Instead of “top-down standards” and “punitive high-stakes testing,” we need “supports-based reform,” according to the Education Declaration to Rebuild America. Public schools are turning into “uncreative, joyless institutions,” the declaration states. “Educators are being stripped of their dignity and autonomy, leading many to leave the profession.”
By focusing solely on the achievement gap, we have neglected the opportunity gap that creates it, and have allowed the resegregation of our schools and communities by class and race.
. .. What’s needed is a supports-based reform agenda that provides every student with the opportunities and resources needed to achieve high standards and succeed . . .
Signers include education historian Diane Ravitch, writer Jonathan Kozol, Stanford Education Professor Linda Darling-Hammond, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel.
Ed Week summarizes: “They reiterated their call for more funding (and more equitably distributed), more early education, better teacher training, high-quality diagnostic tests, more-effective discipline, and parent engagement.”
The declaration was organized by the Education Opportunity Network, which is affiliated with the Institute for America’s Future, and by the Opportunity to Learn Campaign, funded by the Schott Foundation.
(I’ve learned from the opponents of education reform that philanthropy is “corporate,” sinister and self-interested, so I’m surprised to see the campaign taking foundation money. No, I’m not. That was sarcasm.)