I Said I Wouldn’t Do This, But . . .

I just posted an article on my web site, and I would love to hear your reactions to it, since I know that so many of you who read here are not members of the public school system. The article is called Fixing Education and you can find it here.


9 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Karen said,

    Yes! You are so right! I am linking to your article, it is succinct and right-on.
    Thank you for breaking your own rule 🙂

  2. 3

    You hit the nail on the head. I wish more people would make the distinction between evidence of actual learning and standardized test scores. Sigh.

    The Dept. of Education should have been abolished ages ago in favor of local (i.e. parent) control. As for Arne Duncan, well, having lived in the Chicago area my entire life until two years ago, I can tell you that Chicago schools did not improve during his reign nor have they since then. Schools can’t be fixed because the system is broken. (Or, as Gatto says, they do exactly what they were designed to do, which is indoctrinate, NOT educate!)

    Thanks for sharing the link to your article!

  3. 5

    Firefly Mom said,

    I know this wasn’t the point of the article, but I find it quite ironic that the teachers don’t want their ability to teach to be judged by the very scores that they use to judge the kids’ so called ability to be taught.

    • 6

      sgaissert said,

      In a way, I think it is one of the points I was trying to make: that the tests are fine for evaluating kids (so they say) but not for evaluating teachers, and that there seems to be little concern for the kids, despite the claim of wanting to make education better for them.

      Thanks for reading!

  4. 7

    Sheila said,

    Ach, we just participated in some standardized tests (I’m in BC) for our DEL, and when the results came back they didn’t even give us individualized scores! My first thought was “Then why the ___ did we even get involved in this stupid test???” I hate being a statistic, because the results are so easy to skew.

    I like the idea of keeping an eye on teachers though, because that’s precisely why we are HSing now: a Very Bad Teacher. Someone should have called her on her crapola attitude way before she met my kid. But test scores are not the way to do it.

  5. 8

    Emile said,

    I think the phrase “Fixing Education” is essentially content free when used in arguments about educational reform. By which I mean that absent some agreement on what we want our educational system to be *for* there’s no possible way to have a conversation about what changes might achieve those goals.

    That in and of itself is a big part of our families decision to homeschool; my sense is that not only do I not feel like effecting change in a school that my children would attend is possible but that the changes we would like to see are not on the cultural radar.

    All that said, I don’t really see that teachers usually have some double standard regarding the usefulness of standardized testing as a metric for either students or themselves. But they are more driven to go to the mat against them in their own interests than for their students. Politically you could argue that the whole standardized testing craze is, essentially, our cultural definition of what our educational system is for.

    • 9

      sgaissert said,

      I think you are right about the word “fix” with regard to education, and I also agree with you that what exists now (and what it seems the country will get even more of) is what “education” has come to mean for Americans. Sad.

      Thanks so much for your intelligent comments.

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