I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Monday, January 16, 2012

Content of Their Test Scores

Martin Luther King, Jr., delivering his 'I Have a Dream' speech from the steps of Lincoln Memorial. (photo: National Park Service)

Happy Martin Luther King Day!
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal." 
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. 
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. 
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. 
I have a dream today.
Notice Dr. King did not say he dreamed of a day where his children would be judged by how well they filled in bubbles on a Scantron sheet.

What parent would?

ADDING: Valerie Strauss has more.

“While none of these remedies in itself is unsound, all have a fatal disadvantage. The programs have never proceeded on a coordinated basis or at a similar rate of development. Housing measures have fluctuated at the whims of legislative bodies. They have been piecemeal and pygmy. Educational reforms have been even more sluggish and entangled in bureaucratic stalling and economy-dominated decisions. Family assistance stagnated in neglect and then suddenly was discovered to be the central issue on the basis of hasty and superficial studies.

“At no time has a total, coordinated and fully adequate program been conceived. As a consequence, fragmentary and spasmodic reforms have failed to reach down to the profoundest needs of the poor. [emphasis mine]
I don't know about you, but I am sick and tired of being told by a bunch of corporatists that the goal of education is to prepare students for "21st century jobs." How about preparing them to be good citizens capable of engaging in democracy by virtue of their ability to engage in critical thinking?

"Economy-dominated decisions" are destroying education in America. And, ironically, they are really, really bad for the economy.

ADDING MORE: Oh, man, I just can't believe MLK said this in 1947!
“Education must also train one for quick, resolute and effective thinking. To think incisively and to think for one’s self is very difficult. We are prone to let our mental life become invaded by legions of half truths, prejudices, and propaganda.
“At this point, I often wonder whether or not education is fulfilling its purpose. A great majority of the so-called educated people do not think logically and scientifically. Even the press, the classroom, the platform, and the pulpit in many instances do not give us objective and unbiased truths. To save man from the morass of propaganda, in my opinion, is one of the chief aims of education. Education must enable one to sift and weigh evidence, to discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the facts from the fiction. [emphasis mine]
Did they have Fox News in 1947?


Anonymous said...

Thank You MLK and Thank You Duke!

Teacher Mom said...

you beat me to it. THank you Dr. KIng. I would my dream that EVERY child have access to a first class education regardless of the color of their skin, the immigration status of their parents, socio-economic status or zip code.