- GOVERNOR WOLFGovernor of Pennsylvania
END The PA Common Core, Standardized Testing and The Corporatization of Public Education -- Our Children are NOT for sale!
- Governor of Pennsylvania
Dear Governor Wolf:
The implementation of the Pennsylvania Common Core and high stakes standardized testing is corrupt and dismantling our education system. We implore you to take a stand and end the tragedy of the corporatization of education in the United States of America. Our children are not for sale.
The Pennsylvania Common Core, mandatory high stakes testing and accompanying curricula is really about companies such as Pearson Publishing making billions of dollars and not about our children and education. It's really about the corporatization of education and not truly education. This is resulting in a huge cost and it must be stopped.
We are seeing our leading districts (top in the USA) being dismantled. We are experiencing power being taken away from parents and local school boards where "we the people" have a voice. Parents must always have a voice. There must be accountability. Federalizing education is wrong. Curricula should be decided locally where parents and teachers best know the academic needs of their children. School boards are accountable to voters/parents. Corporations are not. This is highly problematic. The founders were very wise in setting up the system of separation of powers and the system of checks and balances. Pearson -- a UK Company --lobbied the Governors Association to usurp our system. It is unacceptable for local and state power established in our system to be usurped by lobbying powers and the very notion is a threat to our young republic.
As Governor of Pennsylvania, throw out the whole Pennsylvania Common Core and high stakes standardized testing. Do not "rebrand" it. Get rid of it for good. The entire premise is corporately motivated without accountability to the public -- we the people -- but with access to public dollars. It is wrong and at the expense of our children. The publishing company Pearson has a great sales pitch. It's well honed which why it has gone as far as it has and as quickly as has. However, the pitch versus the practice is something different altogether. The very notion of one size fits all education is flawed. Each child is unique. Each child has different strengths and weaknesses. We all do. That's what makes our country strong. We aren't all one size fits all identically thinking drones and nor should we be. What makes this country great is that it allows differences in thought and celebrates that and our economy has fostered from that. We absolutely must celebrate intellectualism and the need for it. Quality education is the key. However, the overarching macro McDonaldization of conveyer belt education is highly problematic and anti-intellectual as well as down right boring!
This notion of proving learning and success of the curricula via standardized testing has in effect dumbed down the curricula in many leading school districts. In "failing schools" the results have been school closures. So what replaces them?? -- The impact has been some children (high test scorers) get to go to charter schools (tax payer funded without taxpayer accountability and massive corporate profits). Yes, there are some wonderful charter schools. However, more and more less altruistic ones are cropping up -- why? No need for public accountability yet access to public dollars. This is an outrage.
All while this is happening what about the non high testing scoring kids?? Just because a child doesn't test well doesn't mean they can't contribute, aren't bright and are lacking potential. However, with their public school closed and since they don't have the needed scores to show a school is "succeeding" -- they don't have a school in which to go. So what happens to those children? Leading districts are being dumbed down and the teachers are hamstrung. Meanwhile, in "failing districts" schools are being closed rather than helped and as a result there is a crisis that is happening and not all children have a school as a result.
Moreover, to tie teacher pay to the test results leads to teaching to the test rather than teaching a love for learning as well as demoralized teachers. We have amazing teachers. We don't want to lose them. Education and learning is nuanced -- it isn't mechanized. The USSR and Mao's China tried that -- it didn't didn't fare well. We do need quality education. We need the celebration of intellectualism. This comes from teachers and academics who are dedicated to their students. It does not come from corporations who stand to gain billions of dollars at the expense of our children. This is all a very complicated woven web. It comes at enormous cost -- an entire generation of children and their education. Anti-Common Core does not mean anti-education -- on the contrary!
Governor Wolf, make a difference and return education to "we the people" and end the corporatization of education.
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