The Right Attacks Education
The attack on education is in full swing across the United States. From state to state right wing legislators are pushing measures that will strip due process from the contracts of teachers and limit pay raises to merit where compensation will be almost totally dependent upon the performance of students on standardized tests. The right wing here in Wyoming has gone as far as introducing legislation that will put a camera on the teacher in every classroom to gather data to be used in the evaluation and retention process.
Democrats such as Michelle Rhee assisted by President Obama and Secretary of Education Arnie Duncan have been of great assistance to the right wing in this assault on educators. The smash movie Waiting for Superman has also pushed the idea that the NEA and AFT are the true enemy of education and education reform. How misguided indeed. This simplistic approach of blaming the teachers and their unions is typical of how the right wing in this nation approaches a problem. The right is and always has been quite incapable of solving problems that have multiple variables. This attempt to gut the teachers and their organizations is no different.
Nowhere in the vast majority of bills facing state legislatures do we see the issue of economic status of the student discussed as a factor that influences classroom performance. Nowhere are there allowances made for schools and teachers that teach our most at risk students that are mainstreamed in the classroom. Nowhere has there been a discussion of reduction in classroom size (hiring more teachers) so that students can get more individual attention. Those would be far too many variables for the right wing to comprehend. So the right wing, in typical myopic fashion, attacks the teachers as the problem.
This year the right has found new allies in President Obama and his administration. The President who was elected for his populist stands and rhetoric is now aligning more and more with the right instead of standing up for what he advocated during the campaign. No Child Left Behind has been an abysmal failure. It seems that America does not learn very well from history. The current course we are charting in education is pushing us further down the same failed path. How sad this is………especially for the children.