Peter Greene: Everything You Need to Know about Reform

These two implications are insightfully explained by Peter Greene.

Complete government and corporate partnership control

Completion of de-professionalization of teaching

Based on the other comments, I’m not the only one that had a flashing neon side in their head, saying, FASCISM, when reading this piece. Well, maybe others don’t have neon sides in their head, but Fascism, by its definition, is clearly infiltrating the American public education system, which is the heart and soul of a democratic society.

We have been on life support for so long, though. The recent reform movement is trying to take to a whole new Dystopian level, but we need to be honest. How long have textbook companies and the testing industry been dictating what kids learn and what teachers teach?
We have ourselves to blame, as educators, that we have been too complacent until now.

The same goes for the de-professionalization of teaching. How long have teacher education programs been graduating teachers who want to be told what to teach and when to teach it? I cringe every time a new set of teachers come to our rural school, which is underfunded with inadequate resources, I will grant you that- but I cringe when their biggest complaint is, What am I supposed to teach? Where is the curriculum? Where are the lesson plans? I love helping and mentoring new teachers, but we, as educators, need to see ourselves as professionals. The way I see it, the less they tell me to do, the more autonomy I have. Granted, being a new teacher is the most overwhelming feeling in the world, but that can be remedied in two ways; radically improve teacher education and allow the teachers who have 20 years under their belt to be mentors instead of being sent out to pasture and marginalized for having something to say besides, “How high would you like me to jump, sir?’

Diane Ravitch's blog

Peter Greene, high school English teacher in Pennsylvania, prolific blogger and humorist, decided to create “the big picture” of education reform. What’s it all about?

Peter writes:

“Why do we have these policies that don’t make sense? Why does it seem like this system is set up to make schools fail? Why do states pass these laws that discourage people from becoming teachers?

“My friends, colleagues and family ask these kinds of questions all the time. So my goal today is to step back and try to fit the pieces into the larger picture. If you have been paying attention, you already know this stuff, but perhaps this post will help someone you know who’s trying to make sense of reformsterdom. Here, then, is my attempt to show the big picture.”

Peter sees a convergence of two big ideas: one, the longing for centralized efficiency, with everyone from…

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