Monday, February 4, 2013

Time Out: Super Bowl Versus Empty Bowl

Part Two of the series on alternate public K-12 organization models is underway, but still a few days from presentation form.

In the interim, there has been in the last week virtually an explosion of revelations and points of view that challenge present test-based public K-12 reform.  Just how distorted and corrupted this movement has become is pretty hard to miss or dismiss; a reform bowl at least half and perhaps fully empty.

Rising Protest

Here are some linked highlights worth your time:

"Is 2013 the tipping point for high-stakes testing obsession?"







Catch 22

While it appears there is major resistance building to present corporate reform, there is yet no indication that it is being heard by the White House, or by the platoon of Bush, Rhee, Gates, Broad, Walmart (and its "education" foundation board of MBAs), and others, or by our Republican governors operating dogmatically from the conservative "party line."  Ideology, rather than genuine concern for learning applicable 2020 and beyond, is driving change -- the questionable belief that private sector competition and strategies/tactics fit how the nation’s children should be educated.  

In turn, our US Secretary of Education remains na├»ve, utopian, and clueless.

Perhaps the most disquieting development in this public education standoff is the possibility that the two sides are now talking past each other, setting up a stalemate that can only continue to degrade American public K-12.  This pattern was noted recently by an educator writing an opinion piece for the New York Times.

Lastly, while the rising protests may be a harbinger of common sense returning to alleged reform, there is another side to this coin.  That is, the continuing intransigence of public K-12 leaderships:  To both acknowledge culpability in provoking present reform; and to address the self-inflicted failure to innovate, sycophant acceptance of teachers’ unions intrusions, challenged human resources, ignoring productivity needs and technology, and obsessive disassembly and methods concepts of learning.  

Both sides of this contest have lost direction and critical perspective of what American K-12 eduction is supposed to accomplish, sending US primary and secondary education into new and risky territory. Consider this a segue to Part Two, for the mission and goals of any K-12 system are the first factors shaping its organization and functions.

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