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View Diary: We Need to Move Away from One-Size-Fits-All Education (22 comments)

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  •  Why doesn't anybody read this stuff!?! (4+ / 0-)

    Maybe it doesn't fit with the buzzword, trending thing we have so come to expect. It doesn't fit on a bumper sticker. I clicked through and read your referenced blog. Good stuff.

    Where to start. Maybe with the Obama speech. Public education, like public anything, is about politics. Any time taxpayer dollars are involved it's politics, and even if politicians can't possibly provide the answer, they will try.

    But imho, public education, despite the indissoluble link to politics, should be held above the fray of political squabbling from other arenas because it's so damned important that we get it right! Political discussions about education should never be held hostage to other political concerns. That being said, it's a fool's errand to keep it that way.

    I think the first few sentences of the President's speech could be interpreted in that way. The balance is the political reality coming back in to play. Can't get rid of it, no matter how we try.

    Learning is as unique to an individual as the coloring of the iris of the eye. Sure lots of people have blue eyes, but no two are exactly alike. To think that OSFA schools will educate all children equally is unsupportable. You'll end up with the lowest common denominator.

    I couldn't agree more with your "many paths" analogy. I only hope that we can get past our fixation on accountability and standardization and placing blame and get down to the real discussion.

    And that discussion should start with a premise: that one size can't possibly fit all. So stop pounding our kids into the same mold or we'll end up like that Apple commercial from the Super Bowl! Wait, maybe that's their plan for world domination?


    - Politics is the entertainment branch of industry.
    - Frank Zappa


    by rudyblues on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 03:44:05 PM PST

    •  I appreciate your wanting to rise above politics! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FloridaSNMOM, rudyblues, Mrs M

      But real politics is about hearing all the arguments and hashing out a solution that takes all those arguments into account.  IMO its about not putting up with a bureaucratic solution that as you pointed out is the least common denominator and try to appease people with mediocre sameness along with the constant "reform" to try to make the mediocre a bit more bearable.

      So for me when Obama says that education should not  be a political issue, I feel he is not interested with wrestling with the full range of views and is willing to settle for a bureaucratic solution that is really just rearranging the deck chairs.

      But bottom line... I am heartened you support the many paths idea. Tho I personally am a big unschooler and free-schooler, I would be happy to compromise on different strokes for different folks, and allowing for the real world politics of voting with your feet.

      Thanks so much for your comment!  I'll be interested in your thoughts on mine!

      Cooper Zale Los Angeles http://www.leftyparent.com

      by leftyparent on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 06:10:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You're right, I do want the discussion . . . (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FloridaSNMOM, Mrs M

        . . . to be held above the other political brouhahas of the day, but I think we agree that it's impossible to do so. The fact that we must choose any direction other than that direction which is in the best interest of the children is testament to the politics involved in public education, which has always been about distributing limited means among competing interests (as is all politics).

        The recent obsession with "getting our educational tax dollar's worth" seems to have resulted in a compromise position that tries to appease the obsession with accountability, test scores and evaluations only possible through regimentation/standardization, the very top down, bureaucratic approach that you (and I) are against. This compromise approach is pragmatic in that it moves the discussion(something Obama is accused of regularly), but wrong. There is really no compromise position when it comes to educating the next generation. It is our most important responsibility after meeting basic human needs. If we fail, so do they.

        And the many paths must include the un-school and free-school paths as well. There is no one right way, in spite of how badly we may want one. The quotes from your blog had me saying "Hell yes!" more than a few times.

        I think that there are a few "rights" we should add to the documents from our Founding Fathers. The right to freedom from hunger, the right to health, and the right to learn everything we are capable of learning, regardless of our socioeconomic situation.

        Looking forward to your next diary.


        - Politics is the entertainment branch of industry.
        - Frank Zappa


        by rudyblues on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 08:11:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I appreciate your continuing support... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rudyblues

          of my writing and the urging to write on.  I intend to, tho sometimes I feel like I'm rehashing the same ideas over and over again in a slightly different context.

          The issue of getting our education tax dollar's worth has actually been with us since the early 20th century, when the muckraking U.S. press turned its focus on the "inefficiencies" in the public education system, and that system responded by surrendering the running of public school systems to business efficiency experts like Elwood Cubberly who famously said...

          Our schools are, in a sense, factories in which the raw products (children) are to be shaped and fashioned into products to meet the various demands of life. The specification for manufacturing come from the demands of the twentieth-century civilization, and it is the business of the school to build its pupils to the specification laid down. This demands good tools, specialized machinery, continuous measurement of production to see if it is according to specifications, the elimination of waste in manufacture, and a large variety in the output.
          I wrote about business seizing overall control of the public education during the first decades of the 20th century in a previous piece.

          Cooper Zale Los Angeles http://www.leftyparent.com

          by leftyparent on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 07:40:49 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Maybe we should emphasize . . . (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            leftyparent

            . . . "good tools, specialized machinery, . . . and a large variety in output."

            To borrow an analogy from industry, education shouldn't be like the U.S. steel industry of the early 20th century, with its reliance on mass production techniques. It should be more like the specialized, small batch steel industry of the 21st century U.S. Let's bring education into the 21st century.

            In the words of Curtis Mayfield, "keep on keepin' on". I'll be reading.


            - Politics is the entertainment branch of industry.
            - Frank Zappa


            by rudyblues on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 05:20:13 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  To follow that metaphor... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              rudyblues

              moving from "mass production" to "niche marketing" in education.  Not one product sold to everyone, but products customized to different segments of the market.

              Cooper Zale Los Angeles http://www.leftyparent.com

              by leftyparent on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 08:47:17 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

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