EDUCATE! ORGANIZE!! MOBILIZE!!!
These are the three pillars on which Ed Notes is founded – providing information on current ed issues, organizing activities around fighting for public education in NYC and beyond and exposing the motives behind the education deformers. We are part of a tiny band of resisters. Nothing will change unless YOU GET INVOLVED IN THE STRUGGLE!
As Jonathan Kozol observed in an article in Harper's:
Some years ago, a friend who works on Wall Street handed me a stock-market prospectus in which a group of analysts at an investment-banking firm known as Montgomery Securities~described the financial benefits to be derived from privatizing our public schools. "The education industry", according to these analysts, "represents, in our opinion, the final frontier of a number of sectors once under public control" that "have either voluntarily opened" or, they note in pointed terms, have "been forced" to open up to private enterprise. Indeed, they write, "the education industry represents the largest market opportunity" since health-care services were privatized during the 1970s. Referring to private education companies as "EMOs" ("Education Management Organizations"), they note that college education also offers some "attractive investment returns" for corporations, but then come back to what they see as the much greater profits to be gained by moving into public elementary and secondary schools. "The larger developing opportunity is in the K-12 EMO market, led by private elementary school providers", which, they emphasize, "are well positioned to exploit potential political reforms such as school vouchers". From the point of view of private profit, one of these analysts enthusiastically observes, "the K-12 market is the Big Enchilada".
Learning requires reinforcement through homework and studying, otherwise, whatever is taught in the classroom will not be retained. This is one of the reasons for poor test results.
2) The teacher is the most important factor in learning.
Student attitudes, motivation and effort are the most important factors in learning. If these factors are lacking, no teacher will be successful. Test scores are primarily a reflection of these factors.
3) More money will improve education.
Education budgets have been continually rising for many years will little results. NYC has an education budget of approximately 20 billion. Federal money has been increasing to schools. Student attitudes, motivation and effort are the factors which money can not buy.
4) Smaller Learning Communities (including smaller schools) will improve education.
Smaller Learning Communities have been around since the 1980's with little results. It is a cosmetic fix as class sizes are generally no different than other schools. Smaller Schools (last ten years) only get better results when student populations are changed. In ten years, smaller schools will combine and the large comprehensive high school will return due to poor results and cost effectiveness.
5) All children must be prepared for college.
Many students have no desire to go to college and due to their own choices, lack the skills necessary. We see evidence of this in the extremely low CUNY 2 year and 4 year graduation rates. High schools must focus on the needs of these students by primarily preparing them for the workforce.