On April 17th in Chicago, a group of parents, educators and children staged a "Play In" at Chicago Public Schools headquarters as a way to advocate for more appropriate curricula in Chicago's early childhood classrooms. This inspiring event had one central message: "less tests, more play". Read here to learn how bubbles, play dough and puzzles can be used in a peaceful (even joyful!) protest.
In The Atlantic, John Tierney writes The Coming Revolution in Public Education. His article expertly outlines the criticisms of the current reform movement:
"... the reforms have self-interest and profit motives, not educational improvement, as their basis; corporate interests are reaping huge benefits from these reform initiatives and spending millions of dollars lobbying to keep those benefits flowing; three big foundations (Gates, Broad, and Walton Family) are funding much of the backing for the corporate reforms and are spending billions to market and sell reforms that don't work; ancillary goals of these reforms are to bust teacher unions, disempower educators, and reduce spending on public schools; standardized testing is enormously expensive in terms both of public expenditures and the diversion of instruction time to test prep; over a third of charter schools deliver "significantly worse" results for students than the traditional public schools from which they were diverted; and, finally, that these reforms have produced few benefits and have actually caused harm, especially to kids in disadvantaged areas and communities of color."
...as well as the ground swell of resistance! Check out the entire article here. It is a must read.
And one more thing...here is a letter of resignation from Gerald J. Conti, a social studies teacher at Westhill High School in Syracuse, N.Y. His letter was posted by Valerie Strauss on her blog, The Answer Sheet. Conti's eloquent words and scathing review of the current education system help to paint the picture of what is happening to quality education in our country. "After writing all of this I realize that I am not leaving my profession, in truth, it has left me. It no longer exists."