The Seattle Times editorial board—which I liken to the Wall Street Journal‘s for its tone deafness, on one hand, and its fervent ideological stances, on the other—again attacked Washington state’s teachers union for its “bellicosity,” in this case, about its refusal to use results of students’ standardized test in teacher evaluations. The editors have essentially blamed the union for shortchanging children.
Give me a break.
As is the ideologue’s want, the editors have engaged in their own act of refusal. They blatantly ignore the psychology of learning and turn a blind eye to the legislation that led to the state’s being the first to lose its waiver. The No Child Left Behind law, fortified by Obama’s Race to the Top, was lousy when it was championed by G.W.Bush. It has now morphed into a top-down, federally manipulated education agenda that creates and sustains markets for cash-trollers instead of developing life-long learners. The White House message to students is unequivocal: you will learn x, y, and z—or else. Oh, and we, the federal government, shall determine the x,y, and z through the Common Core curriculum and liberal use of test data. Constitutionalists should be outraged.
If the Times‘ editors were sincere in their advocacy for children, they would be rebuking the centrist Democrats and whacko Republicans in Olympia who have squeezed education budgets for years, denying students and teachers decent school buildings, adequate materials, and smaller class sizes. Besides, why shouldn’t all children have the same education opportunities as the offspring of Bill and Melinda Gates, who are busy undermining public schools in the name of reform? Now that’s a nice place to start, editors.
UPDATE (April 28, 2014):
I recommend this piece by Anthony Cody on the Gates Foundation’s reform efforts.