Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Sunday, July 21, 2013

George Miller Is Right

Representative George Miller, ranking Dem on the House education committee, never met a standardized test he didn't like, a teacher he didn't think should be evaluated by that standardized test and testing companies and edu-entrepereneurs he wasn't happy to take money from in order to make sure the Endless Testing regime he helped put in place with No Child Left Behind continues ad infinitum.

AOL Post is running some jive video of Miller giving an "impassioned" speech against the Republican NCLB re-authorization bill in which he says "Children are running out of time in this country!"

Miller is upset because the GOP bill rolls back some of the NCLB data tracking nonsense, doesn't require teachers be evaluated using test scores, and doesn't promote the Endless Testing regime that Miller loves.

Representative Miller is right that children are running out of time - he's simply wrong about why they're running out of time.

Miller and his pro-testing, pro-privatization Dems have been either making ed policy or helping to make ed policy since 2002.

In that time, we have seen testing increase to every subject in every grade all the year through so that teachers and schools can be evaluated using test scores.  We have seen all kinds of data tracking of schools from the feds in order to hold "failing" schools accountable. We have seen districts get rid of gym and music and art and recess in order to increase time given for test prep.  We have seen schools ignore teaching to the whole child, get rid of social and emotional learning, replace literature with informational text reading and personal writing with argumentative essay writing.

Miller is right that children are running out of time - they are running out of time to get a real education that goes beyond test prep, argumentative writing and informational text reading.  They are running out of time to go to a school where they have recess or they take field trips or sit around in healing circles or talk to a counselor about their feelings rather than their standardized test scores.  They are running out of time to go to a school in a system that privileges human individuality and autonomy over systemic standardization and compulsion. They are running out of time to be treated like human beings rather than data points.

In short, they are running out of time because Miller and his pro-testing, pro-privatization Dems and the Repubs who stand with them have done their best to destroy public education in less than a generation, blame it on the teachers and schools, then sell off the pieces to the very donors who give to these crooks or hire them once they leave office.

Miller can decry the Republicans and they're cutting of the budget for schools all he wants.

He is as to blame for the destruction of public schools with his pro-privatization, pro-testing policies as they are.

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