Federal Doublespeak

Race to the Top, data-driven teacher incentives and accountability, high-stakes assessment, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) above all else (meaning the arts), common national standards, global competition and ranking (be sure to read Yong Zhao’s post, The Mismeasure of Education: Worthy Knowledge in the Age of Globalization), schools run as businesses, Schools run by businesspeople, … (If you have not read Deborah Meier’s post, “Why Business Leaders Should Not Be in the Driver’s Seat“, you should.)

And then there is this: “But today is great day… a day to celebrate… the perfect storm for reform… We have the resources at the federal level to drive reform… and reach the educational equivalent of landing on the moon…

Then I hear this:

“Tools to capture their imagination…” Tools and opportunities to engage and empower students – to make learning meaningful, relevant,… to encourage creativity, joy, problem-solving,… Thinking differently and bringing out the best in every student [and teacher]…

With all due respect, Secretary Duncan, the only Top that we are racing to is the Big Top… the federal circus that you are orchestrating – a circus that many cannot even afford admission to. I guess those that can’t make it under the Big Top will be left to wither and die, just like the schools in our nation’s capital that have been closed down to be sold to charter operating companies or to condo/hotel developers…

As Klonsky says in his blog post, “the real losers are kids, parents and communities…”


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