The media tell you that other nations have higher test scores than ours and that they are shooting past us in the race for global competitiveness. The pundits say it's because our public schools are overrun with incompetent, lazy teachers who can't be fired and have a soft job for life.
Don't believe it. It's not true.
Las dificultades que causa la generalización de la escuela para todo el mundo, que es algo de lo que casi nadie habla cuando hace comparaciones, y que pocas veces estamos dispuestos a financiar adecuadamente:
Since the 1840s, our public schools have been a bulwark of our democratic society. Over time, they have opened their doors to every student in the community regardless of that student's race, religion, language, disability, economic standing, or origin. No one has to enter a lottery to gain admission.
With this openness, there is a price to be paid: Our public school teachers have one of the most difficult jobs in society. Their classes include children who are recent immigrants, many of whom don't speak or read English; they include children who have social, emotional, mental, and physical disabilities; they include children who live in desperate poverty.
¿Queremos una sociedad más igualitaria, o queremos una sociedad donde a los excelentes les vaya muy bien y el resto que se apañe como pueda?
También sobre las pruebas estandarizadas que todo el mundo ha de superar y que igualarían a todos, harían que algunos se esforzasen más y el rankismo (tan de moda por nuestra tierra, últimamente) y el excelentismo :
Instead of seeking equitable funding, Congress decided that it would impose a massive program of school reform based on standardized testing. The new law required states to test every child in reading and math from grades three through eight. The theory behind NCLB was that teachers and schools would try harder and see rapid test score gains if their test results were made public.
Y sobre la privatización (concertación?):
Charter schools on average do not produce better academic results than regular public schools. As charters proliferate, regular public schools lose students and funding, and many charters try to avoid the students who are most costly and difficult to educate. Merit pay has failed again and again.
Y lo que perderemos (perderán) en caso de continuar en esa dirección:
What we will lose, if we move in that direction, is public education. Just as every neighborhood should have a good police station and firehouse, every neighborhood should also have a good public school.
Y, los motivos por los que se implantó la educación pública (incluso habla de emprendedores):
It is worth remembering that the reason we first established public education was to advance the common good of the community. It began in small towns, where communities agreed that all the children should be educated for the good of all and the sake of the future. Public schools have a civic mission: They are expected to prepare young people to become citizens and to share in the responsibility of maintaining our society. As political forces tear them apart, creating opportunities for entrepreneurs and for profit, it diminishes our commonwealth. That is a price we must not pay.
A mi algunas cosas me suenan a las que también estamos viendo por aquí, pero cada uno tendrá sus ideas y podrá sacar sus propias conclusiones.
Casualmente, por las mismas fechas, leía también este otro que uno, la verdad, no lee igual de a gusto: En defensa de lo público pero que viene a sostener lo mismo, con otro tipo de argumentos. Cada cual que lea y saque sus conclusiones.