Battle for the Future: AlterNet Expands its Education Coverage - Join Us
In many ways, the struggle for public education – against the right wing, the education corporatists, and their ongoing propaganda campaigns – represents a battle for the soul of our nation, one that threatens our very beliefs in community and democracy. This fight is a clash of fundamental values, one to which we must bring a deeper commitment to equity and justice, if we hope to avoid the dismantling of public education as a whole.
AlterNet is stepping up to meet the education challenge – and we invite you to join us. (Sign up for Alternet's new education newsletter).
For decades, the right wing has been working hard to destroy public education, and AlterNet has reported on the topic in detail. There’s little doubt that education corporatists, including the Obama administration, are intent on shifting much of public education money into private hands (including those of major corporations), to the detriment of our nation’s youth.
Despite knowing the ingredients necessary to help children learn –robust curricula, well-trained, fairly-compensated teachers, and freedom from poverty, among them – efforts at education reform continue to be stymied by a misplaced focus on testing, which has come to define the U.S. education system. This testing regime has little or no regard for the very unequal experiences, and economic hardships, that many students bring with them to school life.
Meanwhile, the charter school privatization movement has been operating on a parallel track, inspired by a range of arguments that include attacks on teachers and the scapegoating of unions – not to mention the wholesale promotion of private charter schools with no real evidence of their efficacy overall.
Our children, and our nation’s future, require better, more democratic solutions than those being proffered by the corporate elite. America’s youth, their parents, and their teachers are already knee-deep in the fight to rescue publiceducation in this country – but the fight is not theirs alone. We all have a stake in ensuring that access to free, equitable, quality education remains a fundamental American right; in fact, our future as nation depends on it.
Beginning next week, AlterNet is establishing a new "special coverage" area focused on education (sign up here), featuring its own web page and newsletter, edited by Elizabeth Hines. Liz is a parent, author and editor, who has worked with social justice organizations for more than a decade, and brings a deep passion for just education policy to her work at AlterNet.
As Liz explains, "Education and learning are issues that belong to us all – but too many progressive visions of school reform have been lost under the avalanche of propaganda from the right and from corporate America. Our goal is to change that.
“In our new special coverage section, we will provide readers with incisive critiques from the leading educational thinkers and activists of our time, including, we hope, Diane Ravitch, Linda Darling-Hammond, Colin Greer and Brian Jones – among others. Alongside these critiques, we will also offer our readers models of success, focusing on educational innovators who are crafting innovative solutions to the problems at hand. Our view of education will be both broad and long, addressing the topic at all levels -- including college and lifelong learning – and in all its many dynamics. We will also spend time treating the cultural aspects of education efforts, including films and documentaries, with the aim of providing readers with a comprehensive view of what progressive educational policy might look like in the 21st Century.”