Millionaire dilettantes' "education reform" have failed, but teacher-driven, evidence-supported education works miracles


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/02/01/disruption-vs-democracy.html


#2

The commonalities in all of Gabor’s success stories are "a respect for democratic processes and participatory improvement, a high regard for teachers, clear strategies with buy-in from all stake-holders, and accountability frameworks that include room to innovate.

All of these things are anathema to American movement conservatism, so I don’t expect any of them to be incorporated into GOP-dominated states and school districts.


#3

@Papasan, you got your picture on a story!


#4

What I’m hoping is that for areas like the one I live in, purple/blue islands in a Red ocean, enough of us are pushing hard enough that education will start to shift people’s votes and their complacency with their votes being belted in by GOP bullshit. I’m seeing real disgust in the middle class mainline protestants in my extended family for instance, a disgust that has never been apparent in 40 years. It’s a long shot but it’s a much needed gasp for air. We didn’t manage to “lose Cruz” but I believe because… the other option is despair and fuck despair.


#5

So, let me get this straight. Giving more money to schools that already have money, and taking money away from schools that are struggling actually does not make the situation better? I think you are misinterpreting the outcome. What this does is redirect money from undeserving and unappreciative minorities who are, let’s face it, incapable of education anyway due to genetic differences, and towards highly deserving white kids who can continue to prove that if minorities can’t cut it in our country and should go back where they came from. (/s if anyone actually needs it.) Self-fulfilling prophecy anyone?


#6

Ooo a possessive plural! I see Betsy DeVos didn’t get you in her clutches! Errr… I mean “reform.”


#7

Viewing the world solely in terms of reward and punishment is a fundamental problem. And its usually reserved for people we don’t care about. If a child you give a damn about tries and fails, you don’t deny them future oppurtunities because of it, you give them more help.
Shortly after integration (coincidence I’m sure), many began to view public education as taking our money and wasting it on failing and doomed schools and students. Since we have spent billions in the disingenuous search for a solution to affordable education that will consider anything that doesn’t include taxes from wealthy neighborhoods being invested in public schools in poorer neighborhoods.


#8

cumberbatch-constipated


#9

Yet another case where the Rich (who go fancy to prep schools) have managed to convince the Racists (who don’t want their kids to mix with coloured people) that they are in the same boat.


#10

Having spent my career in education, I understand - but do not necessarily agree with - the Bill Gates solution to our education woes. We must nurture our best and our brightest; every country in the world does that as a survival mechanism. The problems that exist in our poorest, lowest achieving schools start in students’ homes, long before they enter the school system. Our real failure may be the great democratic experiment: everybody is equal, or must be treated that way, and that includes education. It is only in recent decades that people were expected to graduate high school; as recently as the 60’s, even the early 70’s, the majority of students dropped out, but were able to slide into the many manufacturing jobs that were available. College was for the elite, those whose I.Q.'s were > 120 (excepting legacies, the majority of whom fell in that category) and targeted 15-20% of the population. Now, of course, a high school diploma is the minimum, with most kids going on to either 2 or 4 year college, whether they belong there or not. We got the teenagers off the streets and out of the job market as work became harder to find, we employed many more educators, and colleges grew along with their tuition. The truth is we are now trying to get youngsters to a high school diploma who once would never have gotten past 5th or 6th grade, if they attended school at all; of course it’s an uphill battle. But that’s a battle we continue fighting, because the public schools are our best option, not for educating kids, but for supervising them during the day. Schools are the cheapest babysitters we have. Automation is eliminating many minimum wage jobs for those who are incapable of more, and that will only continue. How, precisely, can we educate the low functioning, the disinterested and the alternative learners, to make them work-prepared? Will we continue to be asked to pay $15.00 an hour for people to flip burgers, simply to keep them employed? I believe those jobs will also become automated. Education is supposed to level the playing field; nothing can do that. Perhaps we need to separate the bright from the not at an early age, and prepare each group according to their ability? That would never happen, but in the absence of that tracking, we are going to protect our brightest kids - we have to. If teachers can offer better answers, I’m happy to listen, provided there is some concrete accountability system in place; in my experience, most teachers will fight any plan that measures their performance. Let’s see.


#11

They’re also trying to get their nasty little hands on higher education, and largely succeeding. Trustees love any talk of “business-like.”


#12

ZERO context needed.


#13

It’s Sherlock… no shit sherlock… in case others need context… :wink:


#14

That might be true, but the problem you seem to not want to talk about is that “the best and brightest,” “the top 15-20%,” however you choose to categorize it, in our society is inevitably based on income directly, and race indirectly now, but quite directly in previous years. A child with exceptional abilities is just as likely to be born into poverty as wealth. Actually, considering population distribution, much more likely to be born into poverty. Those incredible minds who have the poor judgment to be born poor are largely wasted. Similar to those who chose to be born female in previous years. We seem quite willing to throw away intellects that are not part of the privileged class, and to throw whatever resources are necessary to get the privileged few over the finish line.


#15

Sorry, we don’t need another hero…


#16

Ah, but you’ll notice what the school in TX did… they cleverly disguised it as “borrowing from Toyota” which re-brands the thing as “corporate” therefore ok (even if a LITTLE weird, because: ferrnners).


#17

GIF-bitch-please-Come-on-Do-the-Right-Thing-oh-please-punchline-upset-WTF-GIF

Which I think, in general misses the entire point of what an education could and should be… now, in a capitalist system, which is meant to lead to a job. We all know that’s fucked, in that there is almost no class mobility any more (especially if you’re a person of color).

I’d argue that focusing only on the best and brightest is missing the point, that education should be universal, as we all deserve to have lives of quality, and understanding the world and how it came to be as it is is a positive step towards that. There are almost no children who can’t learn something over the course of their lives, honestly. Just because @Lacey_Sheridan believes that only people with IQs over 120 have value and worth doesn’t mean we have to accept that metric. It, like other metrics of creating hierarchy, is arbitrary. We can change the context to something better.


#18

Universal education is about creating good citizens, because in a democracy that is IMPORTANT. Sure, being able to hold down a job IS a part of being a good citizen, but only a part.


#19

The “great democratic experiment” doesn’t assume that. It only assumes as an ideal that all votes by citizens carry equal weight. It also prefers an educated and informed electorate, which is why public education is a desirable feature of a modern democracy.

Understanding concepts like these is why reality-based K-12 civics education is so important (and consequently why the GOP is constantly trying to starve and kill it).


#20

Hoping not to be misunderstood, I am in no way suggesting jettisoning kids below some random line, but objecting to the traditional definition of “best and brightest” as “richest and whitest.” I truly do not think we have the ability to assess a child’s ability to contribute to our future at any point in primary education. Giving every individual access to high quality education should be considered as societal self-preservation, IMHO. We have made such a mess of the planet, society and our economy that it is not like we can afford to throw away anyone’s contributions.