Saturday, March 15, 2014

Children's Cognitive Development Impaired By Corporate Oligarchs!

Molding Minds For Tomorrow!
If we could paint a picture of the travesty taking place in American Public Education today, it might look like the above picture. It is Spring Time in America and high stakes standardized tests are on the school menu for millions of American children. There are many reasons to revolt against these tests. The most heinous fact is these tests dictate learning experience.  In the long term, children learn nothing more than to be compliant, worker bees.

Think of it. Children are biologically hard wired to be active, playful, imaginative, inquisitive learners.
However due to high stakes testing in thousands of schools across the U.S., children are forced to sit at their seats for 6 hours a day and mimic the work of desk clerks. Children have no voice in the learning experiences they engage in and are forced to participate in data-driven radical behaviorist learning activities, which they are told, will prepare them for careers and college. This factory model of education has nothing to do with learning. It has everything to do with controlling the minds of future citizens.

If an omnipotent force were to engineer a future society that would be smart enough to do the grunt work of a national economy but incapable of figuring out why their interests, innate gifts and talents were not optimally developed during the formative stages of their education, then mandating high stakes testing and narrowing of children's educational experiences would be the way to do just such a social engineering job.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

On the Rigor of the Common Core and Fidelity of High Stakes Testing

"What the wisest parents want for their children, that must we want for all children."
J. Dewey

Touting the CCSS version of standardized education with lots of rigor and fidelity as a cure-all for what ails American public education is a charade!  More and better standardized educational experience (rigor) that will be controlled and measured with high stakes standardized test scores (fidelity)? Really? Standardized educational experience and in particular, CCSS will do nothing to improve children's learning experiences in American classrooms. The elements for improving educational experience for all American children are still not in place: Personal time and attention from teachers through smaller class sizes, stable home lives, reduction of food insecurity, regular experiences in fine arts education and opportunities for student's self determination of educational experience. These factors are critical for improving American education, but alas...what children got instead after the Wall Street Crash of 2007-2008? More standardized testing. The idea that you can improve children's educational experiences by ignoring their physiological and psycho-emotional needs and imposing authoritarian, no excuses, get tough policies on them and their teachers is anathema to improving the human condition and human potential. What you will end up with is a mono-culture that perpetuates the standardization of the human mind. What children will learn is that the CCSS are nothing more than more of the same old, same old non-consensual learning experience driven by radical behaviorism. Children will remain outside the decision making processes central to the learning experiences they must participate in, and teachers will be forced to teach to the test. 

The end game is to de-professionalize teaching, hire pseudo-teachers who don't need living wages, pensions or other benefits and educate children through cheaper, technology driven screen-based interface whose assessments mimic standardized test questions.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Mike Pence Has No Problem Slashing Indiana Public Education Funding Again

How much state funding will Indiana public schools and other public entities lose if Mike Pence's corporate property tax cut initiative is ok'd by the Republican dominated Indiana General Assembly? Plenty! Who does Mike Pence represent? It certainly isn't the Indiana middle class whose 1.1 million children attend Indiana public schools. Only an agent of the opulent minority would consider a funding cut of this magnitude to cash strapped Indiana pubic schools, libraries and municipal government services.

The promise of jobs in exchange for tax cuts has done irreparable harm to the middle class and to municipal institutions like public schools and libraries. Time for the Indiana General Assembly to reconsider this governor's plans to further decimate the middle class? Call or write your state legislator here: Indiana General Assembly

Monday, December 30, 2013

What Does It Mean To Be Educated?

I posit that compelling children to sit in crowded classrooms and prepare them to take high stakes standardized tests utilizing Skinnerian based behaviour modification methodology is not an education. It is instruction and training to prepare for standardized tests.

From James McKernan: "In the view of R.S. Peters, education involves the development of a cognitive perspective, or mind, whilst instruction hints at information and training lends itself to the development of competence in a limited mode of skills; whilst ‘education’ aims at a wider view of knowledge and system of beliefs."

Saturday, December 21, 2013

What Will Pence's Corporate Tax Cuts Cost Indiana Public Schools?

About 400 billion. What does that mean for Indiana public schools and the Indiana middle class? It means program cuts and tax hikes. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

What Does Social Engineering Look Like?

Social engineering occurs when children have limited educational opportunities, are homogenized through a narrow curriculum and motivated by fear, rewards and punishments.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Just What Is Mike Pence's Philosophy of Education?

Mike Pence has the same philosophy of education as does Jeb Bush.
If you have not read Doug Martin's investigative work on the Pence-Bush connection to privatize Indiana public education this is a great read.