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NCLB Outrages

School Reform means More Power for the Corporations

by Peg Oliver

1.In every poor community with Title 1 public schools, the adult "education and literacy attainment" (those with "less than 9th grade," "less than a high school. diploma," "speaks English not well or not at all," is about half that of the whole state. (Texas, Louisiana, Florida, etc.)

And even though it's easy to document that educated parents have more books in their homes, talk and read to their children more, and are involved, engaged, and helpful in their children's learning, not a single plan suggests a single dollar for adult education and literacy.

In fact, all self-development, such as adult English and GED classes, as well as practical vocational classes in the high schools and in the communities (with which people have become self-sufficient for years, has been cut or cut out by the today's U.S. Dept. of (literally, NO) Education.

Notice all the letters on http://www.susanohanian.org, and take note of the mention in a TIME magazine article Sept. 17, 2007, raving about a huge corporate charter school program in New Orleans, page 49, col. 2, end of second paragraph: (a planned) "community learning center (is to be) funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York."

Sounded good, so I checked the corporation's website. (I check EVERYTHING! Doesn't everyone?) Not a single Adult Education or Literacy program could be funded by the corporation's multi-millions.

2.Professor James Horn documented (on Susan Ohanian.org) a few years ago that "grade level standards" -- used for grade promotion and graduation in the states with the most minorities for years -- have been at least one level above normal -- with first grade teachers forced to teach second grade work, wiping the students' tears, mopping up their vomit, calming their parents' fears. Others kept back in 9th grade for inability to pass TASP, TAKS, pushed out, in justice system, desolate, hopeless.

Re-read Rich Gibson's frightening article. Can we stop them? Are our politicians, our presidential candidates smart enough, or do they love the bandwagon too much?

Peg Thompson Oliver, M.Ed., Founder, Director, Lead Teacher,ret., Coalition of Literacy Services, Inc., 1984-2005, Open, yearround, self-paced GED classes in all public libraries in Hidalgo County, TX.

— Peg Oliver


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