Business in the front, party in the back

Posted on July 19, 2011

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It seems that education is under scrutiny all the time.

It seems that a lot of people outside of the actual classroom want to blame teachers.

Yet, whenever serious headway is to be made, and when serious reforms are laid out, no real educators are invited to the discussion.

In reality, it is business that is invited to participate in the conversation.

They are invited in to contribute dollars to educate America.  Why?  Because they want to invest in their future employees.

However, this continual business-in-the-front attitude isn’t going to create a party in the back.  The only party happening will be from giant corporations continuing to see their self-interest preserved, while children are given short shrift.

Recently, the Obama administration invited a group of distinguished individuals to the White House to discuss how to improve our education in America.  He invited Colin Powell, CEOs, and representatives from major companies like Intel, Bank of America, ATT, and ING.

Not one teacher made the list?

“A world-class education is the single most important factor in determining not just whether our kids can compete for the best jobs but whether America can outcompete countries around the world. America’s business leaders understand that when it comes to education, we need to up our game. That’s why we’re working together to put an outstanding education within reach for every child,” Obama said in a written statement. (ABC News)

This is the very same idea that the Bush administration touted for the NCLB.  They touted that business would be improved and could compete if our children had better access.  They asked businesses to improve our education by giving money.  Yet, no actual reforms were put in place.

“What we need is retail level connection between every aspect of the business community and the kids who are in those communities that are in need,” Colin Powell added.

While I agree that business can help in funding education reforms, I don’t believe that this will actually solve anything.  It’s this attitude that influences our education priorities.  If we continue to treat education as a business, and treat students as cogs to fill that business model, we will continue to see America decline while other countries pass us up.

Please stop treating teachers like business men who need to meet quotas.  Please stop treating children like new workers who need to learn only one skill in order to push a button.  Please actually consult innovative and effective teachers who are working in the classroom now.

Otherwise, Mr. President, you’re promoting nothing except that money rules and that money is the only thing that matters.

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Posted in: Education, Politics