Wednesday, April 13, 2011

More EduRanting

I suppose it's a quant notion these days, but some of us educators don't actually think the purpose of schools is to provide a compliant and competent labor pool for the service industries of tomorrow. Instead, the idea is more or less that the job of the schools is to produce good citizens - well-informed, critical-thinking, enterprising young people who are equipped for success as adults.

Our national conversation about education has devolved to the point where it's all about test scores and the teachers who produce them, and not so much about why our kids need to know the things we test them on. And since the schools I taught in were stressed out trying to meet the Xeno's Paradox of scoring goals that rose every year, they largely focussed on math and reading and not much else. Since there was no social studies curriculum, I had to create my own, and try to squeeze it in for 5 minutes a day, and not without some pushback for even that much.

Some people have a different vision for our schools. I ran across a spirited rant from educator/activist Matt Meyer. And when I run across such things, it's my job to locate the money quote in order to get you to click over and, as the saying goes, read the whole thing:
After little more than 150 years of federally-mandated and coordinated schooling-for-all, the US commitment to publicly supported teachers and students is quickly coming to an abrupt end. The global corporate penchant for the privatization, commoditization, and enclosure of practically everything is having particularly chilling effects in policies that Henry Giroux suggests "seek nothing less than the total destruction of the democratic potential of American education."
Happy to help.

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