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U.S.: The Myth of Our Failing #Schools

The  leaders of the education reform (Michelle Rhees, the Bill Gateses, the Walton family, among others) movement have been pushing hard to make education fuction not like an academy but more like a business, profit motive and all, as Jeff Fecke writes on Care to Make a Difference.

Education, after all is a big business. Do I have to go over such a simple explanation?

"There are a few things standing in the way of business and all this money, however. Chief among them are the teachers, women and men who chose a career that is not especially lucrative, and indeed is constantly disparaged. The vast majority of teachers decided on their career not because they wanted to get rich, but because they truly want to help children learn. They understand that providing education to every American free of charge is the precise opposite of running education like a business, and thank goodness  --because business would spend less time educating the “unprofitable” kids.
We can, and should, continue to strive to improve our education system. We should not be satisfied with an education system that gets diplomas into the hands of only 88 percent of adults. But neither should we pretend that this system is badly broken, or in decline.
Improving educational outcomes does not depend on breaking the unions, or converting our public schools to charter schools. Rather, it depends on our ability to address problems outside of school --poverty, access to health care and child care, access to early childhood education. These are not problems our school system can fix. Indeed, as long as we continue to cut social services, these are problems that will only get worse.
Our schools have done a great job of improving outcomes over the past 70 years, despite a general lack of support. Our schools are not failing. Despite the demands of high-stakes testing, the attacks on educators as a group, the continuing sneering as schools in general, our education system just keeps doing what it’s always done -- educating children, as best they can with what little we give them. They don’t deserve a free pass, but neither do they deserve the opprobrium heaped on them. Our education system is better now than it has ever been. For that, educators deserve nothing but respect."

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