Investigating the Corporate Fingerprints in the Media Attacks on Teachers and Colleges of Education


Investigating the Corporate Fingerprints in the Media Attacks on Teachers and Colleges of Education

By Nancy Bailey | Originally published on Nancy Bailey’s Education Website | View the original article | Twitter: @NancyEBailey1 | Author of Losing America's Schools: The Fight to Reclaim Public Education

By Nancy Bailey

A media rollout of criticism towards teachers and their COEs mostly over reading, has fueled debate about what teachers know about teaching. Are these reports what they seem, or is something else going on? None of these commentaries look at the effects of Common Core State Standards. Look closely and one finds corporate school reform fingerprints.

If reformers can break the parent/teacher bond, they can convince parents to sign on to unproven charters, choice, Teach for America, or putting their child online for their schooling. So, it is important to scan these negative reports carefully. Start by recognizing negative titles.

Here are two examples:

What Education Schools Aren’t Teaching About Reading and What Elementary Teachers Aren’t Learning by Kate Walsh, Deborah Glaser, and Danielle Dunne Wilcox.

This title criticizes teachers and their education schools in one fell swoop! Originally printed in 2006, it’s the foundation of complaints in recent reports.

One author is Kate Walsh, president of the board of the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ). The NCTQ is a think tank funded by groups like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Teach for America founder, Wendy Kopp, and other harsh critics of public schools and teachers have sat on the board of NCTQ. These individuals pretend to care about student learning gaps and public education, but they are school privatization enthusiasts.

Current negative reports are similarly critical of the way reading has been taught. They mention the NCTQ and positively reference the National Reading Panel to support phonics and criticize career teachers and what they have (or have not) learned in their COEs. The value of phonics instruction is an important discussion, but the NRP was discredited years ago. It only reviewed phonics research. The NRP panel never studied whole language, and no early reading teachers were included on the panel.

Principal Joanne Yatvin was on the panel but recused herself. See: “I Told You So! The Misinterpretation and Misuse of the National Reading Panel Report”.

“Concerned About Reading Instruction, State Cracks Down on Teacher Prep Programs, Starting with the Largest” by Ann Schimke.

“Cracks down on” sounds like something illegal occurred. The state cracks down on speeding… The state cracks down on underage drinking… You get the picture.

They’re talking about the University of Northern Colorado at Greeley, a university known as one of the finest education schools in the nation. The students in K-12 in Colorado we’re told aren’t doing well based on test scores. There could be many reasons for this. Maybe students haven’t done well with Common Core and the PARCC testing. But teachers and the university are solely blamed.

Here’s the corporate fingerprint in the report:

“I think this is one important lever,” said Amy Pitlik, government affairs director at Stand For Children Colorado, an education advocacy group.

She said the state’s rigorous review of the University of Northern Colorado’s prep program will put other universities on notice that the Education Department is taking its role in reauthorization seriously when it comes to literacy instruction.

Stand for Children is no friend to teachers or public schools. They’ve spent millions on elections to place corporate school reformers on school boards to do their corporate bidding. Usually, any district with SFC closes public schools. How is SFC connected to the State of Colorado, its university system, and how it will change teacher education?

The SFC staff aren’t career teachers or reading specialists. One staff member is a parent organizer. Scroll down on the following link to see the full list of Stand for Children 2017 Donors. The names include: Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Waltons, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and many more.

The bottom line is that parents, teachers, administrators, and school boards should determine how reading will be handled best in their local school districts. A panel to study student needs and the overall up-to-date research about reading is what’s needed.

Next time you see an article with a negative title about teachers and their education schools, skim through the report and see if you can spot the corporate fingerprints. Maybe you’ll find new ones. Please share hem so we all will learn what to look for.