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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Karp/ Not Waiting for Superman (questions)

In response to the film "Waiting for superman " Rethinking Schools editor  long time policy, and private institution  advocate, Stan Karp addressed all of the untruths about the recently produced film. In his argument, “Who’s Bashing Teachers and Public Schools, and What Can We Do about It?,”  he basically informs his listeners and readers alike on the real problem causers that currently face public education.  Throughout Karps argument he constantly reiterates the fact that the real problem is not the teachers within the school, ( who are constantly being harassed), but there are numerous factors that come into play and are the culprits when looking tat the big picture. Factors such as political forces, inequality, corporate/foundation/political alliances etc. all play huge roles.  Karp explains his worries of the recent criticisms as, "It’s whether the right to a free public education for all children is going to survive as fundamental democratic promise in our society, and whether the schools and districts needed to provide that are going to survive as public institutions, collectively owned and democratically managed, however imperfectly, by all of us as citizens, or be privatized and commercialized by the corporate interests that increasingly dominate all aspects of our society." Afraid of "corporately charged" charter schools for example Karp is squeeming at the fact that education, the best "free" right a person living in America has the right to receive is going to no longer exist in the future.


Questions...


1.As I am not an educator, nor have I ever taken education courses, I am a product of a public schooling system and I think that I have done perfectly fine for myself with that education provided to me. My question is, If we don't use standardized tests, how will we know how students and programs are doing? This may be extremely naive but whenever I have became aware that there is a problem occurring, I try to figure out the best possible solution to fix it. This is one drastic alternative I understand and I also understand the argument of regiment and trying to blame the problem on one area, but if this is tested along with other factors that may play a role what is so wrong with that?


2. Why do you think  Davis Guggenheim, the producer of Waiting for Superman payed no attention to  charter schools that are run by incompetent leaders or corporations mainly concerned to make money? Do you think that this is a way many charter schools are ran? Why do you think that became so, since they did not originally intend to be that way?


3.Due to some cases of drastic racial inequalities, do you believe that charter schools within higher income white class populations should step up to help out the less fortunate schools, or do you think it is too big of a problem to fix at the state government level? If so how do you think that process should occur?




4. Sadly but true, education is always the the first budget to be cut from the Federal level in the time of any fiscal crisis. Actually, currently in Rhode Island the Department of Corrections is operating on a higher budget than our public schooling systems. When hearing news such as this what would you tell teachers to do in order for them to "grab the bull by the horn" to fix this despicable truth?


5. Teachers and their unions are constantly being portrayed as being the only ones that cause the problems with the public school systems we have, when truly it is also the fault of administrators,  parents, politics, and money holders who haven't been doing their part as well. So, why do you believe teachers are always blamed first? Do you think there are levels of blame that can be set on each of the parties I listed as the problem causers?



Interesting article, I would like to actually hear these questions answered maybe we can get him to come into our little class next week... haha one can only dream :)

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