Don’t say “education reform,” advises talking points developed for National Education Association leaders. It’s OK to refer to “education improvement or “education excellence.”
“Providing basic skills and information” is out, according to the PR memo. “Inspire curiosity, imagination and desire to learn” is in.
It’s Orwellian doublespeak, writes RiShawn Biddle on Dropout Nation. But replacing “inequality” with “living in the right zip code” highlights the fact that “Zip Code Education” keeps lower-income students out of high-quality schools.
NEA leaders will then have to explain why their affiliates, along with that of AFT, fight . . . against the expansion of public charter schools and other forms of choice that have proven to improve graduation rates for black and Latino children.
. . . (Teachers’ unions) work together with traditional districts to oppose any overall of school finance systems that will lead to dollars following children out of failure mills and warehouses of mediocrity to any high-quality school, public, private or charter, that provides them with teaching and curricula they need.
Conor Williams also sees the irony in complaining about zip codes while opposing choice and charters. The NEA doesn’t want to talk about “equity,” he notes.
. . . black and Latino children are more than four times as likely to attend high-poverty urban schools than their white peers. . . . Yet the NEA recommends that members instead talk about being “committed to the success of every child.”
Should we use “research driven practices” and “measure what matters” using “meaningful, rigorous evaluations?” No—apparently we should “get serious about what works,” because “love of learning can’t be measured,” and “testing takes time from learning.”
Schools are not supposed to be “effective learning environments” in the fuzzy new world. Schools are “where childhood happens.”
If that’s not completely meaningless, it’s wrong. Childhood happens at home, in the playground, where ever kids happen to be. Schools claim to be places where children learn important skills, knowledge and habits. If they’re just “where childhood happens,” we could save a lot of money.