From the New York Times:
“Let’s hope the fiscal crisis doesn’t get better too soon. It’ll slow down reform,” said Tom Watkins, the former superintendent for the Michigan schools, and now a consultant to businesses in the education sector.
The fiscal crisis is harming students. Case in point: the Arizona district profiled has more students qualifying for free or reduced-price lunch with no demographic change: it's the same kids, just living in more poverty. Closer case in point: the San Francisco Food Bank isn't providing snacks to low-income schools this year. They don't have the resources.
That's just food. Higher poverty means worse housing conditions: we have more homeless or insecurely-housed students than ever at our school. There are fewer programs for children outside of school. Adults are under more stress, and higher stress rarely leads to good outcomes for children.
I could go on, but I don't want to take the focus off the education deformers. Ultimately, they are so tied to their agenda that they cheer for conditions that are bad for children. Mr. Watkins hopes that more children suffer so that his profitable, private concerns get more public cash. Rarely do reformers state their purpose so clearly. They're about anything but the children. The harm children experience is second - if that - to the profit motive.
We need to take these revolting folks seriously, but we must refuse to cede them even an inch. There is no moral value, no ethics, and no care for children or our future in their position. We must call out their lies.