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Smart List: 60 People Shaping the Future of K-12 Education
5 Replies to “Frontline Michelle Rhee Documentary Online Chat”
No snark… Thanks for the live discussion link, Andrew.
I enjoyed reading a transcript of the online chat.
Andy, you stated that some schools have proven that “poverty is not destiny.” I never heard that phrase until “reformers” started to use it. Why would you imply that many people believe that poverty determines a person’s life chances? There is so much evidence that it does not. Heck, just read the biographies of some of our greatest Americans and you will see that many started life in very humble circumstances.
What educators say is that poverty (untreated toothaches, lack of food, lack of medical care) AFFECTS achievement. This is well established in the literature and is a fact that must be recognized before anything can be done about it. But in no way does this mean “poverty is destiny.” What a terrible thing to say about human beings!
Also, you stated that some schools have proven that “poverty is not destiny.” Since we already know that, you must mean that some schools have done a much better job than others in teaching poor kids. How would you know that? Surely, by now everyone knows that test scores may or may not be accurate.
What education needs more than anything is the truth. Please help with that.
I can tell from your continued willingness to engage Mr Rotherham that you are a great teacher.
However, I have given up on him. He is fundamentally dishonest, much like Michelle Rhee Ora Joel Klein.
I privately emailed him about his support of the hoary chestnut that teacher unions protect child sexual abusers. His lack of response is telling. He wrote it, tha makes it true. It’s sad that he is another example of the hubris from the best and the brightest.
I respond to his comments so others can read the truth. As teachers, we know that no schoolteacher ever uttered the words that poverty is destiny. To imply that they do is simply one of the many falsehoods that is being circulated by the “reformers.”
Teachers are the people who are actually serving those who are in poverty and advocating for them. They are the ones who choose to be with the children each day.
“By their fruits you shall know them.”
One more point: Sociologists tell us that the K-12 teaching force is mostly made up of people from the working class. Many of these people, like me, probably chose teaching because they understood the power of education to lift people out of humble circumstances.
Also, I read today that the majority of Americans are not aware of the current attempt to privatize public education and to deprofessionalize teaching. Once they find out, I suspect they will side with the people in our classrooms, as they have always done.
Never underestimate the power of parents and teachers or any group that provides direct guidance and protection for the nation’s young. The strength of our country depends on this support.