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The Progressive Response

While these facts are unlikely to change the minds of rightwing legislators looking to hand out slices of the education spending pie to their corporate sponsors, progressive legislators can use them to stand up against the privatization agenda and push for the education reforms that really help children learn:

  • Better early education, including guaranteeing free pre-K for all
  • More equitable funding for poorer districts in states
  • Smaller class sizes for all students
  • Professional development and better retention of teachers, especially in poorer districts
  • Accountability that is more than a mandate to "teach to the test"

 

In a sense, the gimmicks of ALEC's fake report cards, the 65% Solution and virtual schools reflect the rightwing's failure in selling the American public directly on privatizing public schools. But it also highlights the need for defenders of public schools to respond to their gambits and their distracting tactics and to fight for the increased funding and reforms that will actually help student performance in the long-term.