Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Education deform is dehumanizing

A better rule book with better rule-followers won't make anything better.

A better curriculum with better tests will never make schools better.

Education deform is built around dehumanizing the education system by propping up content-bloated, prefabricated, highly prescribed curriculums that are married to punitive, high stakes standardized tests that are quickly followed by the reinforcements. We are all choking on carrots or sore from sticks - either way, most of us are either too drunk on incentives or scared shitless to stand up and question school deformers.

Those who present a healthy dose of skepticism about what is generally taken on faith as the best way to improve schools (read: prescribed curriculums and standardized tests) are put in their place with the kind of efficiency that would make the likes of Benito Mussolini proud.

I don't have all the answers for authentic education reform, but I do know this: getting all teachers and all students to simply teach and learn the curriculum so that they can achieve high test scores won't improve a damn thing. To think otherwise reminds me of an old saying: "For every problem there is a solution that is simple, elegant and wrong." Good teaching and real learning are far too complex for what a silly, over-simplified solution such as standardization can offer.

A teacher who teaches curriculum well with students who test out proficient can no more call themselves teachers and learners than someone who simply follows a trail can call themselves an outdoorsman.

The sooner we can come to this realization the better because our kids can't wait.

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