Monday, April 8, 2013

What's Holding Schools Back?

George Will contends teachers engage in propaganda and are responsible for holding education is on the wrong path:
The real vocation of some people entrusted with delivering primary and secondary education is to validate this proposition: The three R’s — formerly reading, ’riting and ’rithmetic — now are racism, reproduction and recycling. Especially racism. Consider Wisconsin’s Department of Public Instruction. It evidently considers “instruction” synonymous with “propaganda,” which in the patois of progressivism is called “consciousness-raising.”
Will then goes on a predictable rant to blame political correctness and a burgeoning bureaucracy for public education's failings. I don't know about the examples Will cites. I have enough trouble getting through all of the literature that I think students need to read and discuss to engage in sensitivity training. Will, however, makes an important point about bureaucrats: "the number of bureaucrats — including consciousness-raising sensitivity enforcers and other non-teachers — increased 702 percent" since 1950 while the number of students has doubled.

This slide from The Tempered Radical provides a supporting visual for Will's point that educrats are making teachers' jobs harder. It also sets the tone for a Monday:

The results of the wonks' agenda driven education policies are best summed up by retiring teacher George Conti:
For the last decade or so, I have had two signs hanging above the blackboard at the front of my classroom, they read, “Words Matter” and “Ideas Matter”. While I still believe these simple statements to be true, I don’t feel that those currently driving public education have any inkling of what they mean.

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