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The "education reform" movement is a scam, makes schools appreciably worse

Paying teachers less doesn't make schools better. Making it easier to fire teachers doesn't make schools better. Focusing on high-stakes testing doesn't make schools better. New data shows school “reformers” are full of it - Salon.com
Meanwhile, despite the fact that many “reformers’” policies have spectacularly failed, prompted massive scandals and/or offered no actual proof of success, an elite media that typically amplifies — rather than challenges — power and money loyally casts “reformers’” systematic pillaging of public education as laudable courage (the most recent example of this is Time magazine’s cover cheering on wildly unpopular Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel after he cited budget austerity to justify the largest mass school closing in American history — all while he is also proposing to spend $100 million of taxpayer dollars on a new private sports stadium). In other words, elite media organizations (which, in many cases, have their own vested financial interest in education “reform”) go out of their way to portray the anti-public-education movement as heroic rather than what it really is: just another get-rich-quick scheme shrouded in the veneer of altruism. That gets to the news that exposes “reformers’” schemes — and all the illusions that surround them. According to a new U.S. Department of Education study, “about one in five public schools was considered high poverty in 2011 … up from about to one in eight in 2000.” This followed an earlier study from the department finding that “many high-poverty schools receive less than their fair share of state and local funding … leav(ing) students in high-poverty schools with fewer resources than schools attended by their wealthier peers.” Those data sets powerfully raise the question that “reformers” are so desperate to avoid: Are we really expected to believe that it’s just a coincidence that the public education and poverty crises are happening at the same time? Put another way: Are we really expected to believe that everything other than poverty is what’s causing problems in failing public schools? Because of who comprises it and how it is financed, the education “reform” movement has a clear self-interest in continuing to say yes, we should believe such fact-free pabulum. And you can bet that movement will keep saying “yes” — and that the corporate media will continue to cheer them as heroes for saying “yes” — as long as public education money keeps being diverted into corporate coffers.

Louiana schools are endorsing faith healing and witch doctors over actual science

Again, this is child abuse. Politicians and religious leaders are going out of their way to make kids dumber and to hide science from them because the actual truth (evolution, climate collapse, etc) hurts their feelings and makes them scared. Louisiana creationism video: State Sen. Elbert Guillory defends faith healing. - Slate Magazine
During this year’s state Senate hearing to repeal LSEA, Guillory explained that he wouldn’t want to keep the “science” behind an experience he had with a witch doctor—who “wore no shoes, was semi-clothed, used a lot of bones that he threw around”—out of a public school science classroom. Guillory said he is worried that repealing Louisiana’s creationism law will "lock the door on being able to view ideas from many places, concepts from many cultures." Have no fear, Sen. Guillory, there is a great place for ideas from many cultures: history class, or philosophy or comparative religion classes. Faith healing and creationism are not science, though, and do not belong in a public school science classroom. I’ve testified three times against LSEA, and each year, one legislator becomes a star. This year it was Guillory, but last year, Sen. Mike Walsworth provided the best evidence for why science education in Louisiana needs to be upgraded. He completely misunderstood evolution and demanded that scientists show him an experiment in which E. coli bacteria would turn into a person. If LSEA remains on the books, Louisiana may continue to have an ample supply of elected leaders who lack a basic understanding of evolution. Another lesson some Louisiana politicians have yet to learn is the value of science and scientists. That lack was demonstrated two years ago by our first legislative star, Sen. Julie Quinn. Tired of hearing that the campaign to repeal LSEA had been endorsed by 78 Nobel laureate scientists and multiple major science organizations representing tens of millions of scientists worldwide, Quinn explained that the scientists whose discoveries had built our way of life were just people with “little letters” behind their names whom she had no interest in hearing from.