My name is James Boutin, and I've been a high school teacher for ten years. Since 2009, I've kept this blog as a record of my thinking about my instruction, education generally, and policy issues. Over that time, I've moved from ignorant to angry to skeptical to impassioned.

Sadly, the trends that drive so many public schools today also drive our most talented and innovative educators out of an essential profession. If it wasn't for a series of serendipitous events in my personal and professional life, I likely would also have left. It's because I've stayed long enough to develop some perspective that I feel I'm able to do more meaningful work.

If I were to lay out for you my take on public education in a thesis, it would basically be this: While there is no system of education in the United States (all school districts and communities are different), there are broad broad policy in education today that affect schooling. These trends affect schools in both decidedly different and similar ways. They are are grounded in both a national and international effort to use schools to facilitate the movement of capital. They have increased already unacceptable levels of inequity (often under the guise of doing the opposite), done tremendous violence to the teaching profession, and attempted to inappropriately standardize the learning and teaching of very different communities and students.

It may sound like conspiracy, but ample evidence is publicly available to support my thesis. Ten years ago, I would have been extremely skeptical of anyone who made such claims. It does seem like an argument a person who organized evidence and logic recklessly might make, especially if you spend a lot of time consuming popular media. If that's how you're feeling after reading this, I'd invite you to email me. I'd like to show you I'm capable of both having a thoughtful conversation and considering divergent views.


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