Sunday, November 3, 2013

Public Education Is the Borg (Yet Again!)

The education industrial complex has jumped the shark. Take, for example, this horrifying article from Smithsonian.

What is with the drive to commodify children and learning? Kids are not produce to be manipulated, weighed, examined and found acceptable or not according to some arbitrary standard.

Cameras trained on little faces to detect comprehension or confusion is not something my teachers needed 40 years ago in New York City public schools. But then, they were not constrained by ludicrous teach to the test requirements that hamstrung any effort to develop interesting lesson plans, get to really know the kids in their class, and appeal to their interests and individuality so as to promote real learning.

Now, the broken system wants to cram every kid in a narrow little box and force conformity. You vill get it zis vay or you vill fail. We will drill and kill until it penetrates your skull (or not.) You will memorize uselessness, regurgitate it and promptly forget it once the stakes are lower and the dreaded test is done. And we will pretend that this means you are learning. And should you fail, we will promote you anyway, because holding anyone responsible for the consequences of their actions is no longer politically correct or socially acceptable. Unless that someone is a teacher, and then it is fair game to scapegoat them for the system’s inadequacies, apparently. So a kid has a bad day on test day, and that makes the teacher a bad teacher? Maybe all the stress is just too much for kids to handle. What happened to the entire rest of the year's performance in class participation, projects, tests, and homeworks as metrics for determining that there was learning happening? (Oh wait, is there time for that stuff or does it all go by the wayside to make room for test prep?) What happened to letting teachers actually teach?

Per the above article, Bill and Melinda Gates want to issue wristbands that emit electrical pulses and measure reactivity and thereby “engagement” with the lesson? Forgive me, but what is next? Canine shock collars to wake up that kid dozing in the back row?

Keep your monitoring devices and surveillance equipment off my child’s body!

Keep your indoctrination and drive to make everyone into a standard widget far away from his precious mind.

Reason 10,899 to homeschool!

1 comment:

jugglingpaynes said...

I've been reading 1984 lately. Amazing that we've reached the level of reading facial expressions. Next will be the TV that doesn't turn off and watches you.

Oh wait. Do we have that? :o)