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

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

On Intellectually and Psychologically Sterilizing the Working Poor in the Name of Education and for the Benefit of Walmart

A clip from a post at HuffPo by Joel Shatzky:

. . . .A number of prominent educators, most notably Diane Ravitch, have warned the Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, that the testing mania in the guise of accountability is producing bad schooling and low-quality teaching, but these criticisms seem to fall on deaf ears. At least if Duncan would publicly acknowledge "some reservations" about these tests and that their impact on schooling deserves investigation, there might be hope for positive change in the future direction of American Education.

Unfortunately, the people who will be involved in the drafting of the Common Core Standards for grades K-12 of the National Governor's Association and Council of Chief State School Officers will be, for the most part, not educators but business people who, like those from the Educational Testing Service, will be involved in planning even more testing and "Ed Tech" gimmicks as a substitute for sound educational practices. If you wish to make a comment about the future standards of education, please contact this website. The deadline for comment will be April 2nd.

I fear that this "deafness" to reason is not entirely inadvertent; although, I would like to believe that the President has the noblest of intentions, I think that the dirty little secret that most presidents have been aware of over the last forty years is that our economic system can never again produce sufficient high-quality jobs to fit the educational attainments of those who are properly educated and with them the end of the economic aspirations of future generations in this country.

Wal-mart employees do not need a college education for the work that will be available to them and the economic elite will not have to worry about competing for the good-paying jobs with young learners whose inferior, test-driven education will make it more unlikely, if not impossible, for them to climb "the educational ladder of opportunity" to which they aspire. The rungs of that ladder are rotting from a decaying economic system as schooling is being replaced for an increasing proportion of young learners with training for low-level low-paying jobs.

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