We should be strongly opposed to the dissolution of public schools and the privatization of education.
The best educational experience is guaranteed by the democratic empowerment of organized students, their parents and communities along with organized teachers. We should challenge students with great works of literature, economics, philosophy, history, music, and the arts as regular academic subjects.
We must stop disinvestment in education and instead put it at the top of our social and economic agenda. Effective schools have sufficient resources. Too many of our teachers are overworked, underpaid, and starved of key materials.
We should believe in education, not indoctrination. We do not think that schools should turn our children into servile students, employees, consumers or citizens. We believe it is very important to teach our children how to ask good questions.
We also call attention to the results of a quarter century of corporate funding from the likes of the Bradley and Wal-Mart Family Foundations and a decade of No Child Left Behind and its repackaged new offspring, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)—a vast, well-endowed and lucrative sector which seeks to dismantle, privatize, or militarize public education and destroy teachers unions. Regimes of high-stakes standardized testing and the wholesale diversion of resources away from public schools are provoking crises for which the bipartisan corporate consensus recommends school closings, dissolution of entire school districts and replacement by unaccountable, profit-based charter schools.
We should be unalterably opposed to the dissolution of public schools and the privatization of education.
Therefore, the we should advocate:
- That with the failure of NCLB’s testing mandate, recognize and uphold parents’ right to opt their children out of any standardized test, instead of ESSA’s weak permission of allowing states to pass such statutes. End the official bullying and threats from school and district officials when parents opt out.
- End all standardized testing and instead redirect the millions of funds allocated toward prep, materials, support, etc. to creating expanded access to music, arts, sciences and languages as mandatory, academic subjects.
- End all federal competitive grants like Race to the Top (RTTT) and instead equitably fund schools based on a priority of socioeconomic level.
- ESSA’s passing the buck of “test and punish” to the states puts more authority in the hands of people with even less understanding of pedagogy and child development than even the US Department of Education. Students of color, English learners and students with disabilities used to be able to count on federal oversight of their basic rights in school.
- End ESSA’s promotion of charter-friendly, unproven alternative teaching licensing and “credential mills” like Relay Graduate School of Education and others, that circumvent public oversight.
Sources: Green Party