The above graphic comes from the Louisiana Department of Education with mention of groups supporting educational reform ideas: charter schools, TFA, increased teacher accountability via the tracking of student data, common core. However, education reformers supporting these reforms (administrators, bureaucrats, politicians, lobbyists, think tanks) have forgotten what the word “public” in “public education” means. There is the implied assumption that “grassroots” demands include all the reforms listed above, but that isn’t a valid assumption. These are reforms not to provide better education, these are reforms designed to create a “human capital market”. Here is another graphic from the same publication:
I don’t see taxpayers and parents on this list as being consulted on how education should be delivered. This is all about creating a policy environment, human capital market, a political climate to deliver on the needs of CMOs (Charter Management Organizations). These groups and individuals have determined what children need, not the educators or taxpayers who have to support the public system via their taxes. The “grassroots” are being led by the “grasstops” (refer to the first graphic):
So the Louisiana Department of Education sees itself and these special education reform groups as “grasstops” for the “grassroots”. But what happens when the authentic “grassroots” don’t agree with the self-appointed “grasstops” message? Well, the grassroots are just mowed down because in reality, the grasstops really don’t want to hear from you in the first place. They’ve never asked you for your opinion. It’s been all about asking the CMOs, not the parents.
The “public”, consisting of the taxpayers who fund the system and provide the children for its existence, is increasingly demeaned by labels from the ed reform contingency. Those questioning the standards and other educational reforms dreamed up by the special interest groups are determined to be:
- Opposed to standards
- Opposed to any educational reform
- Tea Party
We have experienced our share of ridicule in Missouri when Representative Mike Lair inserted a line in the Education budget of $8.00 for tin foil hat wearers. This tin foil was for those concerned about Common Core. However, this snarkiness pales in comparison to how Louisiana parents were treated by the education reformers (grasstops) at a recent hearing.
From Louisiana Parents Against Common Core and The Louisiana State Capitol: Private Property of the Special Interest Groups?:[color-box]
Read the entire article here. You will be shocked (or maybe not) by the behavior of the MIPs (Most Important People) in the room.
The writer gives specific examples from various sources of how the lobbying groups are hostile and rude to those who do not agree with their reform agenda. Louisiana (and perhaps all of our states to varying degrees) is being ruled by lobbyists and grasstops rather than the people who pay their taxes into educational systems and provide the children.
What is THE rule for future hearings in any state? Get these people on video and/or audio. Confront them publicly. Parents are tired of the disrespect they are receiving from lobbyists and education reformers. Send these ed reformers to “character education” and civic classes since they seem to be lacking of any semblance of good character and understanding of how representative government is supposed to work.
Read this comment from a reader from the Louisiana site who provided the link for the Louisiana education reform plan:[color-box]
Look at page 9 of the “LA Charter Operator Pitch Book” -link below – which is in the “Charter School Resource Library” at the LDOE website. On page 9 LDOE brags about LABI and CABL’s 100% record of defeating reforms. ‘Yay!!! The crowd in the House and Senate Ed Committee room cheers! We have defeated another bill that parent’s like! ‘
It is true that if there is a reform supported by parents, teachers, educators – it is more likely than not going to be opposed by LABI and CABL. Bottom line: they bring money. Parents don’t.