This space explores issues in public education policy, and it advocates for a commitment to and a re-examination of the democratic purposes of schools. If there is some urgency in the message, it is due to the current reform efforts that are based on a radical re-invention of education, now spearheaded by a psychometric blitzkrieg of "metastasizing testing" aimed at dismantling a public education system that took almost 200 years to build. JH August, 2005
Saturday, February 16, 2013
Media's Misguided "Miracle" Meme
Paul Tough has built a career on "no excuses" approaches to teaching "other people's children" in the charter school racket, most recently touting the importance of "grit" (see "Paul Tough Is Way Off-Base. And Stop Saying 'Grit'" by Katie Osgood to understand why Tough is misguided).
More recently, David Kirp has offered a call to re-invest in public education, not charter schools, by triggering the same "no excuses" argument embedded in a favorite meme among journalists, the "miracle" school!
Tough and Kirp follow in the footsteps of David Brooks, who literally christened the Harlem Children's Zone the "Harlem Miracle."
While political leaders, the media, and the public remain enamored with "miracle" memes, several educators and bloggers have now offered a counter-narrative specifically to Kirp's piece. Consider the following:
Praise schools, teachers, and students, yes, but let's stop claiming "miracle," since they almost always prove not to be as advertised, and let's not normalize exceptionality because that claim can only entrench perpetual appearances of failure.