Nancy Bailey has assembled a devastating review of a three-decades long effort to destroy the teaching profession and replace it with models derived from the corporate sector. She begins:
The pandemic has been rough on teachers, but there has for years been an organized effort to end a professional teaching workforce by politicians and big businesses.
In 1992, The Nation’s cover story by Margaret Spillane and Bruce Shapiro described the meeting of President H. W. Bush and a roomful of Fortune 500 CEOs who planned to launch a bold new industrial venture to save the nation’s schoolchildren.
The report titled, “A small circle of friends: Bush’s new American schools. (New American Schools Development Corp.),” also called NASDC, didn’t discuss saving public schools or teachers. They viewed schools as failed experiments, an idea promoted by the Reagan administration’s A Nation at Risk, frightening Americans into believing schools were to blame for the country’s problems.
The circle believed their ideas would break the mold and mark the emergence of corporate America as the savior of the nation’s schoolchildren.
The organization fell apart, but the ideas are still in play, and corporations with deep pockets will not quit until they get the kind of profitable education they want, for which they benefit.
They have gone far in destroying public education and the teaching profession throughout the years, not to mention programs for children, like special education.
Here are the ideas from that early meeting, extracted from The Nation’s report, with my comments. Many will look eerily familiar.
. . . “monolithic top-down education philosophy,” which disrespected teachers, parents and communities alike.
NCLB, Race to the Top, Every Student Succeeds Act, and Common Core State Standards disregarded teachers’ expertise and degraded them based on high-stakes test scores.
These policies also left parents and communities feeling disengaged in their schools.
Please open the link and read the rest of this perceptive post.