Saturday, March 30, 2013
The Brave New World of American Education
Accountability officers. Testing in Pre-K. School superintendents trained in the art of intimidation by mentors from the military and corporate America. Teacher observations that resemble time and motion studies in factories in the age of Frederick Taylor. And if you're poor, metal detectors at the entrances, police in the schools, and zero tolerance policies that result in arrest for minor behavioral infractions.
Welcome to the brave new world of American education, being imposed in your town, your neighborhood and your school with breakneck speed. They guiding principles are standardization, surveillance and control, with parents, teachers, students, and increasingly families, under constant scrutiny by new age efficiency experts. No one is trusted. Everyone is under suspicion. And hence teaching and learning are scripted and micromanaged down to the smallest detail.
In this atmosphere, creativity, spontaneity, and democratic participation are erased. Everyone is looking over their shoulder. Fear --of losing your job, of failing a test, of being reported to child services-- is the dominant emotion. Children teachers, even parents are under treatment for anxiety and depression because of the relentless pressure.
This is no path to national renewal. It is a prescription for economic, moral and cultural stagnation
And only you can stop it. Speak out. Opt out. Resist