Friday, April 05, 2013

Who Puts Children First, Always?

I continue to be amazed at the depths to which reformy folks will sink when personally attacking their critics. Now, if you send your kid to a private school, you have no right to criticize charters. This is the new paradigm because charters are the "choice" you get if you aren't rich.

Some choice. I should send my kid to some heavily regimented test prep factory instead of a public school. I went to a Gotham Schools fundraiser where I watched videos by Doug Lemov from his how to be a great teacher book. One showed the amazing teacher who handed out papers so fast it cut into barely one moment of class time. I, a stupid and useless public school teacher, was left to reflect on the 40-page stapled booklet of handouts I gave the kids once, rather than quickly 40 times. Of course the fact that this idea came off the top of my head and was not written about by Lemov rendered it useless. The fact that I'm a public school teacher meant I was part of the problem anyway.

The second video was of kids moving from one room to another. They all lined up and moved quietly. No talking, no nothing. It was like a scene out of 1984. Just the thing I want my kid to know about.

Obama sends his kids to a school with small classes and no high-stakes tests. So does Bloomberg, Klein, and Rahm. Their kids are not packed into rooms like sardines and made to recite idiotic slogans. They're not told to work hard and be nice, and they aren't in the classroom 200 hours a week. In other words, they aren't being prepped for lives as Walmart associates.

This is not about giving us or our children choice. It's about flinging nonsense in front of our faces, depriving us of what is available to the wealthy, and hoping we'll sit down and shut up. If you fail to sit down and shut up, be prepared to have the New York Post editorial page impart its wisdom on the topic of why you should sit down and shut up.

It's time for us to stand up and shout that we don't want our kids treated like sardines, that we want education rather than testing for our kids. And it's time to tell the world that we, the teachers, the parents, are really the ones who put Children First, Always.

Screw DFER and the New York Post editorial board, who would not spit on our children if they were on fire.
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