Publication Date: 2004-01-09
Truth is the boldest,bravest thing you can have. Yet, Truth is rare these days, because, if you are a newspaper or a magazine, you may lose your advertisers if you tell it.
In short, you are afraid to tell the truth, or at least, the whole truth. So goes it with most of America's media.
Fear has a power all its own, and it is spreading. It's a form of propaganda. Here's how it works:
1-- Start with a threat (your school is scoring low with reading and will be declared ?inadequate?) or some such nonsense;
2-- Continue with a specific recommendation (we have the program that answers all your problems, so says Stepford programs like SFA or OC or something else that is scripted and prepackaged);
3?Allow the audience to perceive that this recommendation will solve the threat (it?s research-based, and so what if all the research is done by those who constructed the program, as is true for SFA)--We will train you how to read a script, so how can you fail?)
Someone with a Ph.D. in Social Relations or psychoneurology would know the effects of fear. Such a person would surely know that ?all things being equal, the more frightened a person is by a communication, the more likely he or she is to take positive preventative action? (Pratkanis and Aronson, 1991). The preventative action being: implement the program so that you are not the cause of it failing.
I don?t think the Ph.D. in Social Relations or psychoneurology thought that teachers would organize a web-site to discuss outside research, to discuss their fears of teaching honestly, and to come up with their own solutions. I don?t think that was in the ?fear? plan.
The internet, I think, is the last stronghold of truth, because, somewhere in all that is posted is the whole pictures. There are enough choices on the internet to find the answers to questions, as long as you have the precise questions ready.
Here are some possible questions:
1--Is the fear reaching more than just the teachers? Look at your own classroom of children and ask yourself: do I as a professional fear that these children will fail in life without this program? Are the children afraid to fail? Have both the teacher and student been made to fear low standardized test scores?
2--A more important question to ask is: why are these test scores so important to others? What do they really mean?
3--if the fear is not valid, then why take on the solution as recommended?
4--viewed objectively, what are the merits of the solution from my point of view, as a teacher? Do I, as the professional, see the solution as viable for use within my classroom?
Fear is a great agent of control. To keep control, fear will check up on the program constantly, that it is being ?implemented? in the manner intended. This is the point at which the teacher ought to believe nothing and question everything. This is where the teacher ought to get other research from everywhere except anyone connected with the program. Going on-line is the best way. Finding real outside research is very important because any program that uses so many techniques of propaganda has to be questioned.
You are the professional; you are the teacher. You must do this sort of questioning, this sort of research, or, be prepared for ?the takeover?. Your opinion matters, as long as it is based on evidence. If your opinion is not paid heed to, then something is very wrong at your school level. This is why you must ?fight back? with real information and research; if you do not, a takeover is inevitable.
?Not in my school?, you say? I am more than sure many people thought the same way in a much more extreme situation?Nazi Germany. ?Oh this is just a program,? I hear you thinking. No, I tell you it is a step in a battle going on today in the educational system of the USA. There is a long-range plan involved. Read the NCLB law, HR.1, for yourself?all 1100 pages of it. See where this law leads.
Step by step, little by little, program by program leading to test by test, public schools will be labeled. There will come a point when the school that fails to progress will be taken over. This whole concept of progress gets ridiculous after a bit. It means that if the average score of a school is at 95%ile, and the next year, fails to progress on average to the 96th or 97th or 98th%ile, then it shall be labeled ?inadequate?, no matter how high the average score is. The theoretical reality is: a school can only score so high, and then, can go no higher. Still, the law does not consider that reality.
In the shadows lurks corporate America wanting the money that runs your school. Corporate America would love to control you, have you as its employee, have schools be a ?for-profit? entity. The ?corporatization of education is inevitable unless you, as the professional teacher, ?fight back.? In fact, the very future of a free and public education, accessible to all is at stake, as is your right to be free to teach in a manner and style that is yours and that is appropriate to each child.
Think about it.