After reading the New York Times piece about virtual schools, specifically K12 and Connections- Pearson, some horrible truths and some equally horrible lies have been absorbed into my mind. The author of this piece tries to essentially put K12 and Connections- Pearson on the stage as these big for profit corporations that directly influence the independent charter schools that buy their services into making adverse, unethical, and illegal decisions. The author further goes on in her crusade against virtual charters in falsely misstating K12′s role as an EMO (Education Management Organization) like venture and then continues to hodgepodge instances of inequity and lax oversight, specifically at the corporation’s largest affiliated school, Agora Virtual Academy.
Truth of the matter is that while the author tried to hodgepodge instances that would warrant overall worry and justify questioning of K12’s and Connections-Pearson’s corporate morale she fails to differentiate K12′s scope of ability from the schools. The author further fails to understand the collective importance of the virtual charter school, the schools sponsor (depending on the state this is a public college, education service center, school district, or the state department of education), and the state department of education relationship. In her article she is repeatedly citing K12 as the reason for individual schools instances of inadequate oversight, incompetence within leadership, noncompliance, and ethics violations without regard to how the schools have their authoritative bodies set up or even if states have regulations pertaining to such practice of influencing beyond means. The author also fails to report and understand that K12 is just a supplier of services and that competence amongst the teachers and the board of education is detrimental to the schools success and that if such lack of competence and morale should occur that it’s not K12’s responsibility to correct that.
However, its prejudiced publications like this that distract the nation from fixing its educational system, its posts like this that clearly show that the nations adults who have the authority to correct the system are still preoccupied with measuring who’s better and who’s worse. It’s these same kinds of posts that led to the decline in respect for educators earlier this year and to the overall bashing of the unions .It’s that attitude that led to America becoming wrapped up in NCLB’s ideology and it’s that ideology that has us stuck at a point of continuous stagnation. If anything, it’s the realization of that failed and inadequate ideology that was being referenced in the article by the K12 official. The fact that this author and the people who are loathing over its prejudiced suggestions are in fact wasting their time is rather frightening and it goes to show that America isn’t serious about building its next education system and disabling its current one.
We, as America’s youth are dependent upon our nation’s adults to lead us to a better, more effective education system and sitting around bashing companies like Connections-Pearson and K12 or bashing 2nd generation public schools won’t lead us to an education revolution. However, it’s becoming more disturbingly apparent that a vast majority of our nation’s adults are too busy bickering like preschoolers to come to a serious discussion about how to bring America back to its position as a leader in P-16 education. This disturbing realization is being further hardened by the fact that nearly a few weeks away from 2012 we are still discussing in terms of competition and faults, in terms of union vs. non union or charter vs. non charter or even, elite private vs. traditional public.
If America is serious about building a new, more equitable and sustainable educational system than we must stop loathing over the irrelevant information that comes before us and we must start working as a collective unit with a tabula rasa approach. If we are truly serious than we must stop using this entire redundant, media fueled and egotistical backed language that isn’t resolving anything and that’s only further encouraging the continued state of stagnated progress and unstinted regression within our academic system. If we are truly serious than we must take these concerns to state governments and demand more stringent regulation and tougher enforcement instead of participating in game of blaming private industry while ignoring governments faults.
Until this happens, until Americas adults start paying attention like they claim to be to our faltering education system and the clear need for a better system than we won’t get here. It’s a shame, an embarrassment, that nearly 20 years after the sirens have been sounded America’s adults are still preoccupied and are still thinking in redundant fashions. It’s a shame that after 20 years we are still no more close to academic stability than we were beforehand because we can’t stop competing and thinking narrowly about progression and come together as a nation of tired, determined, and competent innovators who are willing to challenge the status quo. Until this happens, America’s adults who aren’t willing to provide a thought, a voice, a action that helps us move toward a system that’s fresh and stable need to keep their critiques to themselves because they serve no purpose and just reinforce our distraction and inaction.
My suggestions to adults who care enough to make themselves heard, rather biased or neutral: Stop wasting your times competing and denouncing and learn how to get along so we can come to a collective solution.