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

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Two Worlds of Ed Reform

I want to recommend this great piece teacher/blogger Katie O about this weekend's conferences in Chicago. Read the whole thing (us teacher/bloggers need that click-through love), but here's the takeaway:
To me, the moral of this tale of one city’s schizophrenic day of education is this:  Sure, we love progressive education practices, but only for the rich white private schools.  When it comes to the vast majority of our children in public schools, we want to standardize and sterilize learning into easy-to-compare test prep factories.  We want to sort and control public school teachers, just the way we sort and control their students.  While the rich children explore, learn, question, dream, try, experience, fail, and enjoy the process of expanding their minds in beautiful schools and small classes with no pressure of grades or homework, all the other people’s children are condemned to mindless, empty recitation of facts.  These children’s teachers are forbidden to explore progressive ways to inspire these young people, except in the spaces “between the cracks”.  While the privileged choose a school for its unique, child-centered curriculum, public school teachers secretly “interrupt” the scheduled dry testing curricula with real authentic discussion and learning while telling their students “When the Feds come, tell them we’re on page 93.” (David Stovall, Associate Professor at University of Illinois-Chicago)

Progressive education and its respect for the teacher and the learner is something every child in this country deserves.  Let's start "interrupting" the education deforms happening now to see this goal come into reality. [emphasis mine]
Jonathan Kozol's been saying this for years. This emphasis on the "achievement gap" is a distraction from both the funding gap and the curriculum gap.

Adding Ms. Katie to the blogroll now...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the education multiverse. A student just sent me something about our ol' pal Brill hanging with my former leader from NYC Randi W.

Is it all just self-interest? Can a swim duck?