5 Biggest Lies About America’s Public Schools — Debunked

By Kristin Rawls | Published October 1, 2012 by Alternet

Here’s the truth behind 5 of the most destructive myths about public education.

October 1, 2012 |

Just weeks into the 2012-2013 school year education issues are already playing a starring role in the national conversation about America’s future. Because it’s an election year, the presidential candidates have been busy pretending there are many substantial distinctions between them on education policy (actually, the differences are arguably minimal). Meanwhile, the striking Chicago Teachers Union helped thrust teachers unions into the national spotlight, with union-buster Democrat Mayor Rahm Emanuel reminding us that, these days, Republicans and Democrats frequently converge on both education policy and laborunfriendliness.

Since pundits and politicians often engage in education rhetoric that obscures what’s really going on, here are five corrections to some of the more egregious claims you may have recently heard.

Lie #1: Unions are undermining the quality of education in America.

Teachers unions have gotten a bad rap in recent years, but as education professor Paul Thomas of Furman University tells AlterNet, “The anti-union message…has no basis in evidence.” In fact, Furman points out, “Union states tend to correlate with higher test scores.” As a 2010 study conducted by Albert Shanker Fellow Matthew Di Carlo found, “[T]he states in which there are no teachers covered under binding agreements score lower [on standardized assessment tests] than the states that have them… If anything, it seems that the presence of teacher contracts in a state has a positive effect on achievement” – by as much as three to five points in reading and math at varying grade levels.

Read more: http://www.alternet.org/education/5-biggest-lies-about-americas-public-schools-debunked?page=0%2C0&paging=off

One Comment to “5 Biggest Lies About America’s Public Schools — Debunked”

  1. Lie #1: Unions are undermining the quality of education in America…it’s not really a lie. If standards for letting people into the teaching profession were raised then unions could be replaced by professional associations. Unions have looked the other way while expectations for both students and teachers have been lowered, courses have been butchered and teachers’ roles have been redefined.

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