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Why Do You Ask?

From asking questions that require an answer To asking questions that require a conversation.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Finally, Someone Backs Up What I Knew To Be True

Dr. Scott McLeod is one of my favorite ed. bloggers. Today, he says he's not a conspiracy theorist, then outstandingly supports the long-standing government conspiracy against public schools by providing several details and references.

UPDATE & CORRECTION - Mike Parent wrote the post I refer to here. I wondered why Scott said he was in New Jersey, but then again, this is the time of year for movements to be made. Next time I'll read the byline at the bottom of the Guest Blog. Sorry Mike. Thanks for the comment too.

You gotta love this quote:

"...We shall not try to make these people [the lower and middle classes] or any of their children into philosophers or men of learning or men of science. We have not to raise up from among them authors, educators, poets, or men of letters. We shall not search for the embryo great artists, painters, musicians, nor lawyers, doctors, preachers, politicians, statesmen, of whom we have ample supply. The task we set before ourselves is very simple... we will organize children... and teach them to do in a perfect way the things their fathers and mothers are doing in an imperfect way." Rockefeller's General Education Board, Occasional Letter Number One, 1906.

I am a conspiracy kind of guy. Not about the "obvious" things that motivate the masses (Kennedy, Roswell) but the things that are done in the open. The best thieves do not work under the cover of darkness, they work in the daylight so as to convince their observers they are not criminal.

Adult readers, think of your interaction with schools. It is never the teacher who shows up at the opening bell and leaves at the closing bell who finds themselves in hot water in the school. Is it? Sure they may be criticized, but do they really face serious consequences?

In my observation, it is the teacher who gets there early, who seeks to make a true difference in the lives of their students, who stays late to work with students either academically or athletically or in other areas of extra-curricular activities. They put their lives into the lives of kids. They RISK being called out for patting that kid on the back (figuratively and literally).

Why? Have you ever truly wondered?

I think it is because these teachers are likely to rock the boat by getting their students to think for themselves. That is the last thing elitists want...students who think for themselves. Critical thinking is what many educational leaders say they want, but then force teachers to use curriculum that does not encourage, and actually discourages, critical thinking. Again, I will mention that one of the biggest pushes in the early part of the 21st century is Understanding by Design, which is only step 2 of 6 in Bloom's Taxonomy of levels of thinking.

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At 6:15 AM, Blogger Mike Parent said...


I agree that the teachers are the troopers; urging, prodding, trying to have students do what many in leadership reject - think critically. The fear is that when they think critically, they will become critical of the system they must endure and pass through.

As I spend more time in a school leadership position, I am more aware of the targets drawn on teacher's backs - by parents, students, the press, leadership, and politicians. I wish the NEA, or any other local EA, would take a stronger stand on the state of public education. Instead, they endorse policies and regulations that are clearly bad for everyone in the schoolhouse.

Thank you for reading my post at Dangerously Irrelevant. I am gust blogging all week. I hope my other posts get you going, too. I aim to make that happen.


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