How Education ‘Reform’ Serves Everyone But Our Kids

Originally posted at TownHall.com

It’s the quintessential tragedy of education reform today. Paychecks – not children – are the golden ticket of a movement that has been hijacked by consultants and experts with years of business experience yet none in the classroom. Bureaucrats and reformers talk a big game about closing achievement gaps, raising high school graduation rates, and improving accountability and performance mechanisms for school districts and classrooms. Yet they fail to deliver when the time comes to put visions into workable, applicable plans. Paychecks are cashed while schools are shuttered and children are left holding the textbooks, unable to read them.

For a case in point, look at Newark, New Jersey, where massive philanthropic gifts have done nothing to stem budget shortfalls, school closures and teacher layoffs. Just this week, The New Yorker released a 12-page expose on Cory Booker’s vision for Newark Public Schools. Consistently one of the most underperforming school districts in the country, Newark has been in immense need of transformational reform for years. Booker, a national advocate for school choice, sought help from an unlikely source – CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg, who pledged $100 million with a requirement for matching funds to enact Booker’s plan.

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Think the NSA and IRS are bad?

Originally posted at Rare.us.

For the last twelve months, we’ve watched conservative Republicans in Congress rail against unconstitutional NSA spying and the targeting of tea party groups by the IRS. Many question why government needs access to all of our information in the first place.

Yet, largely unnoticed and with bi-partisan approval from Congress, a large and powerful infrastructure is actively collecting the data of millions of American kids every single day.

According to Politico, “(Education) tech companies of all sizes, from basement startups to global conglomerates, have jumped into the game. The most adept are scooping up as many as 10 million unique data points on each child, each day.”

“That’s more data, by several orders of magnitude, than Netflix or Facebook or even Google collect on their users,” Politico adds.

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No Winners or Losers, Just Mediocrity

Originally Posted at Smart Girl Politics - SGPAction.com

It’s October 2014. Hot dogs are cooked, peanuts are ready, and stadiums have perfected their version of Take Me Out to the Ballgame. Ten teams have risen above the pack and are set to begin battle in the Major League Baseball playoffs. 

However, Bud Selig has called a press conference three days before the first pitch that he says will change the landscape of America’s past time forever.

He enters the room flanked by Warren Buffett, Michael Bloomberg, and Bill Gates. Determined, they adjust their microphones and eye the reporters. “We know many of you are excited to begin playoff competition, a tradition that spans families, franchises, and generations,” Selig says. “However, after long thought and input by trusted advisors, we’ve decided that this level of competition is unhealthy. Every team has worked hard for 162 games, shown up to practice and double headers in the heat, and should be rewarded for their participation. We’ve decided to award every team, and every player, with an award of achievement rather than allow just one team to celebrate winning a World Series championship. As fans, this makes all of you winners.”

The room is silent. Reporters and fans start checking their clocks and calendars, ensuring it isn’t actually April 1st.

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