Saturday, January 4, 2014

Students need to be nurtured; teachers need resources; DE and US DOE need to get the hell out of the way

Here are two recent first-person articles regarding the welcome backlash against the pervading high-stakes testing mentality being used to corporatize teachers in America.

Both are worth your time.

I would love to teach, but . . .

How to truly evaluate a teacher

The driving idea behind American public education used to be that teachers were responsible for nurturing children to help them develop into competent, independent learners as adults who would become good citizens.

The driving idea behind American public education today seems to be that teachers are surrogate corporate trainers for entry-level jobs and to meet college entrance expectations.

Which is truly interesting because . . .

The entire workforce and structure of post-industrial America is changing rapidly, and it is not the corporate dinosaurs like those supporting Vision [enter appropriate year here] who are leading the way. The future is one of crypto-currencies, dispersed work forces, 3-D printing, and lots of neat stuff that our children all inherently understand better than overpaid men in charcoal suits.

The whole traditional experience of higher education is changing rapidly, and within 20 years I'd bet that without a massive government takeover more than half of the colleges and universities in the US that now exist will be out of business.  My children and yours in high school are among the last generation that will continue to pay outrageous prices for an education that the marketplace will soon bring them almost for free.

Corporate educrats are, in the military vernacular, still fighting the last war.

And they are fighting it here in Delaware on the backs of Delaware teachers and students.

It's past time to think about providing Delaware teachers resources instead of new tests and evaluations.

For $119 million we could have bought every single student in Delaware a good laptop, or, we could actually have invested $5 million each into Delaware's 22 schools with the highest percentage of poor, non-English speaking, or special needs students, and then sat back to see what happened.

The biggest impediment to doing something like that?  The US and DE Departments of Education--and a General Assembly crammed with politicians who gleefully take campaign donations from DSEA on the one hand and Rodel on the other, then allow millions of education to go other places than into classrooms.

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