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

. . .a pupil attitude factor, which appears to have a stronger relationship to achievement than do all the “school” factors together, is the extent to which an individual feels that he has some control over his own destiny. James Coleman, 1966

Thursday, September 27, 2012

MS-NPR Plays Softball with Arne

Ever since NPR and PBS got serious about fund raising among the oligarchs--Gates and the Koch Bros.--their coverage has suffered and their objectivity has been thrown to the wind.  Can we imagine a more inappropriate scenario than the ecology-killing Koch Boys sponsoring PBS's most prominent science program, NOVA?  Straight out the imagination of Hunter S. Thompson, may he rest in peace.

Well, yes, I can think of something as inappropriate, at least: The Gates-owned NPR interviewing Arne Duncan about the Chicago Teachers Strike last Sunday morning.  

Scott Simon asked not a single question that did not focus on the pay increase of Chicago teachers, and Arne robotically pretended that the strike was the result of a personality clash.  The script could have been written in Redmond, WA.  Was it?

Neither interviewer of interviewee talked about the real issues behind the strike: teacher evaluation based on value-added quackery, no textbooks until Halloween, no air conditioning with 50 kids in a room, inhumane management practices and attacks on due process, the privatization of Chicago schools by turning them over to corporate welfare charter schools.

By the way, my advice to Chicago teachers:  DON'T RATIFY.  VOTE NO!  Nothing has been done in terms of removing the inherently destructive concept and practice of evaluations based on test scores--this has only been delayed and the volume turned down slightly. 

If the teacher-student relationship that has defined teaching is allowed to be destroyed in Chicago by the Gates and Broad corporate efficiency fools, this settlement, then, represents not a victory or even a draw but, rather, the death of teaching and the sacrifice of learning on the altar of more test scores.

1 comment:

  1. I always find it very fun to play on a wide baseball field drag . Good thing they introduced softball and baseball to some of schools now.