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Great Article on Conversations We’re Dodging

October 29, 2013

Jeff Bryant,  a blogger for the Education Opportunity Network hits nail after nail on the head in this well written and cogent essay entitled: The Education Reform Conversation We Need Vs. The One We Have. As readers of this blog might suspect the conversation deals with the effect poverty has on student performance and the erosion of good schooling that has resulted from the “reform” movement. The title comes from this question which an audience member posed at a debate between conservative education proponent Frederick Hess and Arne Duncan:

“When are we going to have the conversation nobody wants to have … that we live in a society that educationally and otherwise has policies that favor some groups at the expense of others? When are we going to have a panel that doesn’t consist of white males in suits who have no children who are at risk?”

“The policies that are in action,” she explained, “I don’t have any say in those. How can we believe that the policies that are created are not doing what they are doing, that they are not designed to create a permanent underclass?”

No one on the panel of “…white males in suits” answered the question, either remaining silent or launching into meaningless platitudes.

Bryant contrasted this exchange with an ACTUAL conversation that took place with Diane Ravitch and a group of diverse panelists on an MSNBC show. You know Ravitch’s line of thinking: poverty and inequity ARE the biggest problem with our schools and despite those obstacles our schools are NOT failing.

We know what needs to be done… but it might cost money or  (gasp) require some extremely wealthy people or tax-avoinding corporations to pay more money into the system to help those children who need help. Let’s do it….

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