The battle over net neutrality is something I care deeply about.
Net neutrality is a complicated issue. I could spend the next five minutes trying to explain it or I could simply link this video which will do a much better job than me.
You know what’s nice? I don’t have to pay for YouTube or WordPress; I can simply link a video that anyone on the web will have access to. I can reach a variety of people from different races, classes, and jobs. I can show you some more resources that describe net neutrality and why it’s important. I don’t want an unequal playing field on what/who can be viewed on the Internet. Voices will be drowned and fighting the dominant narrative will be much more difficult; this means that losing net neutrality has major implications for education.
There is no denying that corporations are interested in education. America’s Curriculum Core Standards (CCS) has been driven by businesses rather than educators. These standards were meant to increase student achievement with standardized goals and test-based accountability. Matthew Di Carlo asserts that CCS only look at in-school education reform and ignore the realities of many students outside the classroom walls:
[R]oughly 60 percent of achievement outcomes is explained by student and family background characteristics (most are unobserved, but likely pertain to income/poverty). Observable and unobservable schooling factors explain roughly 20 percent, most of this (10-15 percent) being teacher effects. The rest of the variation (about 20 percent) is unexplained (error). In other words, though precise estimates vary, the preponderance of evidence shows that achievement differences between students are overwhelmingly attributable to factors outside of schools and classrooms (Di Carlo 2010).
If corporations are deeply embedded in our education system, net neutrality is one way that educators can combat the control industries have. Lately, there has been a push for open source textbooks, an unbelievable amount of free educational tools developed, and collaborative hubs to exchange ideas and improve our teaching practice. I do not want to go back to the days where I am sitting in a desk, reading a textbook from 1980, and answering multiple choice questions. If corporations and content providers can give better access to websites (content and tools) for people who have money, many voices and opportunities are lost; classism and many other “isms” would be further built into our digital age.
- Koskie Out