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Defending Public Education


Defending Public Education

in defense of public education

Members: 42
Latest Activity: Jul 3, 2014

Live Chat Tomorrow with Dana Goldstein on Testing in Education

The Nation is excited to extend an invitation to educators, parents, students and anyone else passionate about education to join us on May 17 at 5 PM for a live chat on the role of testing in education reform. Nation writer Dana Goldstein, teacher and blogger Mark Anderson and a representative from the Educators for Excellence network will be on hand to address reader comments and questions on the controversial growth of standardized testing and its effect on educators and students. Nation comments editor Sarah Arnold will moderate. Participants are encouraged to visit Dana’s blog prior to the chat to submit preliminary questions or to sign up for an email reminder.

Dana, a Puffin Foundation writing fellow at The Nation Institute and a Schwartz Fellow at the New America Foundation, is one of America's foremost writers on education. She has reported on education policy, politics, women’s issues and public health for The Nation, The American Prospect, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast and Slate, among other publications. She is currently working on a book on the political history of American public school teaching. You can follow her work at

Mark Anderson is a New York City public school special-education teacher and contributor to the blog Schools as Ecosystems. Educators for Excellence is an educator-lead organization that works on policy issues such as state standards and teacher evaluations and effectiveness.

Please join us at 5 PM at May 17th for what is sure to be a lively, informative discussion.

Discussion Forum

Controversial Measures Single-Out Blacks for Lowered Standards

Started by Jason Richardson-White. Last reply by George M. Vlasits Nov 17, 2012. 2 Replies

I was alerted via Slashdot to two recent controversial proposals to lower standards for African-American students:…Continue

Dana Goldstein's Education Blog

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Comment by Janis Smith on July 26, 2012 at 9:00pm

Don't be fooled when you see another "educational" company quit ALEC.  A couple have now; but, what do we find?  We find that they quit ALEC After they have the laws passed; then, they work for the New Right States helping the Governor's implement them and sitting on boards representing...who else..."us".  Koch brothers don't need their membership fees - they have their support and financial support and are still doing what they want by ensuring the states dismantle the public school system for "their" on-line, charter schools, etc..

Comment by Jack Knapp on July 25, 2012 at 9:15pm

What ALEC and the people who are pushing this don't realize that they cannot stop teachers and others from organizing and striking.  States can do that, but not private for-profit entities. 
The solution to people who want to hire teachers cheap is not to work for them.
I saw this in El Paso; about 1984 or '85, I went to work for the EPISD.  The district had a contract with the Army to provide education services to soldiers on Fort Bliss.  When the contract came up for renewal, EPISD was underbid by a company from Massachusetts, if memory serves.  They proposed to take the contract and then take over all that EPISD had developed for the program, BSEP.  And to hire teachers at near minimum-wage salaries. 
They got the contract, but not the program (EPISD took all their materials, and then they transferred all the certified teachers to schools, including me).  I got calls from the company that got the contract: "Will you teach the program you developed for the Practical Nurse Course (at William Beaumont Army Hospital)?  The Army would really like to see you do that again. 
And then I asked what they were offering in salary.  And repeatedly refused.
A year later, they had defaulted on the contract they got by underbidding.
I simply wouldn't undervalue my degree.  Neither would the other certified teachers.
They people who plan to hire certified, degreed, teachers are going to hit a wall. 
Would you, a college graduate, work for minimum wage?  If you took the job, would you apply a professional attitude to the work?  Or would you simply understand that teaching was like any other job and do what they paid you, no more. 
No teacher I knew did that.  We all went far above and beyond what was technically required, because the kids needed it. 
But I'm damned if I would do that while I was being exploited by a for-profit entity whose managers got a fat salary while I was being exploited. 

Comment by Janis Smith on July 25, 2012 at 8:57pm

Look up;;   The corporate members of ALEC (i.e. K-12, etc) want online schooling for their personal profit.  They write the laws, boilerplate them to New Right governors who pass them through to us.  They are against unions, voting, public schools, post office, public prisons, etc..  Theocracy is their ideology and they are killing our life as we once knew it.

Comment by Bill Crowley on July 25, 2012 at 11:45am

There are several main causes behind the demise of public education:

1.  The use of state budget shortfalls to justify cuts in public education.

2.  The desire to destroy public employee unions, especially teachers' unions because they frequently support liberal candidates for office.

3.  The ongoing effort to privatize EVERYTHING for the purpose of PROFIT.

4.  Like imperialism, another logical extension of capitalism.

In Indiana, we experience two consecutive $300 million shortfalls in education financing.  Later, the money was found by our Republican administration.  They want to give that money back to the people and not the schools.  I guess voucher money was not enough.

Comment by Gary Strawley on June 5, 2012 at 3:29pm

The corporations own congress and they want cheap labor like china!  That is why the gop+tea are against education and want to lower everyones wages, but the rich!  Wake Up!!  That is it in a nutshell!!!!

Comment by Paul Taslimi on June 4, 2012 at 2:50pm

The example you bring up also showcases a broader and more disturbing trend: the use of Education (an essential public service) as a means to union bust. Teachers are easy targets. Most are so overworked and underpayed that they have little time to challenge the right wing push to dismantle public education. It is rather amazing that the focus is always on how the teachers perform and never on what parents can do to help teachers. Kids spend most of their time at home not at school yet what happens at home is never an issue. If it is going to be about "personal responsibility" then lets involve the parents in the discussions. Enough with beating up on teachers.

Comment by Daniel Seigo, Jr on June 4, 2012 at 1:03pm

Here's an example of what happens to teachers who are highly qualified, paid what they are worth and politically active.

Comment by Mande on April 17, 2012 at 10:31am
I also want to say..that my child attends a National Blue Ribbon School..we won this year..YaY! We have a large amount of low income kids, but we thrive bc of wonderful teachers who encourage parents to be involved. We also have a very small school which is a bonus for everyone. So don't give can be done in ANY environment with community organization for ANY child
Comment by Mande on April 17, 2012 at 10:26am
I asked my Gov. (N.Haley) why she defuned public edu. (&low income womens hc) as she was handing out an 18k bonus to a man already making 6figs..all I got were ugly comments about how I am just a socialist idiot who shouldn't raise kids...hahahaha! Damn straight I'm a socialist and I raise a straight A student along w 2 other fairly good students and 1 child who came to me as 5th grader reading like a 1st..he is a thriving 7th grader I'll just stay a socialist and fight for ALL kids to be educated
Comment by Mande on April 17, 2012 at 10:21am
Yes! We should make sure ALL the children of this country can have an edu.! Not just those who can afford it or on the edge of affording it w help of that voucher that took money away from the public school. Vouchers have done nothing but slowly defund public school by giving money to already wealthy kids going to private school anyways

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