What Do People Talk About When They Talk About Schools?

Joseph Luc
Angela Ramirez
Isbel Salgueiro
Elodia Santiago
Maddie Valeiras

What do Politicians Talk About When They Talk About Schools?

-- Education is always in some form of crisis.

-- Education is an economic issue.

Sputnik was the catalyst for our educational comparison to other countries.  Politician's concern was in our contribution to science and economic stability of our country...the race for superiority began.

Our schools has become the excuse for everything that is wrong with our nation.  

According to Joel Spring, "Blam[ing] schools makes good politics because otherwise politicians might have to blame corporate managers, factory owners for moving their factories offshore, and leaders of financial institutions for economic problems" (Spring, 2011, p.18).

What Does the Media Talk About When It Talks About School?

The media's analysis of what is wrong with education is the same discourse as those of politicians.  They make no analysis of their own as to whether the political agendas are true or not.

What do Parents Talk About When They Talk About Schools?

Parents are positive about school

Every parent around the world only wants the best for their child...no matter what zip code you live in; every child deserves a quality education.

Have you ever heard of the PTA ?
(Parent Teacher Association)

This is the largest volunteer child advocacy association in the country...

Membership is open to all who support the health and educational achievement of our nation's children, and over 5 million parents, teachers, community members, and other concerned citizens are currently PTA members.


What Do the World's Richest Man and Foundation Talk About When They Talk About Schools?

He is a man with good intentions and he also has a lot of money.  Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, with Warren Buffet have pledged $31 billion, for these three issues...

1. Global health

2. Global development

3. Programs in the United States that largely have to do with improving education

But there are many people concerned about his motives in the field of education.  President Obama has worked closely with his foundation for  many years in regards to education.

What Do Teachers Talk About When They Talk About Schools?

What teachers think are very important indicators of student achievement (survey of more than 40,000 public school teachers)

. Formative, ongoing assessment during class ( 92 percent)

. Class participation (89 percent)

. Performance on class assignments (88 percent)

. District required tests (31 percent)

. State required tests (27 percent)

"Teachers are clear that these day-to-day assessments are more reliable way to measure student performance that one shot standardized tests" (Scholastic, 2010, cited by Spring, 2011, p. 30)

What teachers want from politicians...

"... to leave the decisions regarding testing to the teachers."

"...to eliminate the use of single state assessment to determine student proficiency."

"... test less!"

"...after a few years many just start guessing on tests. So what is the point?"


What teachers are saying about charter schools...

"We need more union charter schools."

"...you can't fix a problem with less money."

"President Barack Obama’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2016 includes $375 million specifically for charter schools (a 48 percent increase over last year’s actual budget).2 To date, the federal government has contributed over $2.8 billion through several grant programs specifically designed to grow the number of charter schools in the United States.3 Despite the sizeable public investment in these institutions, the federal, state, and local government bodies that oversee charter schools have so far failed to implement adequate protections to ensure that taxpayer money is used appropriately to advance the education of the nation’s young people." (The Tip of the Iceberg Charter School Vulnerabilities To Waste, Fraud, And Abuse cited by NEA, 2015)

How do teachers feel about the Race to the Top requirement that teacher compensation be tied to student test scores?

"... all salaries should be determined through collective bargaining at the local level. The unions rejected the idea that any difference in teacher compensation should be based solely on student test scores" (p. 33).

What Do School Administrators Talk About When They Talk About Schools?

The American Association of School Administrators (AASA) representing about 13,000 school administrators in the United States and around the world reaction to Race to the Top is that there is not enough money and it has the wrong emphasis" (p. 35) Their priority is on adequate funding and improving the living conditions of students.

Their highlights to improve schools include the following factors:

* The devastating impact of poverty on our students.

* The lack of universal early childhood education.

* The need for cooperation and collaboration across agencies and organizations.

In contrast to politicians and others, the organization proposes improving the economic conditions of children instead of reliance on data systems and charter schools. (p. 36)

How can Early Childhood Education help?

Can schools defeat poverty by ignoring it? Let's ask Bill Gates...

What Do Black and Latino Educators Talk About When They Talk About Schools?

--  National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE) and the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS) represent African American and Latino/Latina educators.

-- NABSE is fostering the idea that 'Education is a Civil Right' for all children (p. 37)

-- NBASE argues that schools that house minorities as their majority do not receive the same quality of education as white middle class students.

-- Racial segregation in schools is almost always confounded with concentrated school poverty, and sometimes accompanied by linguistic segregation as well. (p. 37).

-- Black and Latino students need schools of equal quality.

-- For many black communities, schools remain uneven in terms of quality.

-- Based on these conditions -- NABSE adopted "Education is a Civil Right"

    -- Foster and develop awareness of consequences of educational underachievement.

     -- Initiate activities that will directly address educational disparities and inequalities of           African American students and families.

     -- Develop talents skills and leaderships.

     -- Provide strategies and activities to those who service high level African-American              student populations.

-- ALAS is an acronym.  Spanish meaning is "wings".

-- Latinos are the fastest growing minority ,yet they stuff from similar setbacks and ALAS     wishes to deal with many of the issues plaguing the African-American community..

-- Particularly, the goal is to recruit more bilingual educators and increase funding for          these teachers.

-- Ultimately, both groups suffer the same dilemmas and voice concerns that go against      the status quo.

What Do Students Talk About When They Talk About Schools?

--  According studies conducted worldwide by the Organization for Economic Cooperation Development (OECD), 35% of students from the United States claimed that they disliked school.

-- The OECD found that older students were more dissatisfied with education than younger students.

-- Additionally, studies showed that female students were more satisfied with education than male students.

-- Students' biggest complaints: school is boring, the quality of teaching is poor, the material is uninteresting, and learning is not individualized enough.

-- Through projects and organizations like the Student Voices Projects, students have been able to express their concerns about education and other topics.

-- One issue that received negative responses from students was the No Child Left Behind Act.

-- Many students opined that the federal government's control over education should be diminished in an effort to leave education in the hands of experts: teachers.

-- Students also argued that standardized testing is not a measure of students success, fails to challenge high achieving students and support low achieving students, and does not account for bad test takers.

-- The debate on standardized testing continues as a new generation of tests sweep the nation.

-- Media and social networking are helping students get their point of view across.

-- Even though most students disagree with standardized testing, they, like their parents, express satisfaction with their local schools.

Discussion Question:
How do people's perception of educators affect the reform process?

Comment Stream

2 years ago

I think it has a big affect on the reform process. Many of these voices spoken about such as politicians, are always pointing the finger back at the school system when-ever their is a problem. What we need to understand is that school are not just to blame. We need to follow after that famous quote " it takes a village to raise a child". Everyone has a role to play in the success of our students. Educators, parents, family, community, and church all play the roll of a well rounded individual. For some reason the only thing that seems to pop up is lack of proper or "good" education. Great job on this presentation I enjoyed the videos. I especially love the video of the 4th grade girl addressing testing.