Dear Future President,
It has been the state's right to determine it’s own education policy for the past two centuries, until this country became obsessed with the corporate fundamentals of standardized testing and education. This is one that has failed not only our students, but it’s job market and government.
The states failed, that’s easy enough to see, but what the federal response was, to take the same actions that the states did, except put the full force of the federal government behind them. One could go on and on about the corporate lobbying that allowed this to happen, but it’s so well known that it should not have to be re-stated. It started at the state level as groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council, Pearson, and the College Board lobbied state legislators to instate more testing to seem competitive with other countries around the world. Our nation wound up having one of the most transparent and legitimate testing policies in the world, which compared to nations like the People’s Republic of China, Denmark, and the Russian Federation, where testing was more selective to certain socioeconomic groups, it made us seem like we were on the low end, and were failing. The response was to instate a corporate model into education that would require more testing, standardized curricula , and probably worst of all, standardized observation methods over teachers that would determine their career’s future. This forced and restricted the ways in which schools taught their students, and again forced it into a corporate model. This also brought about the rise of charter schools, which are just another form of corporatization, except this time it’s a whole separate school with public funding. Charter schools are just publicly funded private schools, and solve none of the issues that they claim they are set out to fix. They say they’re offering a better alternative education, yet take away funding from the public school that’s primary issue is the lack of funding. They say they are helping ease the racial divide in education, yet their choosing of their own students results in a greater racial divide. They say they will do better on tests, and the same arbitrary standardized tests that are built for corporately modeled charter to succeed, wind up with better results from their public counterparts.
What I ask the next president to do, is to remove this federal and state forced corporate model, provide greater funding to public schools, get rid of standardized testing altogether, and restrict the federal and state government from interfering with local governments, unless their is proof of misdoings. The federal government should have the right to force sex-education, and history classes that aren’t revisionist, but they shouldn’t be allowed to corporatize federal education. Oh, and outlaw charter schools ,that would be nice.