Tag Archives: Focus Schools

Multi-billion dollar policies that have most assuredly contributed to the embarrassing drop in NAEP scores

We’ve had 15 years of education reform policies under Bush/Obama/Markell. ┬áThose policies have included — but are not limited to — more charter schools, more testing, most consultants, RttT, fewer reading and math specialists, more bloated bureaucracy at the Department of Education, more threatened school closures and turnaround, PLCs, “deep data dives,” “rigor,” “grit,” Teach for America, priority schools, focus schools, focus plus schools, Charter School Performance Fund monies for schools who a) don’t show a financial need for it or b) have shown no track record to deserve it, data coaches from FOX News’ Wireless Generation…need I go on?

The same policies and ideologies towards which millions of dollars have been ostensibly wasted all in the name of student achievement and heightened teacher accountability that could have been used to provide immediate supports to our neediest of schools. These are the policies of the last 15 years that have attempted to corporatize and privatize our schools.

And you know what? They’ve failed. Miserably. The gold standard of assessment — the NAEP — tells us we’ve failed. And you know who takes this stuff the hardest? The classroom teachers and specialists who’ve been saying for years that failed policies under two presidential administrations and this governor have given many cause to quit well before they’ve hit their peak.

It’s too late for the kids who’ve already gone through the system these last 15 years. Will we have the courage to stop the insanity NOW so we don’t risk the future of the next generation of kids?

Mike Matthews