Karp discusses the issues that are facing education and educational reform, through illustrating how non-educators view the education system. In a presentation given to teachers in Oregon, Karp explains that there are so many proponents to educational “reform,” but they have to do their homework before they start creating these reforms and criticizing a system they do not really have any knowledge of.
Like Kozol's article, Karp explains that the school system in the US is flawed in that there is a large gap between social class and race. He goes on to explain that the way these politicians and the wealth want to fix the education system is by using more standardized testing, merit pay for teachers, bigger class size, and computer-based teaching. These people are viewing education on a scientific and business perspective, but as Karp points out they are ignoring the larger picture of inequality and effective teaching. These people want to privatize education, which Karp says is the only real successful democratic system in the United States. They want to hold schools and teachers “accountable” for students' success but their aims are unrealistic. For example, Karp states that by 2014 the Department of Education wants 100% of the students in the US to achieve 100% proficient on standardized testing. They also blame the schools for the poverty that surrounds them. The following are links to websites and Youtube videos that support or negate Karp’s claims.
The following two Youtube views focus on the communities and the students discussing the problems facing the school system today. One video illustrates how students feel in lower achieving school, expressed through poetry. The other video explains how, in 2007, across the country communities with low achieving schools came together to discuss the achievement gap between their students and those students from more affluent areas. In Karp's speech, he says that a parent who is concerned with their child's achievement and wants to change the education system, and those people in power who have no real vested interest are two different things. This view shows how these communities came together to find solutions that were not completely rooted in the schools but also the community itself.
The following three links are websites and articles that Karp mentioned gave teachers a voice. They look more into the issues that Karp addressed in his speech. Website number three listed below contain hundreds of letters that teachers have written to President Obama explaining what is really going on in the education system. These links help to further expand upon Karp's view.
- blogs.edweek.org/teachers/living-in-dialogue/2009/11/letters_to _obama_one_teacher_w.html