For those of you who are interested in education “reform”, take a look at this letter from Bill Cala, who is the superintendent of one of our suburban school districts (Fairport), to his teaching staff. Here’s a taste:
As this country gets poorer and poorer and the few get richer and richer the pride of our nation, its public schools, are being disassembled while Bill Gates, The Walton’s, The Koch Brothers, Eli Broad and other scavengers are feasting at the table of greed.
While the situation may seem hopeless, I believe parents are able to bring this tyranny to a screeching halt. Assessments should be used only for the benefit of students…..nothing else. Last year over 60,000 parents in New York refused the 3-8 tests. This year it is expect that number will triple. The refusal movement will indeed collapse the evaluation system and the governor’s plan to dismantle public education.
Cala was on a local radio program this week and it’s worth a listen if you’re interested. He really believes that the test refusal movement will sink Cuomo’s ed reform battleship. His comments about how teachers are getting blamed for the problems of poverty in urban schools are also worth a listen. Cala is interim superintendent at Fairport after a long and successful career there. Fairport, like most of the Rochester suburban schools, is one of the best public school systems in the nation. He was also interim at the Rochester City Schools, which are some of the worst in the nation, in a city with a serious problem with childhood poverty. So he’s seen both sides and been consistent in defending the position that schools cannot be the sole cure for the effects of severe poverty.
Open thread for those who aren’t interested in this stuff.