Monday, June 13, 2011

Parents vs. politicians

Helen Gym on how our schools increasingly bear no resemblance to the schools parents want for their kids:
-- While parents talk about programs rich in the arts, sciences and history, politicians talk about covering the basics through a one-size-fits-all curricula.

-- While we talk about building critical thinkers and creative problem-solvers for a complicated and dynamic world, they talk about hiring billion-dollar testing companies that infiltrate every aspect of teaching and learning, drilling the notion of knowledge down to a single test score.

-- While we talk about smaller class sizes to help students and teachers build nurturing relationships with one another, they talk about maximizing capacity and “creating efficiencies.”

. . .

And in this lies the critical difference between what many parents see as their hopes for a quality school system and the politicians and billionaire venture philanthropists dominating the education reform landscape. The latter have become so enamored with the structure and management of education that they’ve forgotten about the substance and practice of it.
Unfortunately, in the political system we’ve created for ourselves, it is not in the interests of politicians to take ordinary parents’ opinions into account. Ironically, I discovered this article through a tweet by our school superintendent.

Read the whole thing.

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