Putting the Pieces Together

typewriterHere are some pieces in the form of “popular” propositions made by our Masters for you to absorb and parrot:

  • The U.S. is failing to educate children according to this guy, Andreas Schleicher.
  • The States are failing to educate children according to these guys.  And these guysAnd these guys. And these…you get the point.
  • Often “failing” schools are those in economically depressed and urban environments.
  • Instead of “fixing” the poverty in which students and families live…
  • It’s proposed to “remove” the few “who really want an education” via voucher programs.
  • It’s proposed to open more and more Charter Schools to “provide” greater competition to public schools.
  • It’s proposed that scoring very well on standardized “core” tests is “success.”
  • It’s proposed that the nation should test all children on the same materials at the same time and all children should succeed at the same pace on the same tests at the same time regardless of any other factors.
  • All schools with government funds must take these tests.
  • This is called equality and freedom.

It dawned on me, finally, after thinking a bit on Doug Martin’s post on Project Lead the Way, that what these pieces fit into was an “easily trained” testing success model that created “freedom” indeed.

But it is freedom to indoctrinate rather than freedom to learn.

Listen, if my Charter School just has to get kids to pass a particular standard, surely that’s easy enough with some drilling and the proper incentives.  But what that leaves me free to do is TEACH whatever else I want.  Yes, our students can pass the required tests with flying colors, but what we’re really proud of is their work on nan0technology that will replace dry-cleaners.

Further, recall the (likely) goal of “erasing” of geographical boundaries (as Indiana’s Super Bennett proposed is one benefit of vouchers) of community schools so that you can attend the indoctrination of choice.

So, if God is your bag (your parents’ bag) you go to religious schools; if STEM is your bag, you go to “polytechnic” school; if white collar crime is your bag, you go to business schools (management and finance).  But in this way–you can choose to “track” your career.  And your career can track you.  You can be a product and also become a producer.  This is a capital idea!

Neat, I think.  As in, well-thought-out.

Oh, and if you can’t “learn” to the test, then “the world needs ditch-diggers, too” (I think).

But here’s the thing…what are you learning about being of a and in a community?  About the interconnectedness of being?  About hierarchies?  About privilege?  About the social and class meritocracies?  What does this system of “distinction” tell us about each other?

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  1. Pingback: In the Midst of Apocalypse: Tom Friedman Is a Weathercock of Irrelevance

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