A media rollout of criticism towards teachers and their COEs mostly over reading, has fueled debate about what teachers know about teaching. Are these reports what they seem, or is something else going on? None of these commentaries look at the effects of Common Core State Standards. Look closely and one finds corporate school reform fingerprints.
If reformers can break the parent/teacher bond, they can convince parents to sign on to unproven charters, choice, Teach for America, or putting their child online for their schooling. So, it is important to scan these negative reports carefully. Start by recognizing negative titles.
Here are two examples:
What Education Schools Aren’t Teaching About Reading and What Elementary Teachers Aren’t Learning by Kate Walsh, Deborah Glaser, and Danielle Dunne Wilcox.
This title criticizes teachers and their education schools in one fell swoop! Originally printed in 2006, it’s the foundation of complaints in recent reports.
One author is Kate Walsh, president of the board of the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ). The NCTQ is a think tank funded by groups like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Teach for America founder, Wendy Kopp, and other harsh critics of public schools and teachers have sat on the board of NCTQ. These individuals pretend to care about student learning gaps and public education, but they are school privatization enthusiasts.
Current negative reports are similarly critical of the way reading has been taught. They mention the NCTQ and positively reference the National Reading Panel to support phonics and criticize career teachers and what they have (or have not) learned in their COEs. The value of phonics instruction is an important discussion, but the NRP was discredited years ago. It only reviewed phonics research. The NRP panel never studied whole language, and no early reading teachers were included on the panel.
Principal Joanne Yatvin was on the panel but recused herself. See: “I Told You So! The Misinterpretation and Misuse of the National Reading Panel Report”.
“Concerned About Reading Instruction, State Cracks Down on Teacher Prep Programs, Starting with the Largest” by Ann Schimke.
“Cracks down on” sounds like something illegal occurred. The state cracks down on speeding… The state cracks down on underage drinking… You get the picture.
They’re talking about the University of Northern Colorado at Greeley, a university known as one of the finest education schools in the nation. The students in K-12 in Colorado we’re told aren’t doing well based on test scores. There could be many reasons for this. Maybe students haven’t done well with Common Core and the PARCC testing. But teachers and the university are solely blamed.
Here’s the corporate fingerprint in the report:
“I think this is one important lever,” said Amy Pitlik, government affairs director at Stand For Children Colorado, an education advocacy group.
She said the state’s rigorous review of the University of Northern Colorado’s prep program will put other universities on notice that the Education Department is taking its role in reauthorization seriously when it comes to literacy instruction.
Stand for Children is no friend to teachers or public schools. They’ve spent millions on elections to place corporate school reformers on school boards to do their corporate bidding. Usually, any district with SFC closes public schools. How is SFC connected to the State of Colorado, its university system, and how it will change teacher education?
The SFC staff aren’t career teachers or reading specialists. One staff member is a parent organizer. Scroll down on the following link to see the full list of Stand for Children 2017 Donors. The names include: Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Waltons, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and many more.
The bottom line is that parents, teachers, administrators, and school boards should determine how reading will be handled best in their local school districts. A panel to study student needs and the overall up-to-date research about reading is what’s needed.
Next time you see an article with a negative title about teachers and their education schools, skim through the report and see if you can spot the corporate fingerprints. Maybe you’ll find new ones. Please share them so we all will learn what to look for.
james s.katakowski says
Who would have known that teachers would have to look over their shoulders to be attacked like they were thieves in the night from corporate America on how they educate children. Being blamed for low test scores which they have absolutely no control over as every class is not the same, does not address the real problems. Money, poverty, and family issues are the strongest indicators of student success. Armchair quarterbacks with no educational background telling teachers why they are so bad is not productive. Almost all teachers are hard workers, doing the job not for a million $$, but to make a difference in their students’ lives. All this profiteering has ruined education especially these business models that have no relevance to kids. This subjective only narrative is destroying the best thing America ever had which is public education.
Nancy Bailey says
I couldn’t have said it better! Thanks, James!
PTA parents say all the time that the “parent teacher relationship is broken”. Seems it is broken on purpose.
Nancy Bailey says
I agree, Lyn. You know when parents and teachers unite it is powerful. I’ve seen this with the Red for Ed marches. Thank you so much.
Sooo enlightening and TRUE! When I read an article that presents public education and its teachers negatively, I scroll and scroll to find out the sponsoring group which I then Google. 99% success rate for finding
that the article, organization, or author is on the billionaires’ or charter schools’ payroll.
~ Excellent comment. People do not understand the demands put on today’s teacher. The Federal Government should get their corporate-owned nose out of the business of education. Teachers are like soldiers in the field – THEY DO THE FIGHTING EVERY SINGLE DAY, while the rest sit back and second guess. Even as a substitute – it didn’t take long to see the nonsense going on in today’s schools.
Nancy Bailey says
Lee, I am referring here to the corporations that have interjected their ideas into the federal, state, and local levels of school governance.
Thanks for recognizing the importance of teaching and for your comment!
Nancy Bailey says
It seems I’m not the only one who does this. I look at backgrounds of the critics and those who run nonprofits.