Sunday, May 24, 2015


A Declaration for Education
By:  Cheryl Gibbs Binkley


To:   The Education Policy makers, Corporate Reformers, Governors, Mayors,  National and State Legislators on both sides of the Aisles, Venture Philanthropists,  Non-Educator Think Tank Theorists, and those who back them, from the very top Government Officials and Venture Philanthropists to every paid employee who serves them.


We the People, have let you know through e-mails, posts, tweets, phone calls, marches, rallies, and Opting Out that:


             The tests that you are insisting measure our children are statistically invalid, have no instructional value and are draining money away from real learning.

             Yet you continue


             The Standards which you have been sold are developmentally inappropriate and are stripping our children’s lives of the things children need most: active learning, color, music, play and wide ranging curiosity.

             Yet you continue


             Forcing children, some of them with language issues, learning disabilities, and developmental delays, to sit and look at walls, waiting for a test that is deliberately only used to label them failing is child abuse.

             Yet you continue


             The data you collect on our children is neither a reflection of who they are, nor does it belong to you for mining, manipulation, or misuse.

             Yet you continue


             Manipulating test data through floating cut scores, arbitrary formulas, and random selection of measures for the sake of creating a market is neither capitalism nor democracy, but fraud at the cost of children.

             Yet you continue

               

             Refusing our schools funding unless we agree to your egregious practices is theft of tax dollars already paid, and corruption of the worst kind.

             Yet you continue


             Draining billions of dollars from classrooms and schools into global corporate testing companies who neither provide appropriately constructed tests, nor quality scoring, nor reliable test delivery is financial malfeasance.

             Yet you continue


                                                                               

             Filling our schools with untrained temp teachers, from non-profit in name only companies, temps who are unable to deliver an orderly classroom, much less high quality instruction, stunts our children’s academic growth.

             Yet you continue


             Every school you starve through underfunding and then close disrupts our communities and destroys the fabric of our society.

             Yet you continue


             Every building you confiscate to give to your donors for publicly funded but private use is graft and corruption of the most unethical kind and deprives our communities of needed spaces for services and education.

             Yet you continue


             Every group of teachers of experience, color, ethnic diversity, or youthful enthusiasm that you rif, lay-off, or drive from the profession deprives our communities of the skilled and committed mentors and learning our children need.

             Yet you continue


             Every local board in poor communities you strip of democratic control is an act of biased dictatorship.

             Yet you continue


             Funneling ever more money into paid PR campaigns, and crony-ist media to defend these indefensible actions and to discredit the voice of parents, teachers, and local citizens is propaganda and disinformation of the most dishonest kind.

             Yet you continue


             The goal of turning our children into obedient low-wage workers, willing to carry out your pre-determined goals and increase profits to your companies is not an acceptable model of education for our children or our nation’s future.

             Yet you continue

                                                                                                               

You must Stop this Malevolent Attack on our children and their schools. We insist that you cease and desist your aristocratic-style management of our local and personal lives, and that you drop the egregious Corporate Education Reform actions that you have been implementing. You may not practice Noblesse Oblige as though it were Democracy.


We are not plebians, or peons, or peasants, or serfs. We walked and sailed thousands of miles to come here in order for our children and grandchildren to have a better life with a meaningful education and fulfilling work. We fought a revolution to declare our independence and freedom. We built a nation through paid and unpaid labor.  We established a society and culture that became a model for all time, and have established our schools to prevent our children from ever becoming the huddled and disenfranchised masses again.  We educated ourselves to higher levels every generation in order to become worthy citizens, and created the greatest public education system ever known to humanity in order to make sure ALL our children receive the best possible education, and that our society might ever become a better environment in which to live.


You may not treat us as the peasant class. Your access to elite circles and money does not grant you that privilege because We are the People. 


It is Our Government, and Our Schools.  You may not have them.

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