Monday, November 18, 2013

Missing the Point

Much of the opposition to the corporatization of schools focuses on the opposition to processes:  utilizing the Common Core, quarterly common assessments, Student Growth Objectives, etc.  This wholly misses the point.  There are schools and school systems that instituting these without objection, even some that are embracing them.  What is the difference between what is happening in the schools where there is an increasing and vocal opposition, like Montclair, and those where there is not:

1)  There is a lack of appreciation of the culture of the community.  There is an assumption that there is a prescription for school success that is transferrable across schools and districts that does not involve any qualitative judgement.
2)  There is a lack of emphasis on humanism, compassion, dignity and respect.
3)  Teachers are treated as means to an end, as is teaching.
4)  The primary mode of communicating is defensiveness and self-promotion.
5)  Every decision is top down.  There is a lack of emphasis on local authority and team building.
6)  All change must be abrupt and sudden and systematic.
7)  There is a narrative that the schools are failing.
8)  The leaders have no commitment to the community.  They are in to bring change and leave.
9)  The leaders are using the opportunity to move on to bigger and better things.
10) What is presented as listening is proselytizing.
11)  Loyalty is valued above competence.
12)  Management and control are valued more than creativity and individuality.

If these speak to you, your school may be infected by the "corporatization virus.  You may need to have your district reform the reform, the only cure for this insidious disease.

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