoral degrees have doubled.
The rhetoric has an agenda.
As you can see, the rhetoric doesn’t match the data. It doesn’t have to. You see, the rhetoric has an agenda behind it.
The agenda is to take over public education. There’s billions to be made. Our military now fights wars with private contractors making billions, our roads and bridges are slowly being sold off to corporations, our mass transit systems are being taken over, and more and more of our public assets are being turned over for profit. Our schools are next.
Schools across the country are being shut down, and then magically reopened as charters. Textbook publishers are singing for joy. People like Joel Klein and Michelle Rhee have traded in their work as public servants for the lure of profits. Corporate leaders see the future, they see profits.
You can’t privatize the military unless you invent a war that the country doesn’t want to sacrifice for. Then you have the perfect plan. We saw Blackwater, Halliburton and others benefit from a 10 year war, no one really supports.
Now we see, Pearson, McGraw Hill and other publishers, joining the ranks of Rupert Murdoch, Joel Klein, Michelle Rhee, Bill Gates and others . Charter schools are slowly taking over public schools, with many having dismal results,
Teachers are being labeled as the problem. States are cutting school funding, tests are being designed that will “prove’ the national emergency really does exist.
It’s time for us to create our own rhetoric. After all, we all found out last week that the pineapple had no sleeves.