Status quo, a commonly used form of the original Latin "statu quo" – literally "the state in which" – is a Latin term meaning the current or existing state of affairs. It has become the ubiquitous slogan of the corporatist reform movement to refer to anyone who disagrees with the – “defenders of the status quo.” It is the perfect word for their agenda because in and of itself, it has no meaning. How silly does this sound: ““defenders of the state in which.” But, oh, the images it conjures! Failing schools, destructive union supporters, ineffective old timer’s who drool while sleeping in class, rubber rooms, dances of the lemons, low achievement – all are images set forth and lumped under the slogan “status quo” by the PR arm of the reform movement. So the beautiful people and everyone who agrees with them are “reformers,” while anyone who disagrees with them are “defenders of the status quo.” But, come on folks – who has ever come out to defend failing schools, destructive union supporters, ineffective old timer’s who drool while sleeping in class, rubber rooms, dances of the lemons, or low achievement.
David L. Russell
Here is the “status quo” as I see it. No Child Left Behind (test-based-accountability-as-reform that has been the existing state of affairs (status quo) for a decade, and the research continues to show that it’s not working), compelled teaching to the test, excessive test prep, elimination of the arts from schools, unfunded mandates, blackmailing states to adopt unproven changes, inequitable funding between richer and poorer districts, Mile wide – inch deep curriculum, incorrect, incompatible and inconsistent across and within grade level textbooks, and the list goes on.
So who is really defending the “status quo?” In spite of a decade of glaring evidence of it being an abysmal failure, Arne Duncan, refuses to shut this program down, but instead announced last summer plans to grant waivers from NCLB mandates – none have been granted. In August, 2011, Florida reported that 89% of its schools failed to make required Federal NCLB Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) goals. The threat of punitive Federal funding sanctions has compelled districts to force more teaching to the test and eliminate arts and electives from schools and replace these with test prep. Textbook and curriculum writers are not held accountable for much. Although states will place textbooks on their adoption list that demonstrate evidence that the state’s standards are covered, there are no guidelines whatsoever designed to prevent publishers form creating a product that is not a mile wide – inch deep, incorrect, incompatible or inconsistent across and within grade level textbooks, and the list goes on. And the list goes on.
So the next time you hear someone toss out the term “status quo,” remember they are tossing out a name calling propaganda label designed to demonize the opposition and create scapegoats who supposedly defend failing schools, destructive union supporters, ineffective old timer’s who drool while sleeping in class, rubber rooms, the dance of the lemons, or low achievement. But, what they are really describing is the current or existing state of “NCLB, high stakes testing, punitive sanctions, mile-wide inch deep curriculum, and schools devoid of humanities” affairs.
The State In Which...
Dave Russell on "The Status Quo"