Jun 132014

It’s been awhile since I made any political posts but this story about a California judge overturning the state’s tenure laws is troubling news.

In a lot of ways, this case just looks like old-school, conservative anti-unionism. But I see it through the lens of the ed tech tsunami crashing down on me at my school. This tech push is jargon laden and relatively thoughtless. It is also generally commercially driven: too often tech vendors aim to lock schools-as-markets into proprietary systems of instruction; or to install “free” systems that open student data up to some level of commercial access and use.

Teachers, because their primary obligation remains teaching, often push back by demanding that new tech also be better tech.

So when I read an article about some elementary, middle and high school students being used by a tech mogul’s activist group to eliminate teachers’ job security, I’m suspicious. Is this someone fighting for what they believe is best for students or is this someone with a commercial interest piggy-backing on an established anti-union politics that just happens to equate student success with at-will employment for the group best positioned to comment on the utility (or lack thereof) of the product they’re selling?

The whole thing looks like astroturf to me.

 June 13, 2014  Teaching

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