"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Propaganda Tank Pumps Science Testing

The New York Times does it again, this time in a piece citing the Fordham Institute's new school failure report as if Fordham's hacks had some credibility beyond the ideological green zone where the plan for educational victory is being expanded to include national science testing to go along with national math and reading testing. No qualifiers, no nothing to indicate that Fordham is the propaganda hub for neo-con educational policy.

The new "study" finds, guess what, that we are not keeping up in the international science ed competition and that state ed departments are doing a crumby job. Handing out Fs and Ds left and right, the study finds that science has slipped to the back burner because of the testing focus on math and reading:
The report, released Wednesday by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, suggests that the focus on reading and math as required subjects for testing under the federal law, No Child Left Behind, has turned attention away from science, contributing to a failure of American children to stay competitive in science with their counterparts abroad.
If science is suffering, can you imagine what is happening to the social studies, which is not even mentioned? Of course, there is no hue and cry for more focus on social studies, where children could potentially learn something about that hermetically-sealed document called the Constituition that, the last time I checked, remains open to the curious for public viewing in Washington. Besides, they don't fuss with social studies in China, our new fear focus, where they are busy training engineers to support the economic goals of their dictatorship. Could that be the less obvious meaning of what Friedman meant when he said "the world is flat."

Jim Horn

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