R-E-S-P-E-C-TFind out what it means to me
~Aretha Franklin (And Otis Redding)
Teachers, we’re told, leave due to disrespect. Let’s break that down. Teachers have been driven out of the classroom due to a 30-year plan by corporate school reformers and politicians to privatize public education.
Americans should be worried. Without qualified teachers, students won’t learn what they need to gain acceptance to quality universities or find decent careers.
It will destroy our country if we collectively become lesser educated. Public schools are one of the last democratic institutions to unite people, and well-prepared teachers make this happen.
Here are five examples of how teachers have been and continue to be driven out of the classroom and why. The list is incomplete. There’s MORE TO COME!
I welcome feedback.
The pandemic showed how critical safe school buildings are and the poor state of school infrastructure. This continues, like 115,000 Philadelphia students who had learning disrupted due to no air conditioning. Or see the lousy conditions in Columbus. Why has this gone on for so many years?
One theory is that teachers are being replaced with tech, anywhere, anytime learning, and students will get vouchers for private and cyber charter schools.
The old model of, everybody goes and sits in a classroom, and the teacher is in front of that classroom, and teaches that class, and you do that all across the city, all across the state, all these buildings, all these physical classrooms — why, with all the technology you have?
Watch for new cyber or smart schools described here without teachers.
A smart school integrates technology into the mechanics of learning, helping to prepare students for life in the modern world of work.
2. Class Size
Large classes mean reliance on technology.
Ian Round of the Daily Memphian tells how billionaires drive public school reform. This is a good example of what’s happening across the country. The two reports are behind a paywall, but the titles are:
Billionaire charter school advocates gave to at least 22 organizations that endorsed TISA.
Twenty-two nonprofits received huge sums to support the Tennessee Investment in Student Achievement despite concerns it doesn’t support teachers. See Andy Spears of Tennessee Education Report and the Tennessee Coalition for Public Education in The Tennessean.
How pro-charter school tech billionaires quietly influence state government.
Here Round describes how the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gave $5.5 million in grants to Chiefs for Change, former Gov. Jeb Bush’s organization, to promote charter schools.
Outside partners promote charter schools and vouchers and nonprofits, with individuals who may or may not be educators, with an anti-teacher agenda and who will profit on funding that should go to public schools.
Think how billionaires could have supported students and teachers over the years.
Public school and teacher critics used Covid to scapegoat teachers over remote learning, even as CDC Director Rochelle Walensky admits to a botched Covid response.
Many schools still lack decent air quality! One of my teacher friends is currently recovering from a bad case of Covid.
Economist Emily Oster’s controversial writings that schools could have safely stayed open, according to Protean, were funded by grants from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the Walton Family Foundation, Arnold Ventures, and far-right billionaire Peter Thiel. The Mercatus Center, a think tank founded and financed by the Koch family, managed the Thiel grant. These groups are not friendly to public education or teachers.
Pandemic blame intentionally cast teachers as failing, eroding public trust in them.
Drill and micromanagement of impersonal commercial and online instruction focused on Common Core State Standards turn teachers into script followers and classroom monitors.
Instruction often becomes cold and calculating, aligning specific goals and objectives to tests, setting the stage for online instruction and more data collection.
Many poor schools have stripped art programs, fired art teachers, shut down school libraries, and fired librarians, focusing on narrow offerings and standards leading to all-tech.
Stay tuned for more examples of how teachers have been and continue to be driven out.
Educators We’ve Lost to the Coronavirus. Education Week. (2020: April 3). Accessed at https://www.edweek.org/teaching-learning/educators-weve-lost-to-the-coronavirus/2020/04.
Round, I. (2022: August 29). Billionaire charter school advocates gave to at least 22 organizations that endorsed TISA. Daily Memphian. Accessed at: https://dailymemphian.com/section/metro/article/30066/bill-gates-walton-family-tisa-tennessee-department-of-education
Round, I. (2022: July 2). How pro-charter school tech billionaires quietly influence state government. Daily Memphian. Accessed at: https://dailymemphian.com/subscriber/article/29550/chiefs-for-change-mark-zuckerberg-bill-gates-influence-tennessee-charter-education.