Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Why Don't Billionaires And Politicians Want Students To Think?

Jan Carr, a self described "scrappy public school mom" points out that real education is more than a bubble test; she rightfully asserts that a complete education is "inextricably entwined with books, literature, writing, and the life of the mind; it develops critical thinking." She also asks some questions I would like to hear answered:
For me, many years later, the task is this: determine the bias of those currently attempting to bury our public education system in data and testing requirements. One motivation is obvious: there’s profit to be made. If education can be wrested from the classroom – from teachers, principals, and other actual educators – and the focus shifted to cold data and analysis, then tech companies and faux educational corporations can gorge themselves at the public trough. Hey, if it looks like greed and smells like greed, it’s greed! But there’s another, underlying motivation. It seems no accident that prominent among those who would hijack our nation’s public education system are powerful billionaires such as Eli Broad, Bill Gates, Michael Bloomberg, and Rupert Murdoch. . . . Why do they want students reduced to a string of data, our kids to fill in bubbles, not learn to think? Perhaps because kids who think critically will ask questions, key questions. For instance, why is there an increasing and radical disparity of wealth in our nation? And who exactly controls our nation’s political system now that corporations are free not only to pour money into lobbying, but also to anonymously contribute boatloads of bucks to political campaigns?

To have a real democracy one needs an educated populace. Why don’t these billionaires want our kids to think critically? And why are they trying to bust the union that serves and protects our nation’s schools? What exactly are they afraid of?

HT: Diane Ravitch

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