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New York Educators Respond to TIME’s Cover

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This is one part of a series of readers’ responses to this week’s cover.

Once again, TIME has chosen to play the teacher bashing blame game with the rotten cover titled “Rotten Apples.” TIME is parroting the assault on public schools and teachers being promoted by hedge-fund and Silicon Valley billionaires seeking to privatize our public schools. This latest TIME cover is a head on attack on the profession of teaching. It ignores the real issues impacting quality of students’ education, resulting from the systemic inequality and severe underfunding of public schools.

The anti-teacher blame game is playing out in an increasing number of states, from Campbell Brown’s bogus lawsuit in New York, to the Vergara case in California. There is one common denominator behind these efforts: self-interested hedge-fund billionaires who claim to want to help, but only end up damaging those very students and their families. Their agenda promotes more high-stakes testing, more school closings that result in the warehousing of high-needs students in schools, more public schools converted into privately-run charter schools, and expanded opportunities for profit off publicly-funded schools. This agenda has become the new status quo in education policy and it is failing miserably.

These corporate elite are using their money and their muscle to insist that our schools are run like businesses with a bottom line. In this case the bottom line is test scores. Is it any wonder that we have test score cheating scandals to rival Enron? These elites are clueless to what is happening in our classrooms, and most of them have no children in public schools. It’s simply vulture capitalism at the expense of children, and it needs to stop.

Not only are hedge-fund billionaires bankrolling this anti-teacher corporate reform agenda, they simultaneously finance conservative efforts that hurt the very families they claim to want to help. In New York, they have been caught putting millions of dollars behind a GOP-effort to control Albany which would block: increases to minimum wage, the passage of the DREAM act, access to affordable housing, campaign finance reform and other progressive efforts.

So, who are they really putting first? Only themselves, not students. TIME magazine can correct this controversy by covering the real story of how these corporate reformers are locking in inequality in schools across the country, like New York State, which is billions of dollars behind court-ordered school funding levels, and how their agenda is wreaking havoc on public education.

In search of more perspectives on TIME’s cover?

Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers, responds here.

Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), Senior Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee, responds here.

Christopher Ciampa, a teacher from Los Angeles, responds here.

Lily Eskelsen García, President of the National Education Association, responds here.

Courtney Brousseau, a high school senior from Thousand Oaks, Calif., responds here.

Gary Bloom, former Santa Cruz City Schools Superintendent, responds here.

Educators from the Badass Teachers Association respond here.

Stuart Chaifetz, a New Jersey parent, responds here.

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Contact us at letters@time.com