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Why Do You Ask?

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

Sunday, May 03, 2009

A Reply (and addition) To Scott McLeod or Losing Literacy & Common Knowledge


The Good Doctor, Scott McLeod has posted a wonderfully, thought-provoking entry entitled Survivor, witch hunts, and the quest for teacher quality.

With respect to the commenters, and there are many, I'm afraid they are not yet familiar with A Modest Proposal.  In fairness, I forgot it was Jonathan Swift's work of satire, but I remembered immediately it was satire, and therefore took Dr. McLeod's "ideas" as satirical. 

However, it does not appear that his commenters know this, nor did they click Scott's link to learn about A Modest Proposal. 

What makes satire effective is when the knowledge of the audience is on a level where they do not recognize the satire, and see it as real.  Much like conservatives thinking Colbert is one of them.

Scott, I sincerely apologize if I have let the cat out of the bag, but my readership is so small that I'm sure you will continue to get replies in favor and opposed to your Survivor technique.

But we have a serious problem here.  When educators are not making themselves fully aware of the information, how can we ever expect our students to be literate?  Will teachers who seek to jump out with opinions based on a work of satire be able to teach their students how to determine what is valid, reliable, and appropriate?

Not sure this is what you were striving for, Scott.  But it is what you have received.  Great!  Congratulations!

What does all this say about the literacy we are losing, when at one time A Modest Proposal was likely considered common knowledge?

First, you must read Scott's work.

My Comment on Scott's blog is below.

Scott,

I was already familiar with "A Modest Proposal" (although I forgot it was Jonathan Swift's work).

You have indeed created a conversation.

My Modest Proposal.

1. To justify the use of ridding our schools of the lower-level teachers, one must realize that "Reality TV" must actually take place in real life. What better place than in school?

2. I think the Survivor method should also be extended to include ridding our schools of the lowest 10% of our students. This could assure making AYP by the NCLB deadline. After all, there will always be a bottom 10%, and in just 5 years, nearly half of the current student body will be withdrawn from our schools. Then 100% of the remaining students will meet or exceed standards.

3. This practice should expand to include ridding our educational institutions of lower-level administrators, parents, and other "stake holders." My experience is that the worst thing that happens to many students are the parents they have, and teachers are only as good as the leaders they follow.

Once these measures are taken, we can assure our nation of producing only the highest level of high school graduates.

Posted via email from rrmurry's posterous

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