26 December 2007

NCLB Moving the Middle Class from Public Schools

This is a claim I have read a few times. I don't buy the Bush Co. conspiracy stuff too much, but there is definitely a concerted effort to remove the teacher's unions from public schools, by privatizing the schools. The author doesn't address that issue direclty, but tries to make the issue children vs corporate interests.

The fact does remain that urban public schools systems are being decimated, and the students that have moved to charter schools don't appear to be improving either in their scores or in their graduation rates.

...NCLB testing is part of a systematic effort to privatize diverse urban public schools in the United States. The objectives of privatization have been threefold: first, to divert taxpayer money from the public sector to the corporate sector; second, to capture part of the market, which would otherwise be receiving free education; and third, to drive out middle class accountability, leaving behind a disposable population that won’t have a voice about the inappropriate use of their tax dollars, nor the bleak outlook on their futures.
“The emergence of HMOs and hospital management companies created enormous opportunities for investors. We believe the same pattern will occur in education,” observes Mary Tanner, Managing Director of Lehman Brothers.
Randy L. Hoover and Kathy L. Shook note that a study of 593 Ohio School Districts show the district’s high stakes tests “to correlate with Social Economic Status to such a high degree as to virtually mask any and all actual academic achievement claimed to be measured by these tests.”
The effect of NCLB has been to dismantle public education by funneling public tax dollars directly to corporations through penalties, private tutoring companies, and vouchers.
False Reports of NCLB Success
A 2006 study by Harvard University Civil Rights Project found that the successes reported by NCLB proponents “simply do not show up on an independent national test, the National Assessment of Educational Progress, known as the ‘nation’s report card.’”
Pat Wechsler reported in Business Week that thanks to partnerships with businesses, such as McDonald’s, in under-funded schools, students “learned how a McDonald’s works, and how to apply and interview for a job at McDonald’s.”

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