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Learning at its Best

An amendment is worth 50 waivers

The 28th Amendment

Section 1. The right of children in the United States to a safe and chosen education shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State or by any locality on account of geographic location, teacher credentialing, or test scores.

Section 2. The right of children in the United States to customized curricula shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State or by any locality on account of staffing, scheduling, or public school contract, nor by budget when the expense to a public school of a child’s curriculum is less than the national average per pupil allocation.

Section 3. The right of children in the United States to substitute evidence of learning outside public school property and hours for a public school’s assessment, promotion, or graduation criteria shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State or by any locality.

Section 4. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

About Chad Sansing

I teach for the users. Opinions are mine; content is ours.


7 thoughts on “An amendment is worth 50 waivers

  1. I would vote for that! Might need to work in our pledge page!

    Posted by dloitz | September 28, 2011, 3:53 pm
    • I think we’re at an important moment, and while my post doesn’t do it, it would be great if some of us paused to reflect on the opportunities NCLB cost us, on the opportunities RttT is costing us, on the hypocrisy and moral bankruptcy of offering waivers after RttT and i3 and the decimation of decades-old ear-marked education programs like the NWP, and on how liberally our leaders are willing to spend their cash on whichever states meet the voguish notions of reform held by the billionaire backers our leaders would love to depend on in place of teachers unions, which have walked into the labor-debate-during-a-depression trap willy nilly for a decade.

      Onward, for the love of all things good. By all means, let’s do away with homework and grades and this practice and that, but, please, when we get our waivers and get back all that money we’ve had to spend on intervention, tutoring, and transportation, let’s spend our money building schools worthy of students’ capacities for inquiry, democracy, and creativity.

      This is a moment; it may yet be the one we seize with our students to transform schooling into authentic learning.


      Posted by Chad Sansing | September 28, 2011, 8:59 pm
      • To the extent that I can penetrate your proposed amendment, you clearly have some good ideas. Any drafting of legislation, including amendments to the Constitution, must be written, however, in the clearest language possible. Jargon and euphemisms can have no place in legislative drafting, because they limit accessibility to the meaning to those “in the know.” For example, what do you mean by “chosen education” or “customized curricula?”

        At any rate, I’m not sure that amending the U.S. Constitution is the way to go. It is extremely difficult to succeed at amending the Constitution. As a statement of public policy, however, the ideas you have could be a very powerful tool for pushing back against NCLB, RttT and all the other corporate schemes to destroy public education and democracy.

        Posted by Richard A. Sloan | December 10, 2011, 10:15 am
        • Richard, thanks for the feedback. I think and write like I think and write, so I appreciate the opportunity to clarify what I mean. For this post, I used other amendments as mentor texts – perhaps the genre is meant to be opaque somehow?

          By “chosen education” I mean the education a child chooses for herself, whether it’s school-based, community-based, unschooled, or otherwise assembled by her efforts, interests, and passions. “Customized curricula” are educational experiences put together for specific individuals.

          Please let me know if I can clarify further and certainly comment again regarding content and criticisms.

          Given that standing up to our system of public education is just plain difficult, I support all kinds of individual and collective efforts to transform school, and I hope that my writing and work – taken as a whole – accurately reflect this support and my efforts to enact change.

          All the best,

          Posted by Chad Sansing | December 10, 2011, 10:52 am
  2. Chad, This is a great beginning here and my sense is that the COOP really needs to seize the moment to articulate an important issue. Morally, the NCLB era is over.

    What will come afterwards? This depends in part on blogs like this one describing this moment clearly and coherently, and suggesting some courses of action.

    As Josh Starr (superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland) says in this wonderful piece in the Washington Post a couple of days ago:

    “The last decade has taught us what not to do when trying to improve outcomes for our children. We now have a choice. Do we focus on what actually works to improve public education and invest in our people, or do we continue to fall prey to the facile notions of accountability and school improvement that simply don’t work?”

    Educators are demoralized, siloed, not organized for action after our long last decade. What possiblities do we have here at this blog to mobilize for action? I think we can do lots.

    Thanks Chad!


    Posted by Kirsten Olson | September 30, 2011, 8:28 am
  3. I’m up for this amendment.

    Posted by John T. Spencer | October 3, 2011, 8:57 am


  1. Pingback: Occupy your classroom « Cooperative Catalyst - October 4, 2011

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