Kids at well-to-do suburban schools do exceedingly well against global competition on international reading and math exams. The U.S. average is dragged down to middling, or worse, in the global rankings by its high concentration of high-poverty schools.
And some parents who live in those communities say they don’t understand how higher standards will automatically lift their children to higher achievement.
“It’s not so much that I oppose higher standards for our children. We definitely need improvement,” said Karran Harper Royal, whose 17-year-old son attends a charter school in New Orleans. “The issues I have with Common Core have more to do with the lack of real supports to help our most challenged children reach those standards.”
Smarick, the education consultant, said he would advise Duncan and other Common Core supporters to deal with the dissent by sticking to upbeat talking points.
November 5, 2013
But the real test of labor’s renewed appeal will come in Boston.
Boston mayoral candidate Marty Walsh is a union man. And that does not sit well with much of media and political elites that have tried to suggest that a former union leader — as opposed to a corporate CEO — might bring biases to the job. In fact, Walsh brings strengths. He knows how to negotiate, he knows how to get a fair deal, and he actually think it’s important to respect workers.
But that hasn’t stopped his opponents — supporters of “school choice”
experiments, corporate interests, traditionally Republican donors — from spending heavily to rip Walsh’s record as a labor activist, even going so far as to issue a video attacking the former head of the Boston Building Trades for rallying in solidarity with Wisconsin workers when Governor Scott Walker was attacking them in 2011.
Walsh was behind in the polls initially but he’s closed the gap as Bostonians have become aware of how his opponent, fellow Democrat John Connolly, has earned the backing of conservative Republicans. A recent Boston Globe headline read: “For Republicans, Connolly is the Democrat of choice. In Boston’s mayoral race, GOP donors shy from Walsh and his labor background.”
If Walsh wins as a proud union man, that victory will send a signal about the growing recognition on the part of voters that we need more leaders who are committed to protect the rights of working people, their unions, public services and public education.
posted on BillMoyers.com
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We should do what works to strengthen our schools:
- Provide universal early childhood education (the U.S. ranks 24th among 45 nations, according to the Economist);
- make sure poor women get good prenatal care so their babies are healthy (we are 131st among 185 nations surveyed, according to the March of Dimes and the United Nations);
- reduce class size (to fewer than 20 students) in schools where students are struggling;
- insist that all schools have an excellent curriculum that includes the arts and daily physical education, as well as history, civics, science, mathematics and foreign languages;
- ensure that the schools attended by poor children have guidance counselors, libraries and librarians, social workers, psychologists, after-school programs and summer programs.
- Schools should abandon the use of annual standardized tests; we are the only nation that spends billions testing every child every year.
- We need high standards for those who enter teaching, and we need to trust them as professionals and let them teach and write their own tests to determine what their students have learned and what extra help they need.
Our nation is heading in a perilous direction, toward privatization of education, which will increase social stratification and racial segregation. Our civic commitment to education for all is eroding. But like police protection, fire protection, public beaches, public parks and public roads, the public schools are a public responsibility, not a consumer good.
READ MORE: The charter school mistake by Diane Ravitch
Hannah Nguyen and I at Occidental College! pic.twitter.com/gazCbzouJv— Diane Ravitch (@DianeRavitch)
"This is House Republicans and the tea party people saying we don’t want negotiate with the Democrats.." -Bill Clinton
“This is House Republicans and the tea party people saying we don’t want negotiate with the Democrats, we want to dictate over the senate, over the house Democrats, over the speaker of the house of our own party, and over the President; we insist on dictating the course of the country.”
-Bill Clinton, September 29, 2013
Chris Conroy on Schools; high-performing which Charter schools can do; great neighborhood schools; and choice
I worked on the Boston United For Students Coalition. For me, I’m pro-teachers union, because they serve a purpose in making sure that teachers have the wages that they deserve, the working environment they deserve, and the political representation they need to be respected in terms of their profession. And I’m also pro-equity for our students in terms of our public schools, and I am for high-performing schools, however that needs to happen. My contention is that a charter school can do that, if it’s done the right way.
Those are complex issues; driving people into the black-or-white answer are you pro-union are you anti-union, are you pro-charter school are you against the charter school, really starts to inhibit our ability to solve the problem which is how do you have a great school in every neighborhood and ensure that every child and parent have the option of choosing a school that is right for them in the city of Boston.