Monday, September 17, 2012

Warped Drives -OR- Disingenuous Framing for Dummies

The magical mystery tour is coming to take you away. Step right this way. Leave YOUR logic at the tent flap. When you enter our realm, we'll tell you what's logical. Public Education is a massive failure. Teachers and their UNIONS are EVIL. Charter schools run by for-profit consortiums run by past and present EXPERTS in the education field and vouchers to enable tax dollars to flow to these for-profit schools who can hire and fire teachers at will while picking and choosing from the pool of students, dispatching those who do not measure up... this is the bright future of education in America.

Really? Seriously? Wait a second. What the Fuck? At the end of this for-profit extruder process, where are the kids deemed unsuited to the ethos of charter schools? Oh, that's right, they're in the PUBLIC SCHOOLS. That'll teach them!

Regarding the Chicago Teachers' Strike of 2012... If your heart is telling you to side with the teachers, while your head is telling you that education is a mess from top to bottom, while your eyes and hears are being assaulted with conflicting images and sounds, FOLLOW YOUR HEART!

When Mayor Rahmses I (h/t: d r i f t g l a s s) steps to the microphone to point out that the remaining two obstacles to ending the Chicago Teacher Strike of 2012 are NOT subject to collective bargaining, ipso facto ILLEGAL, red flags and klaxon horns should be all that you see and hear. You haven't heard it for 25 years and those 25 years have been spent anally redefining what is and is not permissible for teachers to bring to the table for negotiating purposes. Teachers cannot, under any circumstances be allowed to run the schools, let alone have input into how schools are run.

When the CEO and Superintendent of CPS speak to the dictation takers saying "if Principals are to be held accountable for performance, they must be allowed to pick their own team" (teachers), but that doesn't extend to the teachers picking THEIR own team?

Teachers -MUST- be told precisely what to teach, how to teach it, where to teach it, with which textbooks (if they're that fortunate), in which classroom, to which students, yada yada yada, andonandon, based on the ideas, practices and procedures developed by experts in well-funded think tanks devoted to solving our education problem.... To permit otherwise disrupts the painstaking framing of our educational challenges. All that you really need to know is that education is a mess from top to bottom and that it's the fault of the teachers' UNIONS.

So what is a mother to do? Well, most of you don't live in Chicago, so your dilemma is lessened greatly. The implications and consequence of what happens, when it finally happens, in Chicago will be weaponized for use wherever public education defies the framing and succeeds. If you DO live in Chicago, the message is clear, get your kids out of the city; into those great suburban schools! Look at the test scores. That will tell you all you need to know about where you want and don't want to call home.

The only acceptable framework for public education debate is that which reinforces the premise that public education is destined for the scrap heap? That it is too expensive, too inefficient, too liberal, too rotted, too failed and too decayed to fix? Please don't be fooled into thinking this has anything to do with teachers or students or parents or the present/future of anything other than fear, money, power and control.

In the monkey see; monkey do mindset of school policy making, everybody is looking at everybody else's "answers". As the brain-drain continues unaddressed, as the nomadic search for greener grass cripples neighborhoods and communities, as the merciless pounding of square pegs into round holes marches on, as the next fad in education gets applied liberally as a salve, as the vulture capitalists measure their next school building for takeover, what you will not hear is an actual definition of what education is. What is its actual mission/purpose? Much of what is advertised as success and/or excellence, is pure projection. It's good because we say it's good.

The bumping and grinding, invasion/succession churn of students and families frantically searching for the ever more elusive, indefinable "good education" that will assure success is leaving destruction in its path.

The teachers in Chicago are trying to shed light on some of the obstacles. When they return to their classrooms, they can honestly say they tried. We're not prepared to have the kind of discussions that are needed?

No comments: