Cross Posted at MN Progressive Project
The most recent report on world educational excellence came very few solid conclusions as to what makes great education. Countries from very diverse backgrounds and cultures had similar success, and others similar failure. However, there was one clear, striking, and prominent similarity that all of those countries shared. All successful countries have an overpowering respect for teachers and the teaching profession.
Then you come to America. A place where Michelle Rhee, Student's First, and the Koch Brothers tell us what makes great education. Her organization just released their most recent Education Deform ratings. Make no mistake, these are not education reforms. They are labor reforms meant to tear down the teaching profession, and privatize the industry.
In the Top Five of states with the best education policies? Louisiana, Florida, and Washington D.C. Yep, those are the states to emulate. Among states receiving D's or F's? States like Iowa, Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin. States that consistently perform high in actual educational outcomes. How could it be any clearer that the modern education reformers care nothing for actual outcomes, and more about controlling labor?
You see, modern education reform is predicated on the idea that there are just too many terrible teachers. The only way to rectify the problem is remove any and all quality of profession protections. It is as if they think, magically, all the teachers in Edina just happened to be fabulous and all the ones in Saint Paul, crap.
The modern reformers treat teachers in the exact opposite way that is the one common thread in successful nations. In Minnesota, our most prominent DFL education deformer will tell you, with a straight face, that she believes 99% of teachers are excellent. She loves teachers. Meanwhile, her #1 goal was to remove the job protections of those 99% in order to get after those nasty no goods. That is an exact quote. 99% of teachers are fantastic. The best way to honor those 99% is to take away their rights?
It doesn't even make practical sense. Why are removing labor protections the number one goal if she was being honest that she thought it was only 1% of the problem? It's obvious it is not about education. The labor reforms proposed come with a heavy political, emotional, and societal toll that would only be justified if it was the biggest bang for educational improvement. Not only is modern reform not the biggest bang for the buck, it is not even remotely correlated with success. Look at their own grades just published. The idea that the deformers are doing it because they love teachers is Orwellian at best and duplicitous at its worst.