In the 1980’s, corporate-politicos and the National Governors Association waged a silent coup in taking over this nations public schools improvements. Their actions unraveled improvements of the 70’s, devalued the teaching profession, and further limited learning opportunities particularly for underprivileged children.
These “reformer’s” actions culminated in the 2001 national policy dubbed “No Child Left Behind” (NCLB) with its reliance on the theory of standards and testing.
Costs have risen dramatically as more tax dollars enter the pockets of private testing companies, publishers, supplemental service providers, charter management organizations, and “non-profits” (good and bad). Meanwhile, true “achievements” changed very little.
The original version of this blog was an article written post-2010 elections. Update: 2014
The truth? NOTHING HAS CHANGED. Politicians are directing public education. The bonding of politicians to corporations, and entrepreneurial and political interest lobbying groups, puts our children squarely at the mercy of politics.
The true indicators of the quality of our system — rates on dropouts, graduates, adult literacy, college enrollment, degree completion, and the financial efficiency of the system — are what we must know to be fully informed. Test scores are not relevant. That whole “process” is corrupted.
Our “leaders” have set the wrong goal for the American education system.